Mountain Valley Alpine skiing coach Todd Papianou refers to sisters Jaden and Lily Boulanger as his M-and-M duo this season.

Lily and Jaden Boulanger stand together during the Mountain Valley Conference Alpine Championships at Saddleback Mountain on Feb. 8. Amy Boulanger photo

Papianou said the Ms stand for measured and mature — and he instructed the Falcon sister act to take that approach during the Mountain Valley Conference Alpine championships at Saddleback and Titcomb mountains a week ago.

“We had to talk about that at our MVC meet just the other day where, ‘Hey, we have to team ski, so as much as you want to go beat your sister, you two have to collaborate here.’ I told them, ‘We can be on the top of podium, or we can be right off the podium.’ It takes a different mentality and a different approach to ski as a team.

“So it was really nice to see them not try to beat each other. They found each other and they talked about it (and said), ‘Let’s do this together.’”

That family collaboration on the slopes allowed the sisters to turn in top-10 performances in both giant slalom and slalom. Jaden (1:33.04), a junior, finished first and her freshman sister Lily (1:34.19) slid into a third-place finish in GS racing. It was the flip-side in slalom competition, with Lily (1:21.82) grabbing first and Jadyn (1:22.91) taking third place.

Papianou said it wasn’t easy to advise the sisters to perform in that manner.


“Probably the hardest thing I had to do on Saturday was to ask one of those girls to be like, ‘Hey, you are going to have to stick this one in your pocket and go out there and ski measured and mature,’ and they did,” Papianou said. “I just thank them so much for being able to do that at that age, internalize that and just say, ‘We are going to do this.’

“I love ski racing. To actually ski race, but then to have success like that, it is so cool. They really inspire me.”


Jaden and Lily have grown up together skiing and playing soccer, which has continued at the high school level. Lily is a three-sport athlete, playing softball in the spring. Both are top-notch students at Mountain Valley.

While a subtle sibling rivalry exists, both are humble teenagers who don’t strut and remain close sisters.

“I guess it is just how we were raised,” Jaden said. “I do give (Lily) pointers, but now that we racing together in high school, she’s like a big competition. We are with each other a lot of the time just ’cause, like going from soccer season right into skiing. We spend a lot of time together.”


Jaden stopped playing softball her sophomore year, but she still enjoys competing in soccer and skiing.

“I think I like different aspects of them both,” she said. “I love skiing. It is like it is all on me. It is just so much fun. I have been doing it for so long. But I also love soccer because I like the social part of it, and I just have fun playing with the team.”

Jaden Boulanger of Mountain Valley High School races down Grey Ghost on Feb. 8 during the MVC giant slalom championship at Saddleback Mountain in Sandy River Plantation. Boulanger won the girls competition. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Jaden said she stuck with downhill skiing because she has been doing it for so long and didn’t consider taking a crack at Nordic competition.

She placed eighth at states last year, but she wants to elevate her position in GS. 

“I am looking forward to placing higher this year,” she added. “I think I am ready. My mindset is different because I got more prepared in the sense that I’ve been finishing all my races and I am not discouraged at all.”

The Class B Alpine state championships will be held at BigRock Mountain in Mars Hill from Feb. 20-21.


Papianou said they are both are strong skiers and tough acts to follow.

“(Jaden) is skiing with real purpose,” he said. “It is a delicate balance of being as fast as you can without risking. It really takes the maturity to measure yourself and know that you are going fast and almost as fast as you can, just in control enough to stand up finishing. 

“I think (Jaden) could probably be the state champion in Class B for GS. It is interesting, coming in as a freshman, Lily has got that high ski level. She is just a fun, goofy kid that just keeps it light and goes about her business, but I would say she skis with some intensity that we haven’t seen in a long time in Class B.”

Lily Boulanger of Mountain Valley High School races down Grey Ghost on Feb. 8 during the MVC giant slalom championship at Saddleback Mountain in Sandy River Plantation. Boulanger placed third in the girls competition. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Like her sister, Lily enjoys the different aspects of skiing and soccer, and it is also impossible for her to favor one sport over the other.

She said her season “worked out pretty well,” and well enough for her to qualify for states as a freshman.

“I am nervous, but I am also excited at the same time,” she said. “We really want each other to both succeed, but we do like competition, but we both do want each other to succeed.”


But is she as studious a student as her sister Jaden?

“I try to be,” Lily said with a laugh. 

Mountain Valley Athletic Director Jeff Pelletier said both are great kids and talented skiers, but there is an obvious streak of humility that also binds them together.

“(Jaden) won the MVC GS championship race three years running and she is a junior,” Pelletier said. “She is definitely one of the more competitive racers in the state. (Lily) has been racing neck and neck with Jaden. It is pretty neat that a top competition at MVCs was in our own house.

“Both of them are super humble. They are competitive there, and you see it all when they are at the competition, but when they are in the halls of the school, you never know that they were competing at the top of the state. They wouldn’t let you know. They are good at everything they do, if you’d ask me, but they wouldn’t let you know.”

You can bet competitors in Class B know who the Boulanger sisters are. And if not, they likely will Feb. 20-21.

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