TURNER – Is it really a home meet when you’re not at home?

That’s how the Leavitt ski team felt hosting the Leavitt Classic Invitational the last three years.

Because of weather conditions, the annual event has been held at either Telstar or Sugarloaf, but that wasn’t the case Saturday. The Hornets were finally back in town for this event.

“It’s tough to host a home meet if you’re away,” said Leavitt nordic coach Jason Leavitt. “We just haven’t had the snow. Ours is the first Saturday weekend in January, and it’s always touch and go with the snow. It’s great to be able to have it. A lot of work went into making sure we could get some snow on the tracks.”

Leavitt took advantage of its familiar surroundings. The Leavitt boys finished second while the girls placed third.

“It was kind of nice to race on our home course,” said Leavitt senior Mike Lessard, who took fourth overall in the boys’ race. “We know the course pretty well. We ski it every day.”

Cape Elizabeth won the boys’ meet with 38 points. Leavitt was second with 64, followed by Greely with 71. Yarmouth (87) and Mt. Blue (89) rounded out the top five, followed by Mountain Valley with 102.

“I’m happy with the way my team did,” said Lessard, who took third last year. “Cape Elizabeth has a really strong team. We did really well. We have a really young team this year, but they’re all stepping up quite a bit. “

Greely won the girls’ race, with 45 points, placing five skiers in the top 20.

“I was expecting to do well,” said Greely coach Meghan Burns, whose team was seventh last year. “I wasn’t expecting to win. So it was a nice surprise.”

Freeport was second with 50 points, followed by Leavitt (64), Yarmouth (72) and Mt. Blue (82).

“We did pretty good,” said Leavitt senior Lauren Fereshetian, who finished third. “We have a lot of freshmen this year, and they did really well. We had one that scored third for the team. So that was exciting.”

Ingrid Knowles from North Yarmouth Academy won the girls’ race in 17:28. Freeport’s Lucy Garrec took second in 17:40 followed by Fereshetian at 17:48.

“I felt really good,” said Fereshetian. “I felt really fast. It was really nice having the home course advantage, especially since I got to go out in the beginning. The tracks were really nice. It was just a good day to be a skier.”

Mt. Blue’s Rebecca Schoen took fourth. Edward Little’s Laura Gardner cracked the top 10 with a 10th-place finish.

Leavitt also received a 16th place from Mary Beth Kelson and a 23rd from Tasha Varney. Katelyn Beeckel took 27th.

“We had some good races out of some young skiers,” said the Leavitt coach. “The veterans were holding steady. Tasha Varney is a freshman. That’s a pretty big race for her. She had a really good race. Mary Beth Kelson has been skiing very strong this year.”

Greely placed Amy Lones sixth, Allison Hall in eighth, Jessa Steinman in 14th, Hallie Verrier in 19th and Tess Carley in 20th.

“That’s a very good race,” said Burns. “The girls skied very well. They were very confident. That’s very impressive, especially with all the Class A teams and Maranacook, Yarmouth and all those strong teams.”

In the boys’ race, Greely’s Sam Tarlin took top honors in 14:49. Cape took the next two spots with Graham Egan in second at 15:06 and Stanis Moody-Roberts third in 15:23. Lessard was one second behind in fourth. Mountain Valley’s Tyler Jasud took seventh in 15:52, while Leavitt’s Justin Fereshetian was eighth in 16:03.

“I wasn’t really expecting too much,” said Lessard. “It was only our second race, and the first one was a skate. I just came out to see how my training was doing. It was a big race. So I wanted to see how I did against a lot of good competition.”

Leavitt’s Anthony Drouin added a 23rd-place finish for the Hornets.

“It’s good for them to see where they stand and realize how much they have to work to be where they want to be,” said Leavitt.


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