Among area teams — and state-wide — the Class A overall skiing championship has truly, unofficially been the “Mt. Blue Invitational” for many years. In girls’ overall competition, the Cougars have won the state crown in every season but two since 1992, and the boys failed to win the title only twice since 1998.
Both streaks are in jeopardy this season in the evolving landscape of high school skiing.
On the boys’ side, Falmouth joins the Class A fray this season, and the Yachtsmen have had the team to beat in the Western Maine Conference all season long. The Cougars’ Lucas Bonnevie will lead the way for the alpine team. The senior transfer from CVA has only missed finishing first in a race once this year, and he took third in that one. The team also has depth, and in a bigger race will be looking to place three others among ther top 20. Falmouth, meanwhile, placed four skiers in the top 10 in the WMC Championships in the slalom, and four in the top 13 in the GS. Weston Scott won the individual slalom title for Falmouth.
Also on the hill, Edward Little made a statement at the KVAC championships as the second-best Class A squad, finishing only four points back of Mt. Blue in the competition. Reilly Bolduc of Lewiston, skiing as an independent, will be looking for a podium finish, as well.
On the trails in Class A boys, Mt. Blue and Oxford Hills went toe-to-toe in the KVAC race, with the Cougars edging the Vikings by a single point. Falmouth was third in the WMC, but with 49 points, still packed a lot of skiers near the top of the heap.
In the Girls’ Championships, Greely last year captured the alpine title, but Mt. Blue blazed the trails and edged Edward Little for the overall title, with Greely coming in third. The Rangers are back in the conversation this season as strong as ever on the hill, and will look to back up the alpine title. Tne nordic side of things will still be in the Cougars’ favor with respect to Greely, but in the nordic combined, Leavitt is the most likely to spoil Mt. Blue’s chances at a clean sweep. The Hornets were the top Class A team at KVACs.
Out of the SMAA, the Marshwood boys and Windham girls bear watching, as well.
Area alpine skiers to watch: Boys – Reilly Bolduc (Lew), Lucas Bonnevie (MB), Ben Bowles (EL), Nick Cote (EL), Andrew Gaudette (Leav), North Kay (MB), Matt Michaud (OH). Girls – Katerina Bessey (MB), Phoebe Chamberlin (EL), Victoria Ebsworth (OH), Abbey Ellis (MB), Heather Farrington (MB), Hannah Johnston (EL), Allarie Lever (EL), Mallory Parker (MB), Colleen Stauder (OH).
Area nordic skiers to watch: Boys – Jesse Newcomb (OH), Jeremy Read (OH) Dustin Staples (MB), Zach Tannabaum (EL), Forrest Todd (OH), Zach Veayo (MB). Girls – Alyssa Andrews (OH), Audrey Bennett (EL), Lucy Knowlton (Leav), India Lucas (OH), Emily Ramsey (MB), Jordan Tate (EL), Sarah Wade (MB), Maddie Wiegman (Leav).
Yarmouth is an overwhelming favorite to capture yet another Class B overall crown as the event takes off for Aroostook County this season. The Clippers have dominated in the WMC all season on the girls’ side, and have been the best in Class B in that conference on the boys’ side in nordic skiing, and just the opposite in alpine. What that makes for is a very strong overall unit that is poised to capture a fifth title in six years on the boys’ side (Falmouth, now Class A, won last year), and a fifth consecutive on the girls’ side.
Champions from two other conferences will be chief competition for the Clippers this year. Maranacook was as solid as ever in being the top overall Class B team in the KVAC. On the hill, the Black Bears topped Mt. Blue in the boys’ competition at KVACs, and the nordic team finished strong as the Bears nearly took the overall KVAC title from the Cougars. In the girls’ race, led by star Abby Mace, Maranacook finished five points better than ‘A’ champ Leavitt to easily win the B division.
From the MVC, Mt. Abram boasts two of the top female skiers in alpine racing, and because of that advantage, the Roadrunners will be a factor in the Class B alpine competition. Add to that the presence of one of Maine’s top nordic skiers in Sadie James, and the ‘Runners may be looking at a podium finish for the overall crown, as well. Spruce Mountain, in its first year in Class B, will have several individuals looking for podium finishes across the board in alpine and nordic competition.
With the competition in their back yards, expect Caribou and Presque Isle to be competitive, as well.
Area alpine skiers to watch: Boys – Patrick Banahan (MtA), Alec Daigle (Maran), Cody Jacques (SM), Parker Kennedy (MtA), Noah Lobozzo (GNG), Kelbey Mace (Maran), Jake Roy (SM). Girls – Maddy Chiappetta (Maran), Elise Luce (MtA), Erin Luce (MtA).
Area nordic skiers to watch: Boys – Nick Carlton (MtA), Jay Chenard (MtA), Thomas Faraday (MtA), Trent Rosenberg (MtA), Owen Timberlake (SM), Tyler Watson (Maran). Girls – Adrian Huntington (Maran), Emma Houston (MtA), Sadie James (MtA), Abby Mace (Maran).
Area Class C teams have struggled in recent years to compile full squads for team competition. That was evident this season at the MVC championships, where only four schools had complete boys’ alpine teams, and only two had complete girls’ teams, one of them being Class B Mt. Abram. With a strong Fort Kent team back in the mix, it will be a tough chore for Telstar or Mountain Valley to find their way to the top.
Things aren’t as bad on the nordic side of things for area Class C schools. Telstar balanced a solid showing on the hill with a great pair of nordic races to finish just back of Mt. Abram in the MVC overall race. The Rebels’ strength is in the nordic events. Dirigo’s nordic teams were also strong at MVCs, but all of those teams will find it tough sledding against WMC powers Waynflete, Freeport and NYA. The NYA boys were dominant at the WMC Championships this winter.
Area alpine skiers to watch: Boys – Cody Boivin (Tel), Jonathan Hudson (SD), J.J. Jansen (Win), Nate Nicols (MV), Nick Woods (MV). Girls – Katie Collette (MV), Sarah Klein (MV), Samantha Ladd (SD), Olivia Tsouprake (Win), Rachel Wheeler (Tel).
Area nordic skiers to watch: Boys – Ben Lewis (Tel), Adam Mahar (Tel), James Piccarillo (Tel), Aaron St. Pierre (Win), Dylan Thombs (Mon), Nick Woods (MV). Girls – Krystal Blood (Dir), Becki Bryant (Mon), Isabel Gerencer (SD), Rachel Ingram (Win), Sylvia Lutick (Dir), Jordyn Mann (Mon).