By Michael Hoffer
Just when it appears the Yarmouth ski program has accomplished all it can on the trails and slopes, the Clippers up the ante further.
Last week, after sweeping the Alpine events, Yarmouth wrote a new chapter in school lore, by winning the skate, freestyle, team and skimeister titles on both the boys’ and girls’ sides at the Western Maine Conference Nordic championship meet.
Makes you wonder what they’ll do at states for an encore.
“Wow!” said longtime Yarmouth coach Bob Morse. “It’s the first time a school has ever won all eight events.”
The fun began last Wednesday when the Clippers competed in the skate at Pineland.
Yarmouth’s boys tallied 27 points to hold off Fryeburg and Greely (36 points each). Falmouth (68) was fourth, Freeport (95) came in fifth and NYA (160) placed ninth.
Cam Woodworth was the fastest Yarmouth skier, completing the 5-kilometer course in exactly 15 minutes, good for second place individually. Willie Walsh was seventh (15:27). Casey Jones and Clark Shepard tied for ninth with a time of 15:47.
Greely’s top finisher was Alex Thomas (fourth, 15:21). Falmouth was paced by Eric D’Agostino (13th, 16:17). Scott Ross led Freeport (17th, 16;25). NYA’s best finisher was Jake Susla (37th, 18:25).
In the girls’ skate race, the Clippers had 34 points, two better than the Falcons. The Yachtsmen were fifth with 75. The Rangers came in sixth with 81 and the Panthers were ninth with 151.
Becca Bell was first for Yarmouth, placing third overall in a time of 17:22. Danielle Torres tied for fifth (17:46). Ali Totta (11th, 19:10) and Margot Haines (15th, 19:26) also scored.
Molly Susla led Freeport, finishing second to Emily Attwood of Cape Elizabeth in 16:41. Tess Carley was first for Greely (seventh, 18:06). Falmouth was paced by Sarah Abramson (eighth, 18:07). Abby McIvor was NYA’s first finisher (22nd, 20:28).
Saturday, the venue was Starks Hill in Fryeburg for the classic race.
Yarmouth’s boys posted a score of 21 to easily finish first. Falmouth (56) was third, Greely (75) came in fourth, Freeport (103) was fifth and NYA (158) finished ninth.
The Clippers won the combined title as well with 48 points, 30 better than runner-up Fryeburg. Greely (111) was third, Falmouth (124) placed fourth, Freeport (198) finished fifth and NYA (318) came in ninth.
Individually, at the classic race, Yarmouth got points from Jones, who moved up to second, finishing the 4.91-kilometer course in 15:16. Woodworth was fourth (15:41), followed by Walsh (fifth, 15:54) and Shepard (10th, 16:48).
Thomas again led Greely with an eighth-placing showing (16:11). D’Agostino was again tops for Falmouth (ninth, 16:22). Ross (17th, 17:26) was best for Freeport and NYA was led by Sam Gray (33rd, 19:22).
In the girls’ classic race, Yarmouth had 28 points, 20 better than Fryeburg. Falmouth (62) came in third, Greely (64) was fourth, Freeport (81) finished fifth and NYA (144) placed ninth.
In the combined standings, the Clippers were first with 62 points, 44 better than Fryeburg. Freeport (117) came in third, Falmouth (137) was fourth, Greely (145) finished fifth and NYA (295) was ninth.
In the classic, Bell led Yarmouth with a fourth-place showing (18:43). Torres was fifth (18:51), Haines came in ninth (19:23) and Totta was 10th (19:35).
Melanie Ross was the fastest Falcon, placing second in 18:14. Allison Hall led the Rangers with a third-place showing (18:25). Abramson was sixth for the Yachtsmen (19:07). McIvor was 21st (21:35) to lead the Panthers.
If all that wasn’t enough, Yarmouth also had the best skimeisters, individuals who participate in both Alpine and Nordic events.
Ross Kendrick won the boys’ title, finishing 15th in the classic, 18th in the skate, 15th in the Alpine slalom and 31st in the giant slalom to finish 18 points ahead of teammate Ben Woodbury.
On the girls’ side, Bell did the honors, supplementing her stellar Nordic showing with an 11th-place finish in the slalom and a 23rd-place showing in the GS. Bell had 41 points, 24 better than runner-up Carley.
“Saturday morning before we got off the bus, I told the skiers that no team had ever won all eight events and that they could be part of history,” Morse said. “I was very, very proud of my skiers. Everyone skied a personal best.”
Next up is the state championship meet.
Falmouth and powerhouse Yarmouth will contend for the Class B crown next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Alpine events will be held at Big Rock in Mars Hill. Nordic races will be contested at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.
“States will be a dogfight,” said Morse. “The Caribou boys are the strongest in the state by far.”
Greely goes for a Class A title. The Alpine events are Monday and Tuesday at Sunday River. Nordic races are Monday and Wednesday at Black Mountain.
Freeport and NYA take part at the Class C state meet, Feb. 19 through 21. Alpine events take place at Sunday River. Nordic races will be held at Black Mountain.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org