Class C Nordic Skiing: Merriconeag holds huge lead after classical

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Merriconeag-Waldorf School of New Gloucester is well on its way to successfully defending its boys’ and girls’ Class C Nordic titles after Wednesday’s opening day of the state championship meet at Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford.

In both halves of the 5-kilometer classical event, Merriconeag checked in with a sensational score of 18 points. The girls produced four of the top seven finishers, while the boys packed the third-through-sixth place performers.

Samantha Pierce also was an individual champion for Merriconeag, winning the girls’ race in a time of 17 minutes, 31.3 seconds.

The top local teams are the Monmouth girls, who are third with 76 points, and the Dirigo boys, second at 62 points.

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Class C championship hardware will be handed out Thursday after the freestyle events at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Daniel Streinz of Katahdin won the boys’ individual title, completing the course in 14:58.3 with a major push from Dylan Thombs of Monmouth.

Thombs was five seconds back in the runner-up slot.

Then came the Merriconeag quartet of Graham Roeber, Tucker Pierce, Forrest McCurdy and John Burgess. Roeber’s time was 15:16.8, and the entire group was separated by under 19 seconds.

Amazingly, Zachary Neveu’s eighth-place finish didn’t even count in the team scoring for Merriconeag.

Dirigo put all four of its skiers in the second ten. Sam Rock led the pack in 11th, followed by Keenan Martin in 15th, Sawyer Smith 17th and Ethan Cantin 19th.

Fort Kent (67), Orono (85) and Madawaska (95) rounded out the top five boys’ teams.

Class C skimeister candidate Conner Woods of host Mountain Valley finished 27th.

Pierce dominated the girls’ race. Her time of 17:14.5 was 17 seconds better than Katahdin’s Hannah Streinz.

Hanna Renedo of Orono, Fiona Ahearne of Merriconeag and Izzy Gerencer of St. Dom’s completed the top five.

Gerencer, the MVC champion, completed her race in 18:13.5.

Carlin Tindall (sixth) and Lily Tupper (seventh) completed the charge at the front for Merriconeag.

Monmouth is in the hunt for runner-up honors, currently trailing Fort Kent, 56-74.

Becki Bryant led the Mustangs at 19:09 in ninth, just ahead of Telstar’s Carla Boyle-Wight.

Jordyn Mann (20th), Shannon Buzzell (22nd) and Hannah Kerrigan (23rd) stayed together and boosted Monmouth’s hopes of an all-time best finish. The school has only scored points at the state meet for the past four seasons.

Dirigo (107) is fourth place in the team sweepstakes. Megan Morrison and Krystal Blood finished 13th and 14th to lead the Cougars. Telstar (121) is sixth.

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