February 18, 2013

Skiing's big week: State championship time

It's a typically deep field with many talented skiers competing for the last time in a single-week format.

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Merriconeag’s John Burgess and five teammates hope the school can win its first state title in any boys’ sport. The girls team, though, is two-time defending Class C Nordic champion.

Tom Bell/Staff Writer

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The state championships are on tap this week, and senior Olivia Conrad is part of a Yarmouth powerhouse looking for a seventh straight overall Class B title.

Tom Bell/Staff Writer

CLASS B GIRLS: Yarmouth is shooting for a seventh straight overall title. The Clippers still have the best balance of alpine and Nordic, but will be hard-pressed to win either discipline outright, particularly with only five girls skiing alpine.

Camden Hills is the defending alpine champion, and placed third overall last winter. Caribou was second in both Nordic and overall, and won the 2010 Nordic title.

Maranacook for Nordic and Mt. Abram for alpine will also be in the mix.

Individually, Elise Luce of Mt. Abram, Lydia Morin of Camden Hills and Chapin Dorsett of Yarmouth should be at the top of the alpine lists.

In Nordic, Sarah Becker of Yarmouth, Ashley Richards of Caribou, Kaelyn Woods of Gray-New Gloucester and Caroline Colan of Maranacook are looking to fill the boots of Maranacook graduate Abby Mace, last winter's Maine Sunday Telegram Skier of the Year. 

CLASS B BOYS: Yarmouth is the defending overall champion and winner of five of the past seven titles, but Maranacook appears poised to win for the first time since a three-year championship run that ended in 2002.

Knee injuries that knocked out two of Yarmouth's top Nordic skiers, Thomas Sullivan and Carter Hall, as well as hand surgery for one of its top alpiners, Drew Grout, make an adequate defense difficult.

Even more challenging for a Yarmouth Nordic defense is that Chester Jacobs is still recovering from illness and will compete only in freestyle, and Jackson Hall has also been bothered by a viral infection.

"We've had more injuries this year than in the past five or six years put together," said Yarmouth Coach Bob Morse.

Look for Caribou and Maranacook to capitalize. Maranacook is defending alpine champion and remains formidable. Cape Elizabeth, Spruce Mountain and Camden Hills are in the mix.

Individually, Max Barber of Cape Elizabeth, Matt Highland of Yarmouth, Alec Daigle and Matt Delmar of Maranacook, Alex Hartford of Spruce Mountain and Jed Stevens of Mt. Abram will compete in alpine.

In Nordic, the top competitors are Braden Becker and Sam Alexander of Yarmouth, Colby Watts and Ethan Harriman of Maranacook, Thomas Faraday of Mt. Abram and Brendan Cyr of Caribou. 

CLASS C GIRLS: Freeport is the defending overall and alpine champion, and Fort Kent is the only other school with a realistic chance of winning either title. Nine years have passed since a team other than Freeport or Fort Kent won the overall crown: Madawaska in 2004.

In Nordic, Merriconeag looks for a third straight state title, having already won both the Sassi Memorial and the Western Maine Conference.

Individually, defending champion (in both skate and classic) Zoe Chace-Donahue of Merriconeag, Lizzy Martin of Freeport and Hannah and Lydia Streinz of Katahdin will compete for top Nordic honors.

Taylor Enrico of Freeport and Alexa Pelletier of Fort Kent are among the top alpine skiers. 

CLASS C BOYS: Fort Kent is the overall and alpine defending champion and looking for its fifth overall crown in seven years.

Freeport, whose two-year championship run ended last winter, will again battle for C supremacy. Telstar is within shouting distance and Mountain Valley remains in the mix.

Graduation wiped out any chances of NYA repeating in Nordic, opening the door for Merriconeag's first title in any boys' sport. Individually, Jack Pierce leads a strong Merriconeag squad. Josh Espy of Waynflete will also be tough.

In alpine, Freeport's Blake Enrico, Ryder Bennell and Caleb Abbott form an impressive trio. 

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:


Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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