Falmouth sweeps Class A Nordic skiing crowns

Posted Feb. 20, 2014, at 8:59 p.m.

RANGELEY — Mt. Blue’s Sarah Wade was back in her familiar position atop the standings Thursday, but the Cougars knew it would take more than that to overcome a tough, talented group from Falmouth on Day 2 of the Class A high school skiing championships on Thursday.

In a fashion similar to their dominating performance on the first day of competition, the Yachtsmen placed four skiers in the top 10 of the classical race at the Rangeley Lakes Trails Center on Thursday and cruised to a second consecutive Class A Nordic crown.

Anna Morin — who holds a large lead in the skimeister standings, as well — Gabrielle Farrell and London Bernier finished 4-5-6 for Falmouth, and Lucy Mahony finished 10th for 25 points and a two-day total of 45.

“All three coaches are brand new,” Falmouth coach Jen Harris said. “We inherited a great team, and we knew we inherited a lot of great skiers.”

Mt. Blue finished second with 96 points after identical 48-point races.

“Today was to go out, ski your heart you, narrow the margin if you can and stay ahead of whoever’s in third,” Mt. Blue coach David Nordstrom said.

Leavitt, led by Alisha Labbe in ninth position, finished third with 115 points. Laura Frank and Lizzie Landry finished 2-3 for Portland as the Bulldogs finished fourth even with a ghost fourth skier.

Oxford Hills rounded out the top five.

The boys race began the day with much more intrigue. Leavitt was in first place by two points, with Falmouth hot on the Hornets’ heels. Mt. Blue was in third, just eight back of the Yachtsmen and 10 back of Leavitt.

Thursday was a good day for Falmouth.

Gabriel Mahoney finished second to lead five Yachtsmen among the top 13 skiers and help lift Falmouth to a second consecutive Class A boys’ Nordic title.

“They love to skate,” Falmouth coach Karen Curry said. “They did the same thing at the conference meet. They love to turn it on when it’s time to skate. We just had to remind them of that. Some of them were a little sore with their finishes yesterday, and we had to tell them, ‘Let it go, today is a new day, you love to skate, just enjoy it.’”

Mt. Blue made up ground on Leavitt, also, but the Hornets held off their KVAC counterparts for second place overall.

“We knew it would be a very intense day, a very competitive race,” Leavitt coach Dustin Williamson said. “We came out strong (Wednesday) and needed to come out even stronger (Thursday). They all skied well, they all skied with heart and skied as fast as they could. You could definitely tell out there on the course they were giving it their all.”

Harrison Knowlton led the way for the Hornets in fifth position. Other scoring skiers for Leavitt included Josh Therrien (ninth), Jarod Farrar (17th) and Rylee Knox (23rd).

The Cougars had a lower point total Thursday than the Hornets, but couldn’t make up the 10-point deficit and placed third behind finishes from Daniel Lesko (sixth), Isaac Doiron (seventh), Tucker Barber (18th) and Dustin Staples (19th).

“This course isn’t the best for us,” Nordstrom said. “We like skiing at Titcomb and Black Mountain because there’s a lot of steep ups and downs, and this has a lot more medium-gear stuff. The kids had to find a medium gear today, and that’s something they struggled with yesterday. The course doesn’t have as much rest as you’d think, because the downhills are gradual and turny, and you have to keep your head into it the whole way down.”

Mt. Ararat standout Sam Wood won the boys freestyle race in 14:26.5, 12 seconds ahead of Falmouth’s Mahoney.

Portland and Fryeburg rounded out the top five teams.

 

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