Vermont skiers take first-day lead at Eastern High School Nordic meet

Posted March 15, 2013, at 8:42 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — After one day of competition of the TD Bank Eastern High School Championship, the rest of the weekend promises to be exciting with Vermont claiming a tenuous 13-point edge over Maine and only 550 points separating all four New England teams at the Nordic Heritage Center.

Saturday’s two-race format and Sunday’s team relay finale will be events to watch at the cross country ski meet, which has attracted more than 200 competitors.

Vermont took the team lead via an impressive run in the girls 5-kilometer freestyle race, placing three in the top six including first and second for Taylor Spillane (13 minutes, 59 seconds) and Autumn Eastman (14:01). Emmy Held (14:10) of New York was third.

The Maine boys took 1-2 in their 5K freestyle race with Silas Eastman (11:51) claiming the victory ahead of fellow Mainer Ben Allen (12:01) and New Hampshire’s Torin Laliberte (12:08).

“The entire course was blazing,” said Eastman of Fryeburg Academy. “The toughest part was the corkscrew downhill.”

The tricky descent, a trademark of John Morton designed courses like those at the Nordic Heritage Center, got the better of several skiers, but Eastman survived.

“I was a foot from going off the trail and was very grateful I was able to stay up,” he said.

Held enjoyed the turns.

“It was definitely difficult, but it was so fast and so fun,” she said.

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