There is minimal snowpack on his daily training ground at Maranacook Community School, though, and driving rain is expected to further sabotage the high school skiing season later this weekend. DeAngelis probably wouldn’t have missed the Hornet Classic if he had been suffering from a raging fever and wearing a full body cast.

Skiing three laps around a makeshift Nordic loop at a substitute venue almost an hour northeast of host Leavitt Area High School, DeAngelis finished eight seconds in front of Caleb Clarke from Gould Academy to win the boys’ half of the annual carnival at Quarry Road Recreation Area.

“I have a little head cold today. I went out there with no expectations,” DeAngelis said. “Sometimes you race really well when you’re just a little bit sick. That’s kind of what I felt happened today.”

Lily Johnston of Freeport was even more dominant in the girls’ race, prevailing by nearly a minute over Olivia Skillings of Maine Coast Waldorf School.

Freeport (45 points) edged Gould (51) and Mt. Blue (56) to win the boys’ team sweepstakes. Gould (59) celebrated the girls’ victory over Maranacook (63) and Mt. Blue (69).

It was one of the first major showcases of the winter for 258 antsy skiers from 23 schools. The Telstar Relays kicked things off a week ago, with a bare minimum of the white stuff blanketing the muddy ground.

“I’m not sure if it’s easier or more difficult to host a meet away from home,” Leavitt coach and meet director Dustin Williamson said. “You have to pick up and transport everything to a new place. We have a great group of boosters, parents and alumni who made it happen.”

Since the small storm on Dec. 29, Maranacook has been able to practice on a snow-covered area of about one kilometer.

Prior to that it was dry land training for the Black Bears, and even that had to be modified for DeAngelis.

“My team has been doing a lot of running, but I haven’t been able to, because I’ve had a knee injury,” DeAngelis. “I’ve just been roller skiing until we got snow, and even in the last two weeks it’s been pretty rough at the school.”

The available terrain at Quarry Road included a substantial uphill-downhill section. Snow pack was thinner and rougher as skiers reached the bottom.

Some skiers fell as they attempted to navigate the straightaway. DeAngelis correctly recognized that he got faster with each pass. He finished in 12:38.

“There were definitely some spots, but I had really great skis, and it was fast, so that was fun,” DeAngelis said. “Three laps isn’t usual for our courses, but I actually kind of liked that. I picked it up each lap. I got to do that downhill so many times during warmup that it felt really good during the race, and fast.”

Clarke (12:46.1) led Tucker Pierce of Maine Coast (12:49.7) and Brad Ravenelle of Portland (13:03.1) in the final rundown.

Tucker Barber (13:16.8, fifth) and Liam Welch (13:56.7, sixth) led the Mt. Blue charge.

“Three laps, I had some questions about it, but it worked out pretty good. I had a pretty solid race,” Barber said. “There are some good spots, but there are some good spots. Coming down from the hill, especially, was sketchy. Some people fell but I managed to make it through, so that’s good.”

Jarod Farrar was the top Leavitt skier in seventh, with a time of 14:00.1. The Hornets placed fourth out of 19 boys’ teams. Ben Alford of Gould finished 10th.

Freeport and Gould won the team events with depth. The Falcons’ top skier, Bennett Hight, was eighth. Steph Nicols and Leela Hornbach were seventh and eighth for the Huskies, separated by three-tenths of a second.

Johnston (15:14.0) breezed to the girls’ victory over Skillings (16:12.1). It was a solid day for Kents Hill, led by Anne McKee (16:24.3) in third and Aimee Sala (16:38.9) in fifth.

“Last year we skied on Thanksgiving. It was so fun. We were so lucky,” Sala said. “It’s been kind of difficult this year, obviously, but we’ve all kept a positive attitude, and you can see it paid off. We knew we would get to race eventually, and we wanted to be ready.”

Carla Boyle-Wight of Telstar finished sixth. Meg Charles led Mt. Blue in 11th.

“This is our second meet and first actual close-to-5K long distance race,” Barber said of the Cougars. “We’re at Titcomb, and they have some snow, so we’re able to get some practice in.”

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