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North of the Border: EHS/J2 Classic Qualifier Results

Weston's Zoe Snow strides her way to fourth place in the girls' race. Photo: Tamara Hitchcock.

GRAFTON, Vermont – Last year at the Eastern High School Championships in Rumford, Maine Massachusetts climbed over Maine and New Hampshire to finish second as a team on the trails of Black Mountain.  Now Vermont, the longstanding top dog, stands as the final rung to get to the top of the northeast high school ski ladder.

Massachusetts skiers and coaches seem willing to do whatever necessary to get there and as Bill Murray’s character, Carl Spackler, proclaimed in the 1980 comedy ‘Caddyshack’, sometimes you have to prepare like your enemy in order to beat them.

“I have to laugh, because I’ve outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is [Vermont]. In order to conquer [Vermont], I have to learn to think like [Vermont]. And, whenever possible, to look like [Vermont]. I’ve gotta get inside [Vermont’s] pelt and crawl around for a few days.”

Massachusetts may have taken this to heart yesterday as lack of snow in the Bay State forced them to move their second EHS and J2 qualifier north of the border to the Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center in Grafton, Vermont.  With an opportunity to practice being tough Vermonters, high school skiers from all over Massachusetts competed in this classical race to earn spots on both the EHS and J2 teams.  Their times will get combined with last weeks skate race in Weston, MA in order to select the team.

Rion O'Grady (Dov-Sher, 4th place) passes Eric Guba (Act-Box, 38th place) as the pair crests a manmade hill during the boys' race. Photo: Tamara Hitchcock.

Although the technique and location changed this weekend, the names that topped both results sheets stayed the same as Julia Kern (Waltham) and Eli Hoenig (Lincoln-Sudbury) skied to decisive wins on the five-lap, six kilometer classic race course.

In the boys’ race Hoenig was first off the start line and quickly showed all the other competitors that they would be, at best, competing for second place.  He crossed the line in just 16:44, over a minute faster than the next fastest skier.  Mount Greylock’s Josh Harrington got the best of the rest crown as he broke the tape in 17:54, while his teammate Luke Costley took the final step on the podium with a time of 18:12.

In the girls’ race Kern once again showed why she was gaining national attention, crossing the line in 19:23.  Olivia Meyerson (Concord Carlisle) was next with a time of 19:56 and Cate Brams (Belmont) followed with a time of 20:37 for third place.

At the end of these two qualifying races one thing was clear, Massachusetts will send its strongest teams in over a decade to the J2 and EHS Championships in March.

Photo Gallery:

Courtesy of Tamara Hitchcock

Massachusetts EHS/J2 Qualifier Photo Gallery

Complete Results:

Boys’ Classic Unofficial Results

Girls’ Classic Unofficial Results

Please note, this is not the combine times from the two races – just the classic results.  The coaches appreciate your patience as they sort through the waivers to determine the final team rosters. Check back at 12:00pm on Wednesday (2-1-2012) for J2 and EHS team announcements.

 

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