Mount Greylock Nordic Skiers Continue Their Dynasty

By Stephen Sports
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WOODFORD, Vt. -- If you actually could get tired of winning, then the Mount Greylock cross country skiers would be exhausted.
The Mounties Tuesday won their seventh straight boys Nordic state championship, while the girls successfully defended their 2016 state crown in a Bay State meet moved north of the border to Prospect Mountain.
Freshman Helen Greenfield led the girls with a fourth-place finish while Evan Arthur finished third in the commonwealth to lead four Mounties in the top 10.
Arthur has been one of the leaders in cross country running and skiing throughout 2016-17 for the Mount Greylock boys, who again dominated the Berkshire County Nordic League.
Greenfield was the latest in a seeming revolving door of winners for the Mounties’ girls Nordic team, one year after the graduation of individual state champion Grace Smith, who led the team to victory last winter.
Even Mount Greylock girls coach Hilary Greene was surprised to see the ninth-grader finish as high as she did.
“I knew she was going to have a very strong race, and I knew she was going to be one of our strongest skiers, but I never expected her to finish in the top five,” Greene said. “It’s definitely been building. She’s a little more raw than the other skiers in that she’s a ninth-grader, so she’s really been working on her technique.
“She’s super fit, and the thing that helped this time is that she’s gritty. Like, she would attack these hills and get this high turnover, this high tempo, and just keep on going.”
Greenfield also had a lot of skiers to attack, coming out of the fifth wave in the 5-kilometer skate race.
Her time of 24 minutes, 30 seconds put her 1:17 off the pace set by individual champion Isabel Cole of Brookline but just 14 seconds back of runner-up Laura Appleby of Lincoln-Sudbury.
Mount Greylock’s Margo Smith finished sixth, and Brandi Gill and Niku Dirafshi were 12th and 13th, respectively, to give the Mounties 31 points, well ahead of runner-up Acton Boxborough, which collected 56 points.
Led by Alice Huth (25:54), who finished in eighth place, the Lenox girls finished third in the state with 64 points.
On the boys side, Mount Greylock’s margin was a little narrower.
The Mounties and Concord-Carlisle divvied up seven of the top 12 places, but Mount Greylock took four of those to compile 25 points and finish 11 points ahead of Concord-Carlisle.
After Arthur (23:39) in third, the Mounties got a fifth-place finish from Cameron Castonguay and a ninth and a 10th from Jakin Miller and Ric Donati, respectively.
Despite what some in Washington, D.C., might think, Arthur, a Mount Greylcok senior, said winning never gets old.
“No, it’s always fun,” he said as his teammates blew off steam in the annual post-state meet dance party.
What wasn’t always so much fun for the boys on Tuesday: battling the slow spring snow on the up and down Prospect course.
“It was pretty slow since it warmed up and all the ice melted,” Arthur said. “But it was fun. It was challenging. It was super hilly, but there was enough rest between each hill that you could attack each one.”
Many of the Mount Greylock skiers learned the sport at Prospect Mountain, so the hills were somewhat familiar.
“We only raced here once this year, and it was in the beginning of the year, in December, so it’s not that fresh in our minds, but we come here a lot to practice,” said Darafshi, who won that season opener at Prospect. “Knowing what to expect was really nice and knowing what the tops of hills were and knowing when to push it.
“It’s nice being familiar with the course so there are no surprises. That’s always good.”
Like their girls team, the Lenox boys were the top Berkshire finisher besides Mount Greylock.
The Millionaires placed fourth overall behind a tight grouping of Miles Marshal (25:36), Joe Bouvier and Herkus Rudzinskas, who placed 20th, 22nd and 24th, respectively.
Wahconah’s boys finished 10th out of 18 teams competing. Sam Pyser led the way, placing 40th overall in 27:07.
Taconic’s and Hoosac Valley’s boys were 15th and 16th.
For Hoosac Valley, Mitch Barnes (28:36) was 58th. Taconic’s Noah Shepardson (28:38), who started with Barnes in the first wave, was right behind in 59th.
Wahconah’s girls also placed 10th in the state. They were led by Gabby Orlando (27:32) in 29th place. For the 13th-place Hoosac Valley girls, Mia Gale (30:06) was 44th.
Taconic was led by Rachel Tynan (35:54) , who finished in 100th place.
Unlike the boys, the girls had the advantage of skiing first, when things were a little firmer.
“The snow was good,” Greenfield said. “I hit a little bit of ice, but not too much. Especially on the hills going into turns because a lot of the snow got scraped away.
“I feel really bad for the boys, because they have to race next. We all destroyed their perfectly good race course.”
Girls team scores
1. Mount Greylock, 31 points; 2. Acton-Boxborough, 56; 3. Lenox, 64; 4. Concord-Carlisle, 81; 5. Wellesley, 101; 6. Mohawk Trail, 106; 7. Newton North, 112; 8. Lincoln-Sudbury, 144; 8. Westford Academy, 144; 10. Wahconah, 210; 11. Amherst, 227; 12. Wayland, 240; 13. Hoosac Valley, 246; 14. Winchester, 252; 15. Nashoba, 366; 16. Dover-Sherborn, 401; 17. Taconic, 429.
Girls top 10 and local scorers
1. Isabel Cole, Brookline, 23 minutes, 47.3 seconds; 2. Laura Appleby, Lincoln-Sudbury, 24:16; 3. Chantal Raguin, Acton-Boxborough, 24:28; 4. Helen Greenfield, Mount Greylock, 24:30 5. Rose Teszler, Newton North, 24:35; 6. Margo Smith, 24:42; 7. Sarah Tully, Wayland, 24:52; 8. Alice Huth, Lenox, 24:54; 9. Emily Nottonson, Acton-Boxborough, 25:11; 10. Phoebe Meyerson, Concord-Carlisle, 25.19; 12. Brandi Gill, Mount Greylock, 25:34; 13. Niku Dirafshi, Mount Greylock, 25:49; 17. Emma Jourdain, Lenox, 26:10; 21. Maggie Sorentino, Lenox, 26:21; 22. Marion Huth, Lenox, 26:21; 29. Gabby Orlando, Wahconah, 27:32; 44. Mia Gale, Hoosac Valley, 30:06; 46. Isabelle Viner, Wahconah, 30:27; 56. Katie Bentz, Hoosac Valley, 31:17; 60. Sage Howes, Wahconah, 31:54; 69. Allison Racela, Hoosac Valley, 32:49; 82. Olivia Hines, Wahconah, 33:33; 85. Alannah McGrath, Hoosac Valley, 34:10; 100. Rachel Tynan, Taconic, 35:54; 110, Mary Hayes, Taconic, 38:09; 112. Molly Tierney, Taconic, 38:28; 115. Kamea Quetti-Hall, Taconic, 113.00.
Boys team scores
1. Mount Greylock, 25 points; 2. Concord-Carlisle, 36; 3. Newton North, 88; 4. Lenox, 95; 5. Acton-Boxborough, 107; 6. Dover-Sherborn, 116; 7. Westford, 138; 8. Amherst, 157; 9. Wayland, 162; 10. Wahconah, 200; 11. Winchester, 224; 12. Wellesley, 243; 13. Lincoln-Sudbury, 300; 14. Mohawk Trail, 312; 15. Taconic, 335; 16. Hoosac Valley, 346; 17. Newton South, 366; 18. Nashoba, 502.
Boys top 10 and local scorers
1. Jacob Jampel, Newton North, 23:00; 2. Tyler Lee, Concord-Carlisle, 23:34; 3. Evan Arthur, Mount Greylock, 23:39; 4. Peter Phelan, Dover-Sherborn, 23:59; 5. Cameron Castonguay, Mount Greylock, 24:07; 6. Sean Doherty, Westford Academy, 24:14; 7. Ayden Nichol, Concord-Carlisle, 24:17; 8. Connor Giersch, Natick, 24:32; 9. Jakin Miller, Mount Greylock, 24:35; 10. Ric Donati, Mount Greylock, 24:37; 20. Miles Marshal, Lenox, 25:36; 22. Joe Bouvier, Lenox, 25:51; 24. Herkus Rudzinskas, Lenox, 26:03; 33. Harry Burns, Lenox, 26:52; 40. Sam Pyser, Wahconah, 27:07; 45. Dalton Dean, Wahconah, 27:36; 47. Hayden Cantoni, Wahconah, 27:46; 58. Mitch Barnes, Hoosac Valley, 28:36; 59. Noah Shepardson, Taconic, 28:38; 67. Corben Craig, Hoosac Valley, 29:14; 72. Zack McCain, Wahconah, 29:38; 73. Jackson Rich, Taconic, 29:41; 103. Ryan Serre, Taconic, 33:03; 106. Thomas Rabasco, Taconic, 33:40; 112. Matthew Tassone, Hoosac Valley, 34:18; 115. Justin Levesque, Hoosac Valley, 34:56.
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