CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Yarmouth junior Carter Hall heard the shouts Friday afternoon early in his second 2.5-kilometer loop of the Class B Nordic freestyle race course at rainy, windy Sugarloaf Outdoor Center.
He just had trouble believing them.
Once more came the frenzied news from Yarmouth coaches.
“You’re winning the race! No, Braden is not beating you. YOU are winning the race!”
That, Hall said, is when he finally understood. Senior teammate Braden Becker, who had won every race of the high school season, including Thursday’s Class B classical over these same trails, had taken 20 seconds longer to reach this checkpoint than did Hall.
“That was when I knew I was in front,” Hall said. “They shouted it again and again because they knew I would be surprised by that and they wanted to make sure I knew.”
Hall made quick work of the final two kilometers to finish in 13 minutes, 29 seconds and become the Class B freestyle champion. Becker was nearly half a minute behind in 13:58, one second behind Yarmouth classmate Sam Alexander.
The 1-2-3 finish sent the Clippers to their third straight Nordic boys title. Including senior Jasper Houston’s 10th-place finish, Yarmouth scored 16 points to 35 for runner-up Maranacook and brought its two-day total to 34, well in front of Maranacook (63), Freeport (128), Caribou (150) and six other schools.
Yarmouth also placed four girls in the top 10 and six in the top 13 out of a 59-skier field. Junior Emma Torres was third, sophomore Lucy Alexander fourth, junior Ellie Teare sixth and freshman Grace Cowles ninth for a two-day total of 49 points.
Elizabeth Martin (second) and Lily Johnston (fifth) led runner-up Freeport, which totaled 89 points. Martin was 17 seconds behind Kaelyn Woods of Gray-New Gloucester.
Woods, a sophomore who also won Thursday’s classical race, started seventh but was first to finish, in 15:49. By the second lap, slanting rain had turned to sleet.
“My face at the end was stinging pretty bad,” Woods said. “I’m glad I had my glasses. … It would have been nice to have blue skies and 30 degrees, but it’s ski racing. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Last weekend, both Woods and Becker were named to a New England team that will compete at the Junior Olympics next month in Stowe, Vt.
Yarmouth Coach Bob Morse noted Becker’s effort last weekend at Eastern Cup races in New Hampshire – skiing at 10k and 15k on consecutive days – likely played a role in Friday’s outcome.
“Four big races in six days, he’s tired,” Morse said. “Not to take anything away from his teammates. Carter was hungry. He was not pleased with his (third in classical), so he wanted to make up for that (Friday). Same with Sam. So I take my hat off to both of them. If you have to lose, lose to a teammate.”
Yarmouth’s quest for an eighth straight girls’ overall title continues next weekend at Mt. Abram with the two-day Alpine championship. The Clippers will carry a 40-point lead over Freeport, which moved up to Class B after winning the Class C ski title last year.
Maranacook (136) is in third followed by Gray-New Gloucester (150), Caribou (153), Kents Hill (175), Cape Elizabeth (258) and four other schools.
“The girls have a better chance than the boys,” Morse said. “The Maranacook boys are really strong in Alpine and they have a lot to prove. Last year they had some key skiers fall. We’ve got a good team and they’re skiing really, really well, but it’s probably going to come down to Maranacook’s and Yarmouth’s fourth skiers.”
Eric Wilcox and Keaton McEvoy, both of Gray-New Gloucester, lead the skimeister standings. McEvoy has a 10-point lead (33-43) over Yarmouth’s Abby Condon in a girls’ field of 10. Wilcox has 20 points, well above Presque Isle’s Nicholas Bartlett (75) and 10 other boys.
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or: