Mount Greylock Girls Defend State Nordic Ski Title
CHARLEMONT, Mass. -- After two weeks of watching the world’s best Nordic skiers compete under the lights in South Korea, the Bay State’s best did the same at Berkshire East.
“It was was exciting competing at night,” Mount Greylock’s Margo Smith said. “It was Olympic-esque. It was nice channeling our inner Jesse Diggins.”
And just like Diggins, Smith and her Mount Greylock teammates ended up with gold around their necks.
The Mounties placed four skiers in the top 10 to repeat as state team champion with 24 points -- 50 points ahead of second-place Lenox.
On the boys side, Mount Greylock saw its seven-year run at the top of the podium come to an end thanks to a dominating performance by Concord-Carlisle, which put three boys in the top five en route to a 26-point night, 22 points ahead of the runner-up Mounties.
The state meet, usually a daytime affair, was moved from its traditional home at Notchview Reservation to the three-loop course at the base of the Alpine ski area thanks to the February thaw that washed away skiable terrain in the usual locations.
Since Berkshire East needed to operate its regular downhill operation during the day, the high schoolers gratefully accepted the offer to use the area after dark with a twilight start for the evening’s first race, the girls competition.
Although the Berkshire County Cross Country Ski League ran a couple of races in 2016, the timing of the race was definitely outside the norm.
“It was a little weird trying to figure out when to eat and timing stuff and staying energized throughout the day so you don’t get tired,” Smith said. “We’re used to just waking up and racing. So you just had to keep excited throughout the day and not tire yourself out.”
Smith’s coach said the athletes were able to take the break in routine in stride.
“Any time there’s a change, you feel like that’s going to be a challenge and pose some extra mental stress,” Hilary Greene said. “But the race is the same is for everyone. And our sport is very good at being flexible and constantly adjusting because we have to do it all season. You hardly ever have your schedule and you know when you’re racing because the weather changes all the time.
“Skiers are very adaptable people by nature.”
Greene also was not surprised to see Smith leading the way for her team.
“Margo had -- health-wise -- a rough start to her season, and I could tell over the last couple of weeks that she was just getting started, and generally at these big meets, she always comes through and delivers,” Greene said.
Smith started in the first wave and was one of the first racers across the finish line, coming home with a time of 19 minutes, 22 seconds to place fifth. Lincoln-Sudbury’s Laura Appleby was the individual champion with a time of 16:20.9.
Smith’s teammates Lily Wells, Jackie Wells and Brandi Gill were sixth, eighth and ninth. Not scoring -- but skiing well enough to be the fourth scorer and preserve the team’s place if needed -- were Hazel Scullin in 12th and Miriam Bakija in 13th.
“If one person falters, there’s someone right there to pick them up and be supportive and carry them in,” Greene said of her team’s balance. “To have them all finish that close, personally, I was kind of surprised. I knew they would ski well, but to have them be that tight was kind of exciting.”
The Millionaires also had a tight grouping, placing their skiers in 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st with Maggie Sorrentino leading the way with a time of 21:03.7. Mary Elliot, Marion Hunt and Grace Elliot rounded out the scoring for Lenox.
Concord-Carlisle’s boys were led by individual champion Henry Johnstone, who blew away the field with a time of 13:45.4, 48 seconds ahead of second-place Jacob Jampel of Newton-North.
Mount Greylock got three top 20 finishes.
Jakin Miller led the way with a time of 14:45.8 in seventh place. Jacob Adams placed 10th, and Ric Donati was 11th for Mount Greylock, which got a 21st-place showing from Corban Miller.
Girls Top 10
Laura Appleby, Lincoln-Sudbury, 16 minutes, 20.9 seconds; 2. Rose Teszler, Newton-North, 18:24.8; 3. Hanna Piispanen, Winchester, 18:28.7; 4. Eva Baumann, Brookline, 18:43.7; 5. Margo Smith, Mount Greylock, 19:22.0; 6. Lilly Wells, Mount Greylock, 19:28.6; 7. Phoebe Meyerson, Concord-Carlisle, 19:29.5; 8. Jackie Wells, Mount Greylock, 19:34.7; 9. Brandi Gill, Mount Greylock, 19:36.4; 10. Kate Weinberg, Wellesley, 20:08.0. … 17. Gabby Orlando, Wahconah, 20:59.3; 18. Maggie Sorrentino, Lenox, 21:03.7; 23. Mia Gale, Hoosac Valley, 21:21.9; 88. Mary Hayes, Taconic, 28:45.7.
Girls Team Scores
Mount Greylock 24 points; 2. Lenox, 74; 3. Wellesley, 80; 4. Concord-Carlisle, 87; 5. Newton North, 128; 6. Winchester, 138; 7. Mohawk Trail, 157; 8. Wahconah, 159; 9. Acton-Boxboro, 181; 10. Westford Academy, 187; 11. Lincoln-Sudbury, 190; 12. Hoosac Valley 198; 13. Amherst, 247; 14. Wayland, 273; 16. Dover-Sherborn, 343; 17. Taconic, 412.
Boys Top 10
Henry Johnstone, Concord-Carlisle, 13 minutes, 45.4 seconds; 2. Jacob Jampel, Newton-North, 14:33.3; 3. Willy Wright, Amherst, 14:33.8; 4. Ayden Nichol, Concord-Carlisle, 14:40.1; 5. Alex Burt, Concord-Carlisle, 14:40.6; 6. Sean Doherty, Westford Academy, 14:43.8; 7. Jakin Miller, Mount Greylock, 14:45.8; 8. Connor Giersch, Natick, 14:46.9; 9. Devin Wong, Wayland, 14:49.3; 10. Jacob Adams, Mount Greylock, 14:57.0; … 20. Herkus Rudzinskas, Lenox, 15:53.9; 25. Corben Craig, Hoosac Valley, 16:27.8; 44. Zack McCain, Wahconah, 17:23.6; 101. Thomas Rabasco, Taconic, 21:47.8.
Boys Team Scores
Concord-Carlisle 26 points; 2. Mount Greylock, 48; 3. Acton-Boxboro, 95; 4. Lenox 108; 5. Dover-Sherborn 112; 6. Winchester, 115; 7. Newton North 118; 8. Westford Academy, 141; 9. Wayland, 149; 10. Amherst, 150; 11. Wellesley, 201; 12. Lincoln-Sudbury, 265; 13. Hoosac Valley, 290; 14. Wahconah, 296; 15. Newton South 341; 16. Mohawk Trail, 392; 17. Nashoba, 476.