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Falmouth Yachtsmen Winter Athletes of the Year

Sports

Falmouth Yachtsmen Winter Athletes of the Year


Ed. Note: This article will appear in our April 10 print edition.

Male:

JOE LESNIAK, Senior-Alpine skiing

  • Class A state champion, giant slalom

  • Class A state champion, slalom

  • Maine team qualifier

  • WMC meet champion, giant slalom

  • WMC Alpine skiing All-Conference

  • NENSA qualifier

  • Captain

On the heels of a fantastic golf season which saw him earn Falmouth's Fall Male Athlete of the Year award, Lesniak proved he was just as adept racing downhill on skis as he won a pair of individual state championships and bowed out in style.

Lesniak started skiing around the time he started walking and spent much of youth enjoying it even more than golf. As part of a skiing family (his brother, Thomas, is hot on his heels, and sister, Krysia, is a standout as well), Lesniak spends his weekends honing his craft at Sugarloaf and it's paid off.

As a freshman, Lesniak was fourth in both the slalom and giant slalom. As a sophomore, he came in fourth in the GS, but slipped to 17th in the slalom. He moved up to third in the GS and placed fourth in the slalom as a junior and this winter, left the field in his wake.

Lesniak dominated in the regular season, then won the conference title in the GS. At states, he won the GS and took the slalom as well.

I couldn't have asked for a better season,” Lesniak said. “I knew I'd contend, but I didn't expect to win states.”

Following the season, he was the first overall qualifier for the Maine state team, then placed fourth in slalom and 11th in the GS at the Eastern High School championships.

Lesniak credits his coach, Tip Kimball, for much of his success.

Coach has been a huge help all four years,” Lesniak said. “As a great ski racer himself, he served as a tremendous mentor to me. Originally, he wasn't on the coaching staff for the Eastern regionals, but with some convincing, he agreed to come and I credit much of my performance there, and at every race throughout the season, to him.”

Lesniak, who also plays tennis (doubles) in the spring, hopes to play golf in college.

His final competitive skiing season was one to hail. Joe Lesniak, Falmouth's Winter Male Athlete of the Year, left no doubt that he was a true champion.

Coach Tip Kimball’scomment:“Joe is a great kid. He's very focused, very strong and a well-rounded athlete. He has the unique ability to will himself to win races. He's not easily intimidated by his competition.”

Previous winners:

2012-13: Tom Wilberg (Basketball)

2011-12: Jack Cooleen (Basketball)

2010-11: Reid Pryzant (Track)

2009-10: Stefano Mancini (Basketball)

2008-09: Mike Chase (Hockey)

2007-08: Tom Winger (Track)

2006-07: James Tolan (Hockey)

2005-06: Bryant Barr (Basketball)

2004-05: Peter Gustavson (Hockey)

2003-04: Brandon Bonsey (Track)

2002-03: Jon Hutchins (Hockey)

2001-02: Garrett Weliever (Basketball)

Female

ANNA MORIN, Junior—Skiing

  • Class A state champion, skimeister

  • NENSA qualifier

  • Captain

Morin didn't become a skimeister intending to win a state title, it just worked out that way as her devotion to the sport and her teammates was rewarded in a most impressive fashion.

Morin grew up in Falmouth and became a talented downhill skier at a very young age. She didn't begin cross-country skiing until middle school. After competing Nordic only as a freshman and a sophomore (she placed seventh in the freestyle at last year's Class A state meet), she tacked on Alpine duties this winter, in large part because Falmouth's numbers were lacking and she was needed for depth.

From such a selfless act, a star skimeister was born.

Morin only got better as the season progressed and put forth a championship effort in the postseason. Morin was eighth in the freestyle at the conference championships, then produced a solid series of performances at the state meet.

The Nordic meet came first and Morin placed fourth in the freestyle (third for scoring purposes) and seventh in the classical and helped the Yachtsmen win the championship.

At the Alpine meet, Morin didn't score for the team, but was 59th in the slalom and 60th in the giant slalom to win skimeister honors by 24 points over Greely's Jessie Hoffman.

I was second in the skimeister at the Western Maine Conference meet, so I knew I had a chance,” Morin said. “It was nervewracking, but it was fun.”

Morin went on to compete in the Eastern Maine High School championships and now turns her attention back to sailing, which she does in the spring and fall. Morin is a member of National Honors Society. She plans to return to Nordic-only skiing as a senior, then hopes to sail competitively in college.

The role she played this season won't be forgotten. Anna Morin, Falmouth's Winter Female Athlete of the Year, took one for the team and wound up being crowned a champion.

Nordic coach Jen Harris' comment: “Anna is an amazing student-athlete. Not only did she show dedication to her team as an excellent captain, but she was also one of our top scoring females on the Nordic team. What makes Anna successful is not only her natural talent as a skier, but also her determination to compete and do well no matter the conditions. She always keeps a positive attitude for her teammates and always is working to improve her skiing and technique. She's an excellent role model for younger skiers and always provides helpful information and encouragement for beginners. She's an asset for our program.”

Alpine coach Tip Kimball's comment: “I applaud Anna for winning the skimeister event. A very gutsy thing to do for a Nordic skier, considering this year's extremely difficult conditions.”

Previous winners:

2012-13: Charlotte Janelle (Diving)

2011-12: Megan Fortier (Hockey)

2010-11: Nicola Mancini (Diving)

2009-10: Sarah Abramson (Skiing)

2008-09: Kristin Jackson (Swimming)

2007-08: Kristin Jackson (Swimming)

2006-07: Alicia Hahn (Swimming)

2005-06: Gina Mancini (Swimming)

2004-05: Emily Sheldon (Swimming)

2003-04: Alison Tozier (Swimming)

2002-03: Gina Mancini (Swimming)

2001-02: Megan White (Diving)

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