St. Paul's Girls' Alpine Claim 2017 New England Championship Title
SPS Alpine competed in the New England Prep School Class A Alpine Championships on Wednesday, February 15, at Mount Sunapee. While the boys' side did not place where they would have liked, they put up a number of impressive finishes, showcasing much individual improvement over the course of this winter. The girls had issues standing in the afternoon's slalom event, but through dedication, determination, and real teamwork, they still pulled off an impressive overall finish, claiming the title of New England Champs.
In the morning's Giant Slalom event, Kemp Taylor '18 and Larson Avery '20 did not finish, but Matt Denham '18, Michael Leung '18, and Captain Gavin Petty '17 proved to be a consistent pack, placing 55th, 57th, and 58th respectively out of 80 racers. In the afternoon, the boys battled tough conditions on the slalom course. Taylor led for SPS, placing 42nd. He was backed up by Denham in 47th, Max Baron ’17 in 58th, and Avery, who managed a 64th place finish even after a long hike in the first run. The boys now look to their last race of the season: the Lakes Region GS Championship which will take place on Wednesday, February 22 at Gunstock.
The girls started off the day by dominating on the GS course. Reed Cole ’20 won the race, while Captain Harley Hayes ’17 finished 3rd and Ellie Neel ’20 finished 6th. All three girls earned All New England Honors. Emilie Craig ’17 also put up an impressive 15th place finish. While Mari Nakamura ’19 skied a fast first run that put her in 7th place heading into the second, she unfortunately crashed, taking her out of the rest of the day's events.
The girls started off well in the afternoon’s slalom, though as the course deteriorated in the second run, the team struggled to stay on their feet. Both Cole and Kristin Van Everen '19 did not finish, and Craig – who stepped up to substitute for Nakamura – was disqualified after straddling a gate in the first run. Neel and Hayes skied hard and finished fourth and sixth respectively, earning their second All New England Honors of the day. Still, the team lost hope that they would be able to win an overall medal. With only two finishers, the third score of 61 (equal to the last place finish) was added to the fourth and sixth places earned by Neel and Hayes. However, with the commanding win in the GS and the two top finishes in the slalom, the SPS girls were still able to edge out the closest team, NMH, by two points to win the title.
The team ended the day on a high note and would like to thank all the parents and fans that came out to support at NEPSACs. The delicious food, photos taken, help at the bottom of the course, and loud cheering were all very much appreciated.
For more information, please visit www.prepskiing.org and click on Class A to view team and individual results.