Looked out the window, or perhaps dared to open it one of these warm afternoons, and thought the high school winter sports season was over?
Maine’s best Alpine and Nordic skiers get the opportunity to officially drop the gavel on the campaign this weekend when they compete in the New England championship meet at two New Hampshire sites.
Alpine racers will travel to the Attitash resort in Bartlett, N.H., for their showcase. Action on the hill begins today with training runs. Slalom racing is slated for Saturday, with the giant slalom Sunday.
Cross-country competition will encompass three days at Gunstock Nordic Club in Gilford, N.H. The curtain rises with a freestyle event today, followed by sprint and mixed relay races Saturday and the classical finals Sunday.
More than 30 skiers representing 11 tri-county high schools earned the trip through qualifying races at Mt. Abram (Alpine) and Sugarloaf Outdoor Center (Nordic).
Gould Academy racers Molly Siegel and Peter Cowan are among the favorites in the Nordic field. Siegel is seeded as high as third in her multiple events.
Shelby Aseltine and Emily Ramsey of Mt. Blue and Sadie James of Mt. Abram lead the local girls’ qualifiers. They’re joined by Samantha Southam and Margaerite Wiser of Gould, Molly Fissette of Mt. Blue and Allyssa Andrews of Oxford Hills.
Cowan and Gould teammate Jeb Clarke are threats to finish near the front of the boys’ field. Add Riley Eusden of Oxford Hills and Kelton Cullenberg of Mt. Blue to that roster of favorites, as well.
Other area boys include Andrew Nesbitt of Gould, Adam Mahar of Telstar and the Mt. Blue trio of Richie Brooks, Luke Wenzel and Nick Wilkins.
Leavitt will send five boys’ Nordic candidates: Tom Rabon, Dylan Chase, Travis Adams, Derek Drouin and Elliot Wiegman.
Alex Rose of Livermore Falls and Emily Luce of Mt. Abram won the state Alpine qualifiers.
James Jackson of Edward Little and Leavitt’s Sam Ricker are the second and third-seeded boys in Maine’s downhill delegation. Rounding out the squad are Cody Jacques (Livermore Falls) and Alex Witt (Mt. Blue).
Lindsey Jacques of Jay and Luce’s sister, Erin, lead the charge for Team Maine’s ladies. Emma Christensen of Rangeley and Emily Blackwood of EL also are in the mix.
Rose was third in the boys’ giant slalom last year against racers from nine states. Maine’s boys were fourth overall last March, with the girls fifth.
Cowan and Aseltine each posted a top-10 result in last year’s 7.8-kilometer Nordic classical.