DALLAS PLANTATION — When Freeport senior Bobby Strong broke for lunch Thursday after the first of two concluding slalom runs in the Class A Alpine skiing state championships, he realized a title defense would not come easily.

What had seemed a comfortable lead of 27 points after Wednesday’s giant slalom at Saddleback Mountain was down to five, as the Freeport/Brunswick co-op team attempted to hold off an up-and-coming Falmouth/Waynflete squad.

“The pressure really came in the second run when we found they made (up) so many points from our lead,” Strong said.  “I had thought there was no catching us (going into Thursday).”

On a mostly sunny Thursday afternoon, however, the defending champs held strong. Despite not breaking into the top 10 individuals, Freeport squeezed all six of its skiers ahead of Falmouth’s fourth and final scoring skier to win the two-day Alpine championships by eight points, 1,493 to 1,485. Skowhegan was third of the 23 teams competing.

“Falmouth has some real race horses,” said Freeport Coach Phil Wagner, noting the second- and fourth-place finishers – Porter Beaule and Ian Christie. “We have draft horses. We have guys who get the work done. They may not pull the No. 1 or No. 2, but we’re going to be pretty solid through the rest of the order. In team scoring, that gives us the points.”

Indeed, Strong (14th), sophomores Ansel Goode (15th) and Elias Burrill (21st) and freshman Alex Gilbert (22nd) completed the scoring for Freeport, whose only team member from Brunswick High skis for the girls’ team.


Landon Marquis, a Camden Hills sophomore, won individual slalom honors with a two-run total of 1 minute, 12.09 seconds. He was almost a full second ahead of Beaule, the only member of the Falmouth/Waynflete squad who attends Waynflete.

“I just went for it, had fun with it,” said Marquis, who finished 37th in Wednesday’s giant slalom because he missed a gate and was forced to hike uphill to complete his morning run. “The ruts were really deep the first run (Thursday), and you were getting bucked around all over the place because of the terrain. The second run, it got a little better because they moved some gates.”

Temperatures were considerably warmer Thursday, in the mid 30s, with abundant sunshine in the afternoon. Winds remained strong, particularly near the top of the Grey Ghost race trail, but none of the variable precipitation that visited the giant slalom runs returned for the slalom competition.

“I love this course so much,” said Marshwood junior Hadley Prewitt, who earned individual slalom honors with a two-run total of 1:13.96. That gave her an approximately third of a second victory over Mt. Blue senior Taylor Gordon.

A day earlier in giant slalom, their placements had been reversed.

“I felt like I could turn a little bit better (Thursday),” Prewitt said. “I just went for it. I put it out there. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t ….”


She shrugged and laughed.

In team competition, Falmouth came from behind to unseat two-time defending state champion Mt. Blue, but only after sweating out an apparent disqualification. Freshman Bridget Jacobsen, who placed eighth, was initially flagged for straddling a gate near the top of the course.

During the protest period, race officials discovered the offending skier actually was in the boys’ race and shared the same bib number as Jacobsen.

“It was all a complete misunderstanding, but it was a lot of up and down and all over until they figured it out,” said Falmouth Coach Janelle Day.

Also scoring for Falmouth were freshman Margo Hesson (third), senior Celia Geci (fourth) and sophomore Sadie Kramer (23rd). Trailing by three entering slalom, Falmouth finished five points ahead of Mt. Blue, 1,519 to 1,514.

Marshwood was third at 1,467, followed by Freeport/Brunswick (1,455) and Edward Little/Leavitt (1,454).


“I have a bunch of girls who are coachable and who work together and support each other,” Day said. “I’m proud of them for going out there and tearing it up and being able to ski fast and in control.”

Mark Cyr, coach of Mt. Blue, had figured his Farmington-based team would have an advantage in slalom because that’s the discipline they primarily train at nearby Titcomb Mountain.

“We had a couple of bobbles in the second run, but we skied OK,” he said. “We don’t see those southern teams at all, so I don’t know if they skied their normal race or if they skied out of their socks.

“We don’t do any crossover, so we don’t know what to expect when we come to states anymore.”

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