Hundreds of high school and college skiers descended upon Black Mountain last weekend for the Eastern Cup, a three-day prelude to the long-overdue start of the Nordic skiing season.
Few of those competitors left as strong an impression as Fred Bailey of Andover.
Bailey, a Telstar Regional High School graduate representing Colby College, enjoyed two individual efforts for the White Mules’ record book.
In Saturday’s 9.5-kilometer classical race, Bailey finished fourth out of 198 skiers in a time of 23 minutes, 27.3 seconds.
That was merely a tune-up for Sunday, when Bailey earned the runner-up step on the podium with a run of 23:35 in the freestyle event.
Those are heady results by themselves.
Now consider that the champion in both races was All-American Michael Sinnott of Dartmouth.
“Fred’s results are clearly the most spectacular we have had in my time at Colby,” White Mules head coach Tracey Cole said in a school press release. Cole is beginning her ninth season.
Another local standout led Colby’s women to a strong showing at the historic Rumford layout. Amanda Ivey of Oxford (Oxford Hills) finished 38th in freestyle and 42nd in classical.
Team bragging rights went to Bates College, however. Thanks to the combined finishes of the men’s and women’s squads, the Bobcats won the first-ever Broomhall Cup, symbolic of Maine’s de facto state championship in the collegiate cross country realm.
Bates topped Colby by 14 points in a competition that also included Bowdoin, the University of Maine, UMaine-Presque Isle and UMaine-Fort Kent.
Matt Dunlap of Farmington (Mt. Blue) led the tri-county contingent for Bates in classical, finishing 44th. Steve Monsulick of Kents Hill (Maranacook) crossed the wire 78th, followed by Kyle Rogers of Manchester (Gould Academy) in 92nd.
The men’s trio looked even stronger in freestyle, with Dunlap (36th) leading Rogers (57th) and Monsulick (67th) across the line.
Gould Academy graduates Lauren Jacobs of Winthrop and Kaitlyn McElroy of Bethel were among the leaders for the Bates women.
Bates also had the top Maine college finisher in the men’s classical, Sylvan Ellefson, and in the women’s classical, Haleigh Armstrong. Both sophomores hail from Vail, Colo.
Back on track
After a one-month holiday hiatus, Maine’s college indoor track and field teams returned to the field houses last weekend with triumphant results for several area athletes.
The University of Maine’s men and women swept an international, multi-team meet north of the border at Sherbrooke University.
Tess Perry of Farmington (Mt. Blue) fueled the women with a second-place finish in the triple jump.
Jeff Ramos of Turner (Leavitt) was a headliner for the men, tying teammate Khabir Edwards for top honors in high jump.
At the Bowdoin Invitational, sophomore James Spaulding of Lewiston put the maximum points in the University of Southern Maine’s column with a shot put triumph. Junior Forrest Tobie of Mt. Vernon (Maranacook) took third in the 800-meter run. Emily Poliquin of Lisbon Falls captured the triple jump for the Huskies in the women’s meet.
To the hoop
Isaac Stickney, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from Rumford, leads the University of New England men’s basketball team in numerous statistical categories.
Stickney has chalked up 11.2 points per game, second by a fraction to fellow co-captain Nick Farynaz of Gray at 11.3. The Mountain Valley High School product tops the Nor’easters with 10.4 rebounds per game, 19 3-pointers, 21 blocked shots and 13 steals.
Dirigo graduates and sisters Brooke and Sheena Weston continue their contributions to the balanced attack for the UNE women.
Brooke, a sophomore, checks in at 4.1 points and 3 assists per game, while Sheena is scoring at a 2.9 clip. Junior Katie Morin of Lewiston (3.0 ppg) is also in the mix.
Foster Oakley of Farmington (Mt. Blue) scored a season-high 19 points for the USM men against Western Connecticut on Jan. 6.
Oakley, a co-captain, is rounding into form at 6.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2 assists per night after missing most of the first semester.
Maine Maritime Academy is 14-0 after beating No. 1 Bowdoin on Wednesday night. Senior Alyssa Burns of Dixfield (Dirigo) leads the Mariners with 17.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game. Point guard Rebecca Moore of Winthrop has knocked down 16 3-pointers.