Prep Skiing: DA, NMH racers tear up slopes

  • Deerfield Academy’s Sam Laur, of Wendell, crosses the finish line after competing in the giant slalom event Wednesday afternoon at Berkshire East in Charlemont. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Northfield Mount Hermon’s Hillary Leeds crosses the finish line after competing in the giant slalom event Wednesday afternoon at Berkshire East in Charlemont. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Northfield Mount Hermon’s Areia Heilman, of Heath, competes in the giant slalom event Wednesday afternoon at Berkshire East in Charlemont. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Northfield Mount Hermon’s Areia Heilman, of Heath, competes in the giant slalom event Wednesday afternoon at Berkshire East in Charlemont. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/22/2020 10:24:06 PM
Modified: 1/22/2020 10:23:59 PM

CHARLEMONT — Claire Patton continued to tear up the mountain for the Deerfield Academy girls alpine ski team on Wednesday.

The South Deerfield native soared through the powdery snow on a cold day at Berkshire East, finishing second overall on the girls side in the Mount Institute Ski League with two combined runs of 1 minute, 26.75 seconds.

Her first run clocked in at 44.04 seconds, followed by a time of 44.71 on her second trip down the mountain.

“My first run was OK,” Patton said. “I made a mistake at the top but I think I recovered from it.”

Wednesday marked the second MISL race of the season, and Patton continued to find herself atop the leaderboard.

“I came in second in the first race which went pretty well,” Patton said. “I’m proud of that. I want to ski well and feel confident in my skiing. If the results come, that’s great but if not, if I try my best and I still don’t win every race, that’s OK.”

The DA roster includes multiple talented skiers, as Patton finished behind only teammate Kikka Giudici, who posted a combined time of 1:23.56.

Fellow Big Green racer Madeline Carey took third, as the DA girls continue to push each other for the top spot at each race.

“It’s definitely fun,” Patton said. “There’s a good team environment. It’s competitive but it’s really fun to be with the team. The competition is pretty strong.” 

Northfield Mount Hermon School had a strong showing on the girls side as well, with Mackenzie Gahan (4th) and Florence’s Arden Bacon (5th) each posting impressive runs down the hill. 

Ashfield native Charlotte Worth had a strong race as well, but she missed the final gate and had to take a DQ.

The sophomore is enjoying her time with the Hoggers, and she hopes to continue growing with her team as the season progresses.

“It’s really fun,” Worth said. “I like it a lot here. Everyone is really friendly and there’s a lot of camaraderie on the team.”

Local NMH skiers that also competed in Wednesday’s race included Ashfield’s Ashley LaCross (DNF), Heath’s Areia Heilman (14th), Gill’s Julie Sprankle (30th), Mount Hermon’s Althea Tierney (16th) and Hillary Leeds (18th).

On the boys side, DA’s Granger Savage was disappointed after his first run down the mountain.

The sophomore and Deerfield native felt he messed up at a few turns, and was stunned when told he had earned a fourth-place finish on the day, with two combined runs of 1:22.49.

“I can still do better,” Savage said. “Confidence is up a little bit. I have high expectations for myself, sometimes unrealistic. Everybody in the top 10 is usually neck-and-neck.”

Rowe’s Nick Baker also had a great day on the slopes for the Big Green, finishing 12th with two runs combining for a time of 1:27.18.

Baker’s brother was also a skier for Deerfield Academy, and the younger Baker said he is hoping to live up to his family name.

“It was a great course today,” Baker said. “It’s a perfect day for racing. My brother was in this league and I kind of idolized him so I was happy to follow into his footsteps. It’s been a rough start to the season but it’s early.”

Big Green senior Sam Laur, who finished in 30th place, hopes to be more aggressive his next time on the mountain.

The Wendell native’s two runs totaled a time of 1:40.87.

“It was all right today,” Laur said. “I’m going to try to attack it more the next time and be more aggressive at the top.”

NMH’s Nick Boesel-Stravino has a different perspective on the prep ski league.

The sophomore and Ashfield native spent the last three years racing with Mohawk Trail Regional High School, where he consistently scored well in the PVIAC League.

Boesel-Stravino enjoys the MISL races, as he likes getting a second run down the mountain. His two combined runs on Wednesday totaled 1:38.44, good for 28th overall.

“The big difference is the amount of people,” Boesel-Stravino said. “This league has less people and also this league you get two runs on the course. High school, you only get one. This also starts earlier so it’s less night racing, the hill is a little softer. I like this one, starting earlier. It’s more competitive, there’s less people but they’re more talented.”

Hogger Isaac Foster was the top male racer on Wednesday, finishing in a combined time of 1:17.63.

DA had the next three placers, with Achille Sarachek taking second, Tait Kline in third and Savage in fourth.

The Big Green’s Alexander Grosse took sixth while NMH’s Matthew Weinstein came in seventh.


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