RUMFORD — Adding Fryeburg, Greely and Falmouth to the Class A skiing mix in recent years has added plenty of talent to the alpine skiing pool.
Mt. Blue’s Heather Farrington wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s nice to have somebody different than just Edward Little to chase after,” Farrington said. “To have Greely here, and Falmouth, it’s really nice to have a lot of really good competition.”
Friday, even with the added competition, Farrington and the Cougars stood tall. She led a charge with a second-place finish and four Mt. Blue skiers placed in the top 20 to lead the team to another Class A alpine title.
“She was thrilled, as a senior, I’m so happy for her,” Mt. Blue coach Mark Cyr said.
Mt. Blue overcame a 14-point deficit to Greely after Thursday’s giant slalom with some top performances — and a little bit of luck.
“Today was a tough course,” Cyr said. “A lot of the girls were looking for more speed than the course would allow. The course was set in a way where you had to ski a little bit more conservative, round out your turns a bit. I kept radioing up to he top for the girls, just to ski conservatively and ski the course to what it will allow. If you over ski it, you’ll have problems.”
Mt. Blue received clutch finishes from Mallory Parker (ninth), Marina West (11th) and Abbey Ellis (12th).
“My last two skiers in our order today, they did great,” Cyr said. “They picked up the slack. I had a couple girls higher in my pack stumble a bit, and they did great.”
Two of the Rangers’ top skiers fell and had to hike in the tougher first run. They posted top 10 times in the second run, but they weren’t enough to overcome Mt. Blue’s first-run advantage.
“We did the same thing in WMC’s,” Greely coach Mark Ouellette said. “They blew up on the first run of slalom. We lost a lot of time on that pitch. We lost two years ago by a few points to Mt. Blue after winning the GS that year. We’re more of a slalom team, and to do the same thing this year, that was just pthhhh.”
The disparity between runs was obvious Friday.
“There was a lot of offset that first run,” Farrington said. “You were really going across the hill the entire time, so you couldn’t be late at all. They straightened it out for the second run, and it was a lot faster, a lot more fun.”
And a lot faster. Farrington’s time on the second run was nearly two seconds faster than her first, and that was the case for nearly every top-20 skier who stood clean for both runs.
The alpine victory for the Cougars also secured a 21st Class A state title in the past 23 years, a dynasty interrupted only in consecutive years by Leavitt in 2003 and Edward Little in 2004.
For the skiers, winning hasn’t gotten old.
“We’re really happy. Going into today 14 points behind Greely, to win the alpine title my senior year is awesome,” Farrington said.
Mt. Blue’s 34 points Friday gave it 88 for two days of alpine competition. Greely still placed second in the alpine combined championship with 93 points. Falmouth, Oxford Hills and Fryeburg rounded out the top five.
In the overall Class A title race, Mt. Blue’s 214 total points were better than Falmouth’s 263. Oxford Hills hung on for third place overall, with Greely and Leavitt rounding out the top five.