An Alpine skiing scoresheet is broken into several columns.
Name and school, of course. Bib number. The times for Run 1 and Run 2.
Finally, near the edge of the page, is this heading: Gap.
The gap between Mt. Abram senior Elise Luce and the rest of the field in Class B skiing is more like a gulf.
There is Luce and then there is everyone else.
In a sport that measures time to the hundredths of seconds, she won her fourth straight giant slalom title this year by 3.70 seconds. Only four of the other 50 girls finished within 10 seconds of Luce.
In slalom, which Luce won for the third year in a row, only three managed to finish within 10 seconds. Her closest competitor was 6.60 seconds behind.
Against even stiffer competition, at the Eastern high school championships, Luce won the giant slalom. In slalom, she missed a gate on her first run, hiked back to finish the course, then failed to complete her second run.
For the second year in a row, Luce is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram female skier of the year.
“I think I improved a lot in giant slalom,” she said, “but slalom was challenging for me. Over the years I’ve really struggled with it, and this year was just a challenging year for that. I think I had one race all year where I skied well in slalom.”
Keep in mind that Luce did not lose a slalom race in Maine. Her standards are higher than most. She expects more.
“It’s not really about the winning,” she said. “It’s about how I ski, personally. I just didn’t think I skied really well in any of them, except (the Mountain Valley Conference championship meet).”
In that MVC slalom, Luce gapped the field of 68 by more than three seconds in each of her two runs.
Her coach, Bob Luce, who happens to be her father, has pointed out to his daughter that she has actually been more dominant in slalom than giant slalom.
“She just has a lot more confidence in the GS piece,” he said, “but she is a very good slalom skier, contrary to what she thinks, and can do just as well.”
Elise is the youngest of four daughters to pass through Mt. Abram, and the most decorated on the slopes. Two older sisters continued their careers at Castleton State College in Vermont, where the coach is recruiting Elise, who is also interested in St. Anselm in New Hampshire.
She said she has until the end of April to decide. As for a major, “that’s the question my parents keep asking,” she said. “I just have no idea.”
She also played soccer and softball for Mt. Abram last year, and joined her father on a 100-mile charity bicycle ride in Vermont to benefit the Kelly Brush Foundation, established in 2006 in the name of a skier who suffered a spinal cord injury while skiing. Father and daughter may do the Trek Across Maine this June.
As for softball, Elise said she has hung up her bat and glove. This summer she plans to work as a lifeguard at the Carrabassett town pool and give swimming lessons.
Of course, skiing will always be her passion.
“She just loves to go skiing,” said her father, who will step down as head coach after nine years but plans to continue lending assistance when he can. “If we have a snow day (at school), she and a couple friends are off and going skiing. It’s fun for her.”
Fun, and fast. In Maine high school circles, that combination has been unbeatable.
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: