Friday, December 6, 2013
RUMFORD — From the Western Mountains to Aroostook County, the Maine high school skiing state championships reached their midpoint with all three classes competing Wednesday.
Fryeburg Academy junior Silas Eastman and Leavitt junior Maddie Wiegman won Nordic classical races at balmy Black Mountain as the Class A meet got under way. Freestyle and giant slalom are scheduled for today, also at Black Mountain, and the meet concludes with Friday's slalom.
In Mars Hill, the Class B Alpine competition came to an end with the Camden Hills girls and Maranacook boys victorious, both ahead of Yarmouth. Elise Luce of Mt. Abram and Alec Daigle of Maranacook won the individual slalom titles.
Heading into today's classical conclusion to the Class B overall competition, Yarmouth's girls and boys hold commanding leads. The Clippers have 91 points through three girls events, with Camden Hills second at 179 and Mt. Abram at 183. The Yarmouth boys stand at 94, with Maranacook at 143, Cape Elizabeth at 237 and Caribou at 260.
The only slalom skier to finish within eight seconds of Luce's winning two-run time of 1:25.94 was her sister, Erin, who clocked 1:27.89.
The boys' slalom was much closer. Only eight hundredths of a second separated Daigle (1:18.16) from Maranacook teammate Matthew Delmar.
Kelby Mace (seventh) and Tobias Smith (11th) completed the title-winning team for Maranacook, which led the Alpine standings by two points after giant slalom but finished with a comfortable 62-80 victory over Yarmouth.
The Camden Hills girls overcame a four-point deficit to Yarmouth by placing four skiers among the top 10: Sasha Jones (fourth), Lydia Morin (seventh), Hayley Aydelott (eighth) and Julie Beauchesne (10th).
Wednesday's warm temperatures proved a boon for spectators but were not conducive to fast times.
"The tracks were sloppy and slow," said Eastman, a two-time Class A classical champion. "I was looking at the Class C results and I saw (NYA sophomore) Ian Moore was 12:50 something (actually 12:58). I was kind of shooting for that. But when I got in and saw my time, that's when it hit me. ... I felt it at times (on the course), but I didn't think it was that slow."
Eastman's winning time of 13:51 was 27 seconds better than runner-up Dustin Staples of Mt. Blue. Mt. Ararat's Emma Wood, the second girl to finish, was 23 seconds behind Wiegman's 18:07.
Most skiers used klister for traction, but Eastman and three Fryeburg teammates raced in skis that don't require kick wax.
"I have no idea how it works," Eastman said. "The kick zone is covered in some green fuzzy stuff that catches and kicks really well. And you get a lot more glide because you don't have a buildup of klister."
Fryeburg Coach John Weston said he saw the "zero skis" used under similar conditions at the NCAA championships last winter and figured they would work well.
"We were testing them all day against the regular skis," Weston said, "and they held up."
In Class A team competition, the Leavitt girls jumped out to a 24-63 lead over Falmouth, with Mt. Blue (66), Portland (69) and Oxford Hills (70) close behind. The boys race is much tighter, with Mt. Blue (40), Falmouth (42), Fryeburg (47) and Oxford Hills (56) bunched at the top.
"We had a good race," said Falmouth Coach James Demers, whose team is making its Class A debut after winning the past two Class B boys' overall titles. "It was a tricky day with the wax. It was really warm and the snow was super slow. But Falmouth is still in the game."
The Nordic skiers in Class A will race on consecutive days rather than take a day of rest.
"It's usually not that way," said Eastman. "We usually have a day in between, so (today) is going to be a lot harder coming off (Wednesday's) race."
Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: