|Alpine Skiing - Varsity Boys USSA U16 League Wachusetts Giant Slalom|
|Date:||January 26, 2014|
Dateline Princeton, Massachusetts on Sunday, January 26….Wachusett Mountain, ten degrees, Giant Slalom time! Alas, after an early departure on Saturday for Sundown, our valiant U16 age-class athletes managed another 5:30 am departure, and following a brief stop for culinary excellence and "sports" sustenance at the famed Dunkin Donuts, and gas for Coach Bors' "Team Ford Expedition," the U16's managed another start in a USSA U16 qualifier competition.
Giant Slalom was the game, and the Bears again displayed their total depth. Annette Key '16 led for the Bears, with two solid runs, landing her in 3rd overall. Wachusett is a long and mostly moderate venue, which does not favor lighter athletes, yet Caroline Slyer '16 completely crushed, slashed and dominated both runs to finish in 5th overall. Molly Coleman '16 followed suit, and with equally great runs, landed in 9th place overall. Molly was followed by a strong-charging Samantha Reagan '16, who grabbed 19th overall… and this in a field of 70 of the top U16 girl skiers in all of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The boys, on the other hand, experienced some of the trials and tribulations of competitive ski racing. Wilfred Dyer Kloman '17 led the charge with two solid and very tactical runs, which placed him tied for 7th overall. Wilfred is fast becoming the most personable athlete in the U16 Race League, and his smiling face and goofy comments are becoming legend around the start house. Rawson Clough '17 had his ups, and downs, and following a great first run placing him in 8th overall, Rawson ran into some difficulty in his second run, and while knifing back into a gate, was thrown off balance and ejected towards the side-netting on the venue. Never to say defeat, though, and with a display of athleticism, Rawson simply ran "swtich" in which he skied backwards, then spun around to re-enter the course. While knocking him out of the top ten, this performance amazingly only dropped him back to 14th overall. Rounding out the Bears was the youngest competitor on the team, and in the U16 field, Samuel Bannett '17. Storming up from bib 105, Samuel skied with determination and skill, which landed him in 22nd overall.
On a personal note, I have to say I was deeply moved by the enjoyment and energy that our U16's displayed this past weekend. And while ski racing is not well understood by many of their peers in the community, these kids are working hard and really enjoying the experience. It's a tight community on the ski team this season, and on behalf of the coaching staff, we welcome the 2nd half of the season in February.