FARMINGTON — The Maine high school ski season saw some dominant finishes at the second day of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Nordic skiing championships Wednesday at Titcomb Mountain.

Mt. Blue’s Emma Charles cruised to victory in the girls freestyle, while Edward Little freshman Ellis Slover won the boys freestyle race. The victories capped a clean sweep for both skiers, who each won the classical events on March 3 at Titcomb.

Charles, a junior, swept both the classical and freestyle events at the KVACs for a third consecutive year. Her official freestyle pursuit time Wednesday was 32:41.1, more than two minutes faster than teammate and runner-up finisher Brynne Robbins (34:58.5). Jaidyn Negley of Leavitt (37:41.4) rounded out the top three, and Mt. Blue’s Kamryn Joyce (37:41.7) and Moriah Reusch (37:43.8) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to help the Cougars finish with 1,583 points.

Maranacook (1,515) was second, while Mt. Ararat (1,491) was third. Leavitt (1,474) finished fourth, and Edward Little (1,416) took sixth.

Charles finished the freestyle race itself with a top time of 16:12.1, followed by Robbins (16:52.5), Joyce (17:25.7) and Reusch (18:15.8).

“It’s awesome (to win),” Charles said. “Especially since we don’t have states. Just the fact that we were able to have these kind of races, in general, is pretty sick. Being able to come out on top is also definitely pretty cool. We definitely worked hard this season. It’s not ideal, but we worked together as a team.”


Slover helped seal the KVAC boys title for the Red Eddies, who finished with 1,568 points. Slover’s official freestyle time was 15:14.7. His teammate, sophomore Ben Condit (15:37.4) finished second, and Maranacook’s Max Olmstead (16:02.0) rounded out the top three. Slover’s pursuit time of 30:12.7 was 30 seconds faster than Condit (30:43.4).

“Oh, I knew he won (the race),” Condit said of Slover during the race, which began with interval starts. “I saw how far ahead he was at the start and I saw him at the finish.”

“Never could have imagined (the season) going out like this,” Slover said. “I was just hoping to be equal (with Condit) last year. Then we just did really good the whole year, building progress.”

Edward Little’s Ellis Slover heads out on the course at the start of the freestyle pursuit race at the KVAC Nordic skiing championships Wednesday at Titcomb Mountain. Slover, a freshman, won the race, beating out teammate Ben Condit, and placed first overall. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Mt. Blue finished second in points for boys, with 1,541, while Leavitt was third with 1,483. Oxford Hills (1,390) placed seventh.

The KVAC races typically draw modest crowds, but no spectators were allowed at the races Wednesday. Furthermore, the girls and boys were separated to enforce to enforce proper COVID-19 safety measures.

Though conditions were cold and blustery on the first day of KVACs last week, the weather could not have been more perfect Wednesday. While warm temperatures were a pleasant sight for coaches and judges, it made for a sluggish track for the skiers.


“It was a hot last race, and slow,” Charles said. “But it was good. … There were some places that were super fast, but then a hill where you just got bogged down so bad.”

Mt. Blue’s Brynne Robbins poles over the last hill during the freestyle pursuit race at the KVAC Nordic skiing championships Wednesday at Titcomb Mountain. Robbins finished second behind teammate Emma Charles. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Added Robbins: “It’s pretty rough, but I think it’s about as good as you can expect it to be. All these people skied in it. I don’t even know how warm it is, like 40 or 50 (degrees). You could definitely tell where the sun was, where the shade was.”

Mt. Blue’s reign in the KVAC — and in Class A — may be far from over. The core members of the girls Nordic team return next season.

“I’m very, very excited,” Robbins said. “And I know, also, that we’re on the lookout for some middle schoolers who are coming up, and they are so strong.”

Edward Little, which is in Androscoggin County, got a late start to its season this winter because it received a yellow designation from the state early on (schools in yellow were not allowed to practice or play games, although those rules were later relaxed).

Edward Little’s Ben Condit, left, and Ellis Slover congratulate each other at the finish line of the freestyle pursuit race at the KVAC Nordic skiing championships Wednesday at Titcomb Mountain. Slover won the race and Condit finished second. The teammates also finished first and second in the overall championship. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“The past couple of years, we’ve been waiting for this team,” Slover said. “We knew, we saw it from middle school and stuff. States was canceled, so this was awesome to go out like this.”

“The start of the season was scary,” Condit added. “States were canceled, so was the Sassi (Memorial), everything was just canceled. We got on yellow, our county did, for athletics, so there we are. We have no team, can’t practice in anything. Luckily the (Maine Principals’ Association) switched the rules, but it was close.”

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