Thursday, December 5, 2013
RUMFORD — They trailed the defending Class A Alpine champion by 14 points heading into Friday morning's concluding slalom runs, but that didn't seem to bother the girls from Farmington.
They ski for Mt. Blue.
In championship season, it seems, Mt. Blue always comes out on top.
Led by senior Heather Farrington's runner-up finish, the Cougars grabbed four of the top 12 spots and surged past Greely to claim the Alpine state title by four points at Black Mountain.
"I knew that if the girls skied smart and skied solid, we'd be right there," said Mt. Blue's Alpine Coach, Mark Cyr. "Unfortunately, some of the other teams had some problems. It was all about knowing what they could do on the course, and knowing what the course would allow them to do."
The overall title also went to Mt. Blue -- for the eighth year in a row and 19th of the past 21 -- in a runaway. The Cougars compiled 214 points to 263 for Falmouth, which leapfrogged Oxford Hills (302) into the runner-up position. Falmouth entered the day trailing Oxford Hills by five points.
Greely, which won Thursday's giant slalom by placing four skiers among the top 20, put two in the top 15 in slalom (Jill Booth in fifth and Jordan Ouellette in seventh) and four in the top 25, but it wasn't enough to hold off Mt. Blue.
Falmouth sophomore Leika Scott won her first state title with a two-run time of 1 minute, 36.35 seconds. She finished second in each of her three previous state championship races, two last year and Thursday's giant slalom.
She likened the first run, which caused problems for much of the field, to a survival course.
"If you tried to go as hard as you could, it wouldn't work," she said. "You'd blow out and not finish. So, first run I kind of held back. Second run, the course was straighter, so you could go for it."
Farrington finished less than a second behind, and Gorham junior Marissa Roberts, the giant slalom champion, was third at 1:40.28.
Greely sophomore Elyse Dinan defended her skimeister title, but only after rallying from 70th position after a first slalom run that involved hiking up the Lower Androscoggin headwall after straddling a gate.
Competing for the fourth time in 48 hours -- including a classical 5-kilometer race Wednesday afternoon, two giant slalom runs Thursday morning and a 5K freestyle race Thursday afternoon -- Dinan said her legs cried out in protest while she sidestepped up the steepest part of the course to negotiate the straddled gate.
"They were killing me," she said. "I had nothing left. It was bad."
Her 17-point lead in the skimeister standings over Fryeburg's Kelsey Liljedahl, who stood in 36th after one run, was suddenly a 17-point deficit. Needing a big second run, Dinan delivered the fastest of the day, 46.37 seconds.
That boosted Dinan's slalom placing to 42nd. Liljedahl dropped one slot to 37th, giving Dinan her second skimeister title by a dozen points, 134-146.
"After the first run, I didn't really have much to lose," she said. "I'm thrilled. ... I don't know, it's all adrenaline, I guess."Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: