In Alpine skiing: Race shortened due to cold temperatures

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North Country Falcon Justin Berthiaume tucks into a tight corner on the slalom course at Jay Peak on Friday.  Photo by Richard Creaser

North Country Falcon Justin Berthiaume tucks into a tight corner on the slalom course at Jay Peak on Friday. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 1-20-2013

JAY — The sun may have been shining, but it was the only weather effect working in anyone’s favor on Friday morning.  The North Country Union High Falcons held their Alpine ski meet at Jay Peak’s Stateside facility in freezing cold temperatures.

The race was originally slated to allow racers two runs down the grand slalom course.  The bitter cold quickly reduced the race to a single run each for both male and female varsity skiers.  The decidedly unpleasant temperatures offered no particular advantage or hindrance to racers, North Country Coach Mark Rappold told the Chronicle.

“The hill and the weather are the same for all competitors so training, natural abilities and the will to get to the finish is what drives them all,” Coach Rappold said.

The will to finish was perhaps never greater than it was on Friday.  A brisk wind coupled

North Country Falcon Evan Clarke slides into one of the few patches of sunlit slalom course during Friday's alpine ski contest at Jay Peak's Stateside facility.  Clarke would finish the slalom course with a time of 58.22.Photo by Richard Creaser

North Country Falcon Evan Clarke slides into one of the few patches of sunlit slalom course during Friday’s alpine ski contest at Jay Peak’s Stateside facility. Clarke would finish the slalom course with a time of 58.22.Photo by Richard Creaser

with temperatures in the single digits presented its own unique problems.  Many of the racers, and even Coach Rappold himself, reported minor cases of frostbite.  Coach Rappold said that the frostbite he sustained was still painful more than 24 hours after the race.

“Shortening the race may have saved some fingers and toes from severe frostbite,” he said.

Justin Berthiaume was the top Falcon racer on the day taking sixteenth place with a time of 52.56 behind event winner Ryan Susslin of BFA-St. Albans.  North Country’s Jed Wheeler, Evan Clarke and Braxton Birchard finished twenty-ninth, thirty-second and thirty-third respectively with less than two seconds separating them on the clock.  North Country’s only female competitor, Jani Masi, finished with a time of 1:15.59.  The top female racer was Mount Mansfield Union’s Darcy Patnode.

Coach Rappold spoke highly of the development of the team since the start of the season.  Though it is a young squad, with enough training he feels confident that North Country might again return to the state meet later in the season.

“I’m very pleased,” Coach Rappold said of his squad.  “They have come a long way since the first day of on-hill training.  Miles and miles of skiing are what make great skiers and racers, so commitment to anything will make you better at it.”

The Falcons travel to Hard’ack for a BFA-St. Albans hosted event on Friday, January 25.

Contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com

Colchester's Margaret Rodriguez bends into a turn during Friday's Alpine meet at the Jay Peak Ski Resort hosted by North Country Union High School. Rodriguez would finish in nineteenth spot.  Photo by Richard Creaser

Colchester’s Margaret Rodriguez bends into a turn during Friday’s Alpine meet at the Jay Peak Ski Resort hosted by North Country Union High School. Rodriguez would finish in nineteenth spot. Photo by Richard Creaser

 

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Sports briefs – Nordic skiing update

January 2

Nordic skiing night relays at Montpelier High School

North Country fared well in the Montpelier High hosted night relays on Wednesday, January 2.  Both the Falcons and Lady Falcons relay teams posted fourth place finishes in the event.  The Lady Falcons relay team of Haley Jo Tetreault, Jade Dandurand and Laura Smith completed the relay with a time of 34:40, five minutes off the pace of event winners Eliza Merrylees, Lyra Wanzer and Orli Schwartz from U-32.  The Falcons squad of Brian DeLabruere, Sam Brunette and Dan Decelles finished with a time of 26:49, two and a half minutes behind event winners Will Johnson, Karl Schmeckpeper and Ben Merrylees representing U-32.

Craftsbury Academy Charger Jared Benson and his partners Danny Stames and Charles Belisle, participating on a combined team from Peoples Academy and Craftsbury Academy, finished with a time of 36:39.  Lady Charger Sabrina Thompson and her Peoples Academy partners Emma Lodge and Caitlyn Bain finished with a time of 55:45.  — submitted by Alex Gratton.

January 7

Nordic skiing at Burke hosted by St. Johnsbury Academy

The North Country Falcons enjoyed a strong showing, recording a first-place team finish in varsity girls Nordic racing and a second-place team finish in varsity boys racing.  Senior Haley Jo Tetreault led the Lady Falcons, recording a third-place individual finish with a time of 25:35, 2:07 behind race winner Lauren Gillot of St. Johnsbury Academy.  Jade Dandurand finished in seventh place with a time of 29:31.  Brian DeLabruere led the Falcons with a fourth-place individual finish and a time of  22:13, less than two minutes behind event winner Sam Puddicombe of Stowe.  Alex Cotnoir finished eighth overall with a time of 23:32.

On the junior varsity circuit the Falcons enjoyed more success as Parker LaCourse and Fred Petzoldt captured second and third places with times of 14:17 and 14:18 respectively.  Beka Young was the top Lady Falcon JV racer, taking fourth place with a time of 20:25.  — submitted by Alex Gratton

Submit sports news by phone or e-mail to Richard Creaser at (802) 873-3028 or nek_scribbler@hotmail.com.  The deadline is noon on Tuesdays. 

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