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Freeport Falcons Winter Athletes of the Year

Winter Athletes of the Year

Freeport Falcons Winter Athletes of the Year

2011-12 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

TAYLOR SAUCIER, Senior-Indoor track

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CITATIONS

* Finish Line award winner

* Fifth place in the 800 @ Class B state meet

* Fifth place in the mile @ Class B state meet

Saucier came late to running, but became another in a long line a Falcons distance standouts.

Saucier, a Durham resident, runs year-round, also taking part in cross country and outdoors. He enjoys the social aspect of the sport and competing against himself. He managed a fourth-place finish in the 800 at the 2011 Class B state meet and was steady throughout this winter.

Saucier was a force in the 800, mile and two-mile and also took part in the relays. By states, he was once again one of the best around, placing fifth in the 800 and doing the same in the mile for a program that continues to get stronger.

Saucier isn't just committed to honing his craft, but he's also worked hard to encourage other team members to improve. He's a member of band and jazz band, the Reducing Sexism and Violence Program and also volunteers. He'll compete in outdoor track, run the Beach to Beacon and LL Bean 10K, then take his act to Bates College, where he'll run cross country, indoor and outdoor track. He's interested in biology and medicine.

He certainly capped his final indoor season in style and has much to look forward to. On and off the track.

Coach Brian Berkemeyer's comment: “Taylor has been one of the best runners to come through Freeport in some time. He has not only become a great runner, but he has also developed into a great leader. His teammates have come to respect his accomplishments as well as his willingness to help everybody. Taylor has helped transform our running teams into fitness machines. Originally he came to Freeport as an 800 meter runner. He was willing to test himself at longer distances and quickly became a front runner on the cross-country team. It has been a pleasure coaching Taylor for the past four years. He's a very determined and dedicated individual. His presence will be sorely missed, but the influence he will leave behind will keep Freeport running strong for years to come.”

2010-11 winner: Ryan Collet (Skiing)

2009-10 winner: Ryan Collet (Skiing)

2008-09 winner: Jon Klages (Basketball)

2007-08 winner: Reid Christian (Basketball)

2006-07 winner: Danny Mehler (Basketball)

2005-06 winner: Nate Fuller (Skiing)

2004-05 winner: Dan Sandberg (Skiing)

2003-04 winner: Kegan Pettit (Hockey)

2002-03 winner: Frank Roy (Skiing)

2001-02 winner: Griff Leach (Skiing)

2011-12 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:

ELLY BENGTSSON, Sophomore-Alpine skiing

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CITATIONS

* Class C state champion, slalom

* Class C state champion, giant slalom

* WMC all-star

Bengtsson is simply unstoppable on the slopes and that was never more evident than this winter when she competed (and excelled) despite recovering from an ACL injury.

Bengtsson, a Freeport native who started racing at the age of nine before emerging as a middle school star, had a triumphant freshman ski season, coming in second in the slalom and third in the giant slalom at the state meet before being named Winter Athlete of the Year.

She ran cross-country in the fall, then got the job done this winter, despite the knee injury which she slowly adjusted to and overcame.

By the state meet, Freeport was primed to win a title and Bengtsson led the Falcons to the pinnacle by racing to victories in both the slalom and GS. She went on to compete against the finest racers in New England and more than held her own there, racing at Lake Placid and finishing eighth in the slalom at the Eastern championships at Attitash.

Bengtsson plays the flute, takes part in Model UN, is interested in ceramics and also volunteers. She will take part in outdoor track this spring (running the mile) and wants to ski at the Division I level in college. Her maturity, personability and intelligence shine through and it's clear she has great things in her future.

First, she figures to continue to dazzle at the high school level. More individual and team state titles are likely.

Coach Eric Wallace's comment: “As a coach in a sport where hundreds of a second often make a huge difference, we like to see the commitment the athletes makes to every training run and Elly gets it. She wastes no time while on snow, she's focused and understands the commitment this sports takes, but also she just loves to ski and that passion can be contagious in a group or team setting.”

2010-11 winner: Elly Bengtsson (Skiing)

2009-10 winner: Adrian Baker (Indoor track)

2008-09 winner: Molly Susla (Skiing)

2007-08 winner: Adrian Baker (Indoor track)

2006-07 winner: Abby Fuller (Swimming)

2005-06 winner: Lucy Garrec (Skiing)

2004-05 winner: Logan Crane (Indoor track)

2003-04 winner: Logan Crane (Indoor track)

2002-03 winner: Jessica Harold (Skiing)

2001-02 winner: Molly Pierce (Skiing)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.