Class C Alpine Skiing Championships: Mountain Valley girls take state title

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NEWRY — On a day when falls, missed gates and other bizarre incidents were the rule, the Mountain Valley girls’ ski team had almost no margin for error.

Turns out they didn’t need any.

The Falcons soared to the Class C girls’ alpine ski championship at Sunday River, cruising to victory over defending champion Fort Kent in Friday’s slalom, 44-64, and winning the overall title by a 95-114 count.

“It was a great battle that came right down to the second run of the slalom,” Mountain Valley coach Nate Nicols. “That was a lot of fun.”

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Two disqualifications and a fall prevented the Falcons from doubling that pleasure.

Fort Kent made the long journey home to Aroostook County with another boys’ title.

Annie Guerette of Winthrop overtook Sarah Klein of Mountain Valley in the afternoon’s second run to claim the individual slalom gold. Guerette’s combined time of 1:12.26 was just over four-tenths quicker than Klein’s pace of 1:12.68.

Klein was seeking a sweep after winning the giant slalom race Thursday.

“We went all-out both days, and just stressed having that tunnel vision,” Nicols said.

Mountain Valley made a bold charge by finishing second and third. Katie Collette (1:14.74) trailed Klein.

Ellie Hall (20th) and Elizabeth Adley (23rd) sealed the title for the Falcons.

“Every run was a new race to us. That’s how we approached it,” Nicols said. “To have only five skiers and go two whole days without any real slip-ups, that’s pretty great.”

Fort Kent’s chances of winning the team sweepstakes evaporated when slalom champion Alexa Pelletier was disqualified after her first run.

Rudy Martin picked up the slack for the Warriors, finishing seventh in 1:18.70. But she was a skimeister competitor and not included in Fort Kent’s team total.

The Warriors’ top scoring skier was Danielle Ouellette in 10th.

Amy DeHaas took fourth place for Winthrop. St. Dom’s tandem of Samantha Ladd and Olivia Tsouprake finished sixth and ninth, respectively.

Mountain Valley made history on multiple fronts.

“Am I the youngest coach to win a title?” Nicols quipped.

The answer is almost certainly yes, in any sport. The coach was 19 at the start of the season, meaning that he had to get a waiver and special dispensation just to take the job.

Fort Kent won the boys’ slalom, 32-58, and cruised to the overall title by a 56-82 measure.

Waynflete’s Louis Frumer completed a sweep of the boys’ individual gold and successfully defended his giant slalom title, winning in a time of 1:03.90.

Mountain Valley freshman Nick Newman was runner-up for the second consecutive day, finishing in 1:06.23.

The Fort Kent duo of Joey Guimond and Carter Voisine checked in third and fourth, more than enough to clinch the title in light of the Falcons’ struggles.

“That was another good battle that came down to the end,” Nicols said. “They had a couple of falls, we had a couple of falls, and they came out on top. Props to them.”

Lance Richard was seventh for the Falcons, but their next three finishers were all skimeister hopefuls whose scores were displaced from the overall tallies.

One of them, Conner Woods, made it back-to-back skimeister crowns by finishing 15th.

Becki Bryant of Monmouth nailed down 11th to dethrone Martin as skimeister, which reflects the athletes’ combined score in the four state-meet disciplines — Nordic freestyle, Nordic classical, slalom and giant slalom.

“I was up a little bit after the Nordic, and I remembered last year that we were pretty even in the Alpine,” Bryant said. “So I felt pretty good about it. I didn’t have my best day, but I guess it was good enough.”

Bryant’s father and Nordic coach, Chris, said that offseason training was the biggest factor in her improvement.

Martin and Bryant competed against each other in cross country running, also.

“Rudy has been her top competitor and is a really great kid,” Chris Bryant said. “We knew when we saw her in the fall that she was also going to be in great shape and that it was going to be a battle.”

The meet was marred by an unfortunate incident involving Maine Skiing Hall of Famer Tim LaVallee, who coached Winthrop as well as Monmouth’s Bryant this season.

LaVallee was injured in a collision with another skier and was transported to the hospital for observation.

“That kind of put a damper on the day,” Chris Bryant said. “He was knocked out for a little bit. They hope it’s only a concussion, but there really isn’t any such thing as a minor concussion.”

Fort Kent easily defended its Class C overall titles, each winning for the sixth time in the past decade. Nordic state championships were held a week ago.

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