Feb 19, 2020
In a program only ten years old, the Pingree ski team has proven to be a powerhouse on the slopes. The boys and girls varsity ski teams competed in the 2020 NEPSAC Class B Alpine Championships on Wednesday, February 12, at Waterville Valley Resort, with the boys repeating as three-time Class B champions and the girls finishing fourth, just one point off the podium. Just two days later, the co-ed team clinched the Central Massachusetts Ski League overall title for the sixth year running.
Head coach Rob VanTuyl submitted the following account of the team’s NEPSAC victory.
It was a bluebird day at Waterville Valley. The boys team of five skiers was very experienced, having won the championship last year and the Class C championship two years ago. But with ski racing, anything can happen, so another victory was far from guaranteed. The girls team was relatively young and was hoping to surprise the other 14 teams at the event.
The format for the event was two runs of giant slalom in the morning and two runs of slalom in the afternoon. Each team was comprised of five skiers with the three highest-placed skiers scoring points for the team. For example, if skiers finished in place 2, 25, and 31 for a team, the total score for the team would be 58. The school with the lowest combined totals for each discipline would earn the championship.
The girls team was comprised of captain Elsa Smith ’20 (Marblehead), Colleen Mackey ’21 (Lynnfield), Chloe Norris ’22 (North Andover), Brooke Guerster ’22 (Manchester-by-the-Sea), with Ally Krohg ’22 (Hamilton) in giant slalom (GS) only and Carys Cleveland ’23 (Hamilton) skied slalom (SL) only. The girls skied very well in GS with all five skiers completing both runs. Leading the way for the girls was Elsa Smith, who finished seventh. Chloe Norris placed 14th and Colleen Mackey placed 20th. Pingree had a score of 41 points, which was good for fourth place in GS.
In the afternoon, the girls stepped up their skiing and finished second in SL. Leading the way for Pingree was Smith in eighth. Norris finished 11th and Mackey rounded out the scoring in 18th. Pingree’s 37 points was good for second place in SL. Unfortunately, it was not enough to rise into a podium spot. The girls Champion was Thayer Academy (66 points). Concord Academy (68 points) finished second and Governor’s Academy (77) was third. Pingree finished with 78 points.
The Boys team included captain Bey Guerster ’20 (Manchester-by-the-Sea), captain Hogan Rose ’21 (Winchester), Nolan St. John ’21 (Boxford), Thomas Uroskie ’21 (Beverly), and Dante Mulcahy ’23 (Stratham, NH). The boys started the GS by placing five skiers in the top 10 after the first GS run but ran into trouble when two racers fell in run two of the GS. Because of the format of the race it was now important for the remaining skiers to ski conservatively, which they impressively did. Bey Guerster finished fourth, Thomas Uroskie finished fifth, and Hogan Rose skied very well and finished sixth. Pingree won the GS with the low point total of 15. In the afternoon, Pingree just had to ski well enough to stay in front, which is exactly what the team did. Leading the way for Pingree was Nolan St. John (third), Thomas Uroskie (fourth) and Bey Guerster (sixth). Pingree finished with 28 for the day, well out in front of second-place Kents Hill (ME) and third-place Brunswick (CT).
Pingree coaches Robert VanTuyl, Eric McCollum, and Katie Iverson were very impressed with the skiing for both teams. Some skiers were asked to ski on the edge and some had to ski conservatively to ensure a finish, which they all did wonderfully. Pingree will probably move to Class A next year, which will mean stronger competition but recognizes the strength of Pingree’s ski program.
???????Photo Credit: David Goff