RUMFORD — Kaelyn Woods had her own expectations for Saturday’s Sassi Memorial Classic at Black Mountain: The Gray-New Gloucester sophomore hoped to finish among the top five in the hotly-contested race.

Then, one of her coaches mentioned that she was the skier to beat in the girls’ 5-kilometer event.

That was news to Woods.

“That definitely made me nervous,” Woods said. “I didn’t really think that. I thought maybe top five, but I didn’t think I was going to win.”

Woods indeed proved to be the skier to beat Saturday. She topped the Nordic field with a time of 16:03.4, edging out Hadley Moreau, of Falmouth, who finished in 16:09.7. Mt. Blue’s Sarah Wade was third in 16:10.5.

“A couple people have asked what it was like to be the best girl in Maine,” Woods said. “I didnt’ really think of it like that. That’s pretty cool.”

In the boys’ race, Yarmouth’s Braden Becker won in a time of 12:48.7. Portland’s Ben Allen was second in 13:03.6 while Gould’s Marcello Deluca was third in 13:21.7.

“The training’s been kind of strange without the snow in Southern Maine and there’s some really good skiers,” Becker said. “It really could have been anyone, but I just had a good race.”

Gould won the boys’ race with 37 points, followed by Yarmouth with 46. Maranacook was third with 78, followed by Merriconeag in fourth with 96. Mt. Blue was a close fifth with 98.

In the girls’ team scores, Yarmouth was the overall winner with 55 points. Mt. Blue was second with 98. Falmouth was third with 103, followed by Merriconeag (122) and Maranacook (133).

Woods, the reigning Class B skimeister, chose not to compete for the title this year or race in alpine competitions for the Patriots. It has allowed her more time to devote to Nordic events.

“This year has all come together with my training,” Woods said. “Not alpine skiing, I think that’s given me more time to focus on Nordic. So that’s been different because I’d usually be doing alpine every weekend.”

Woods competed in the Eastern Cup 10K last weekend at Black Mountain and finished 23rd. That gave her a good preview of the course for the Sassi.

“I kind of knew what to expect,” Woods said. “The course was a little different. We didn’t have to go up High School (Hill), but there was a long gradual up on the backside of the course. It was good. I liked the course a lot.”

When Woods was told that she was the skier to beat, she tried to not to let those expectations throw her off. She focused on skiing her best and seeing what happened.

“I was not thinking that high,” Woods said. “I just said that I’m going to go out there and ski. It worked out. Once I got out there, I didn’t think about it.”

She knew Moreau was close on her heels and when her coaches told her that her lead was in jeopardy, that gave Woods the extra incentive to finish strong.

“They said I had six seconds on Hadley Moreau,” Woods said. “That definitely gave me a little push. I was definitely tired right there at the end. I just kept going but that last push was hard.”

Caribou’s Sarah Doak was fourth, followed by Hannah Streinz of Katahdin in fifth. Elizabeth Martin of Freeport was sixth, followed by Cape’s Dana Hatton, Yarmouth’s Ellie Teare and St. Dom’s Isabel Gerencer. Freeport’s Lily Johnston was 10th.

Among the other local skiers in the top 25, Mt. Blue’s Julia Ramsey was 18th. India Lucas of Oxford Hills was 22nd.

On the boys’ side, Fryeburg’s Silas Eastman had won the past two races, but with his graduation came the opportunity for another skier this year.

“This year, Silas graduated, so the boys’ field has shifted around a lot,” Becker said. “There are so many really good guys, and we’ve been trading off all season.”

Becker was hoping to finish in the top three. Getting the win and such a fast time made for a pretty good day.

“I was a little surprised,” Becker said. “I guess that’s how it works.”

Katahdin’s Daniel Streinz was four followed by Mt. Ararat’s Sam Wood. Gould’s Caleb Clarke was sixth followed by Yarmouth’s Carter Hall, Thornton’s Mitch Harris and Freeport’s Eli McCurdy. Gould’s Andrew Siegel was 10th.

Other local boys’ skiers in the top 25 were Monmouth’s Dylan Thombs in 11th. Leavitt’s Rylee Knox was 14th, Gould’s Marcus Wentworth was 18th, Mt. Abram’s Thomas Faraday was 19th, followed by Mt. Blue’s Dan Lesko and Ike Doiron in 20th and 21st respectively. Leavitt’s Josh Therrien was 23rd.

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