|Alpine Skiing - Varsity Boys USSA U21/U18/U16 Blandford Slalom|
|Date:||January 18, 2014|
The Berkshire School Ski Team traveled this past Saturday to the Blandford Ski Hill, to compete in a USSA U21 / U18 / U16 national competition. This race provided the team with multiple age-class competitions, which is unique for our team, insofar as while competing as individuals, we're provided with the fantastic opportunity to travel and compete together as a group. The field pitted the top high school skiers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, along with a few college athletes that had not been competing in this past weekend's college carnivals.
After following a beautiful first run, Annette Key '16, led the women to a 1st place finish in the U16 women's age class, and an unbelievable 2nd Overall in all women's age classes. Annette was followed by Captain Julia Slyer '14, who following a strong 4th place in the first run, fell to 6th Overall; still a solid effort again displaying her leadership and maturity. Emily Barclay '15 stormed down two runs to claim the 17th spot, while Caroline Slyer '16 notched the 22nd spot (7th in her U16 age class). The depth of the BSST was highlighted by the next four, with Molly Coleman '16, Katherine Frick '16, Krissy Govertsen '15 and Samantha Reagan '16 taking 30th, 33rd, 34th and 38th respectively in a field of 70 girls.
With respect to depth, the boys are honing the new standard. Tyler Smith '16 set the stage with two strong, tactical and powerful runs landing him in 3rd Overall, and 1st for the U18 age class! Tyler had only been bested on the day by two UConn skiers, both many years his senior. Tyler was followed by sixth former Nate Mackenzie '14, a scant tenth of a second behind, who grabbed 4th Overall, 2nd within his U18 age class! Nate was in 2nd place overall following the first run, yet ran into challenges in the second run, and while dropping him off the overall podium, still showed class and determination. And depth being the name, Bryce Schuler '15 showing that a small frame can ski a flat course, grabbed 11th Overall, 6th for the U18 age class. Next saw newcomers and third formers Rawson Clough '17 and Wilfred Dyer Kloman '17 who put on a show, notching 15th and 16th Overall, placing them 2nd and 3rd in their U16 Age Class! A year younger in age, and permitted to compete in this event by a special request, third former Samuel Bannett '17 moved up from his 162 bib number to grab the 36th spot, placing him 11th in his age class. A great showing in his first nationally ranked competition. Bookends on the team, and in races, we witnessed Ben Lang '15 and Michael Melvin '17 take the 58th and 61st spots, a mere half of a second in separation.
As coaches, we witness the ongoing persistence of the athletes, placed within competitions in which the individual achievements are highlight and celebrated as opposed to the team's final score. In this regard, we've seen a new found aura of fellowship in which while pitted "against" each other and the clock, it's heartening to see the support in which our skiers provide to each other.
The Varsity and JV teams compete on Wednesday against Suffield, Taft, Trinity Pawling and Salisbury. Race start is 2:30pm at Catamount; it would be great to have some parents in attendance. Please dress warm, the high is scheduled for 11 at race time.