RUMFORD — In what might have been the best skiing day of the winter, fast performances abounded Saturday in the Sassi Memorial high school meet at Black Mountain.

Sophia Laukli of Yarmouth finished the 5-kilometer classic in a winning time of 14 minutes, 25 seconds, a full minute ahead of Olivia Skillings of Maine Coast Waldorf.

Laukli, who attended a boarding school in the Swiss Alps last season, was eager to test herself against the best in the state.

“I’m really happy. I was gone last year so I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t raced against a lot of the girls yet this year,” Laukli said. “I was definitely really happy. I tested my skis and they were really fast, so it was a good day.”

Laukli was one of the last competitors to start, which made for lonely stretches.

“I started pretty far back so there wasn’t many kids I could ski with, so that wasn’t ideal,” Laukli said. “The first part of the race is kind of downhill so I just tried to make up a lot of time there, and then I was pretty well-rested going up hills.”

Jenny Wilbraham of Morse finished third, followed by Lily Horne of Freeport and Meghan Charles of Mt. Blue.

In the boys’ race, Liam Niles of Portland was the top finisher in 13:40.6. He was followed by Nick Neveu of Maine Coast Walforf, Peter Jordan of Deering and Sam Holt of Orono.

Maranacook placed the next three skiers but Mt. Blue, with better overall balance, earned the team title.

Maranacook got a boost from Luke Bartol, who was recovering from the flu earlier in the week and put up a time of 14:06.

“I used the first downhill and didn’t go too hard in the beginning,” Bartol said. “Then at the first gradual I pushed it right up High School (Hill) and then you’re basically done from there. … I think this is good for me and my team as well.”

Carter McPhedran and Mark McLaughlin followed Bartol. Cameron Bancroft of Oxford Hills finished eighth.

“It was a total breakthrough race for me,” Bancroft said. “Until now I have been really struggling through my races, but this one I felt really good, with the exception of High School Hill, of course. But this one went as well as it’s ever gone for me.”

Bancroft, the nephew of a former Olympic Nordic skier, Leslie Bancroft, has sought help from his aunt, who is also his coach.

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