Winthrop’s Phoebe Dow, Maya Deming, Alexis Emery, Sam Allen and Muriel Lattin take a break from practice Tuesday. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Three years ago, Winthrop had only one boy and zero girl Nordic skiers practicing with the Maranacook team.

This winter, Winthrop returns all four girls skiers from last year and enteres the seasons with title aspirations.

Sam Allen, right, of Winthrop High School gives teammate Alexis Emery a hug following their finish at the Class C Nordic ski state championship classical race at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington in February. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Seniors Sam Allen, Maya Deming and Alexis Emery return for their third seasons both competing for Winthrop and participating in Nordic skiing. Sophomore Muriel Lattin begins her second winter with the team and as a Nordic skier. The Rambers also add a promising freshman for backup (teams need four skiers to score), Phoebe Dow, who is taking up skiing for the first time this winter.

It all started a few yeas ago when the now-seniors were looking for something to do something in the winter. 

“There was one boy who ran cross country with us and he kind of spread the word to me and Maya,” Allen said. “He told us that we needed four girls to start a team, and so me and Maya were kind of on board, and me and Alexis hated basketball so we were like, ‘We gotta find something to do.’ We do three sports all year, so we found a fourth girl who doesn’t ski with us anymore, but she was our fourth.”

Vincent Scott was the lone Winthrop skier practicing with the Maranacook team before convincing more to join. The combination of a new sport and a different school takes guts to jump into, but Black Bears coach Steve DeAngelis and his team have helped the Ramblers feel right at home. 

“Trying a new sport, especially at a new school, is challenging,” Emery said. “But, I mean, the coaches and teammates made it so easy to transition and they were welcoming from the beginning.”

 Dow said her first couple weeks on the team have been positive. 

“Everyone is very inclusive,” Dow said. “On my first day of practice I felt very included, even though I knew no one’s name. It felt really warm.”

Dow’s first couple times skiing last week, before rain wiped out all snow in the area, went “better than expected.” For Lattin, the growth from a year ago has her feeling optimistic.

“I thought it was really fun (skiing last week) because I was brand new last year so I found out how much different it is when you know how to ski,” Lattin said. “Last year on our first day I was on the ground all day.”

DeAgnelis said that Lattin’s skills have grown a lot in a short amount of time.

“The thing that was interesting was that we went skiing a couple days before it rained and last year was icy and it was a hard year to learn,” DeAngelis said. “She probably felt frustrated about three-fourths of the year, but she did the state meet. They needed four to score so she did it, but it was hard for her. So it is cool to see that already she is more prepared this year.”

Dow and Lattin will be crucial pieces this season after the Ramblers finished second to Orono at last year’s MVC championship by two points. The goal this season is to take the trophy. 

Winthrop’s Phoebe Dow, Maya Deming, Alexis Emery, Sam Allen and Muriel Lattin take a break from practice Tuesday. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal

“I think we can do it,” Deming said. “We all have the mindset going in and we have a full team of experienced skiers. Last year we had three experienced skiers but this year we have four and an extra. Our coaches are going to make sure that we win MVCs this year. That’s our goal.”

The seniors recently saw video of themselves skiing during their first year with the team and were stunned by the progress they’ve made.

“We don’t realize it when we are out skiing, the progression, but when we saw it we were cringing,” Allen said. “‘Oh, my goodness, this can’t be us.’ We might not think about it when we are out skiing, but we have definitely improved.”

The goal is to improve on both their MVC and Class C state championship finishes (fourth) of a season ago. Competing against Class B schools, including Maranacook every day, has helped tremendously. 

“Even though we race together in the season, the competition is very friendly because at the end of the day we are different classes and are only there to push each other and make each other better,” Allen said.

DeAngelis said the Ramblers should be shooting for the top of the podium.

“They should be (expecting to win),” DeAngelis said. “Orono is good, but it’s not out of the question. It helps them a lot to train and compete against our kids. We have a really strong, deep team and definitely a higher, more depth competition, so it’s really good for them to ski with us.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.