Mount Greylock Girls Win Fourth Straight State Title

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Sports
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WINDSOR, Mass. — If the Mount Greylock girls Nordic ski team is going to continue to stay on top of the state leaderboard, it is going to take a team effort.
And not just the Mount Greylock team, at that.
Team Berkshire County was dominant at Tuesday's state meet at Notchview Reservation, where "home team" Wahconah placed fifth, Lenox was third and the Mounties won their fourth straight state title, splitting the honor with Concord-Carlisle.
On the boys' side, Concord-Carlisle ran away with the gold medal, earning 18 points with three boys in the top 10. Mount Greylock's boys placed second for the second year in a row, and Lenox and Hoosac Valley placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
The top finishers on the 7-kilometer course at Notchview Reservation were Concord-Carlisle's Ayden Nichol (25 minutes, 34 seconds) and Lincoln-Sudbury's Laura Appleby (30:57).
Mount Greylock's boys were led by Makin Miller (27:02) and Col McDermott, in seventh and eighth places, respectively. Brandi Gill (33:01) and Jacqueline Wells were sixth and seventh for the Mount Greylock girls.
Mounties girls coach Hilary Greene said her team benefited from a winter spent battling some of the commonwealth's top programs in the Berkshire County League.
"It could have gone any way," Greene said, referring to the fact that the Millionaires finished just three points out of the three-way tie for first in the state. "I think it's so good for the sport. I know that the Lenox team is going to say, 'We're coming for you.' And, hopefully, our team will say, 'We're going to try to go for it, too.' And everyone will get better.
"And, hopefully, that will also attract more skiers. We want the sport to continue to grow."
Lenox's girls placed three skiers in the top 12 as Mary Elliot (33:58) placed ninth, and Grace Elliot and Solia Herndon-Schmit were not far behind in 11th and 12, respectively.
Breaking up that Lenox trio was Wahconah senior Gabby Orlando, who finished 10th in 34:04.
Hoosac Valley was led by Mia Gale (36:00) with a 24th-place finish. Racing as an individual, Taconic's Megan Francoeur (46:08) finished 78th.
Just four skiers for each team count toward the team standings, but all six of Mount Greylock's starters finished in the top third of the field. Adding to the score were Margo Smith in 14th and Lainey Gill in 23rd.
One big key to the victory was the performance of Mount Greylock senior Smith, who picked off racers from earlier waves throughout the course.
"Margo Smith, who was skiing out of the sixth wave and has every potential to be right up there, has just been up and down this season, so we didn't know what to expect from her," Greene said. "But she somehow always pulls through an amazing race at the big meets.
"So she was the one who really pulled through for us."
On the boys' side, Miller and McDermott were backed up by Mount Greylock teammates Owen Tucker-Smith and Gabe Gerry, who placed 17th and 18th, respectively.
Hoosac Valley's Corben Craig (27:32)was the top Berkshire County finisher not from Mount Greylock; he finished 12th to lead the Hurricanes to a top-five finish.
Lenox's boys would have won the award for consistency if there was one. After Herkus Rudzinskas (28:46) placed 16th overall, the Millionaires finished 25th, 26th, 27th, 30th and 31st.
Wahconah, which placed 12th among the boys, got a 38th-place finish from Shea Mcilquham (31:37). Taconi was led by Thomas Rabasco (34:46), who finished 72nd.
Tuesday's meet was twice postponed due to weather concerns — a fitting end to a season that saw most of the Berkshire County League meets relocated, mostly north of the state line to Prospect Mountain in Vermont.
Greene said the seeming lack of skiable terrain really did not impact the Mounties.
"It's been an interesting season, in that we actually ended up doing a lot of skiing, despite having to work extra hard for it," she said. "The first week of the season, we had snow at the school, and we snowed on the second day of practice, which almost never happens.
"Then we hit a dry spell, but we found patches. We found other places to ski. I feel like they haven't felt like they missed out on that."
Lenox coach Joe Bazzano agreed.
"We're used to it," Bazzano said with a laugh about the uncertain and frequently unseasonable conditions. "We have our backups for downhill ski areas. And when we know it's going to snow [at Notchview], the kids are good and the parents are good and get the kids up here right away.
"We're just adapting to it year after year, because it's been a long time since we've had a good year. Everyone is fine with adapting, which is really good."
And with a team that features freshman Mary Elliot, sophomore Grace Elliot, sophomore Herndon-Schmit, freshman Aidan Burns and freshman Julianna Harwood, Lenox figures to go right on pushing — and, the Millionaires hope surpassing — the Mounties for years to come.
"One race to the next, I'm super proud of these kids," Bazzano said. "I'm really glad to be part of this group. I've coached quite a few state championship teams and state champions, and these kids are just as much fun — if not more — than any other team I've had.
"You can't ask for more."
Boys Team Scores
Concord-Carlisle, 18 points; 2. Mount Greylock, 50; 3. Wayland, 56; 4. Lenox, 94; 5. Hoosac Valley, 122; 6. Newton North, 124; 7. Dover-Sherborn, 137; 8. Acton-Boxboro, 139; 9. Wellesley, 148; 10. Winchester, 181; 11. Amherst, 193; 12. Wahconah, 218; 13. Westford Academy, 236; 14. Lincoln-Sudbury, 297; 15. Mohawk Trail, 324; 16. Taconic, 379; 17. Nashoba, 381.
Boys Top 10 and Local Finishers
Ayden Nichol, Concord-Carlisle, 25 minutes, 34 seconds; 2. Devin Wong, Wayland, 25:51; 3. Henry Johnstone, Concord-Carlisle, 25:57; 4. Linden Niedeck, NA, 25:58; 5. Alex Burt, Concord-Carlisle, 26:24; 6. Lucas Bodkins, Dover-Sherborn, 26:29; 7. Jakin Miller, Mount Greylock, 27:02; 8. Col McDermott, Mount Greylock, 27:14; 9. Julian Henry, Concord-Carlisle, 27:16; 10. Connor Giersch, NA, 27:24; … 12. Corben Craig, Hoosac Valley, 27:32; 16. Herkus Rudzinskas, Lenox, 28:46; 17. Owen Tucker-Smith, Mount Greylock, 28:58; 18. Gabe Gerry, Mount Greylock, 28:58; 22. Justin Levesque, Hoosac Valley, 29:43; 23. Michael Maruk, Mount Greylock, 29:44; 24. Corban Miller, Mount Greylock, 29:45; 25. Maxime Leger, Lenox, 30:01; 26. Colin Young, Lenox, 30:22; 27. Robert Carotenuto, Lenox, 30:40; 30. JT Novitsky, Lenox, 30:46;31. Justin King, Lenox, 30:48; 33. Jake Halverson, Hoosac Valley, 31:04; 38. Shea Mcilquham, Wahconah, 31:37; 52. Jack Pudlo, Wahconah, 32:38; 55. Evan Norcross, Hoosac Valley, 32:59; 60. Logan Newsome, Wahconah, 34:07; 68. Tyler Olds, Wahconah, 34:30; 71. Hayden Kendall, Wahconah, 34:37; 72. Thomas Rabasco, Taconic, 34:46; 73. Matthew Tassone, Hoosac Valley, 34:54; 81. Anthony Tassone, Hoosac Valley, 37:14; 100. Chris Adams, Taconic, 47:25; 103. Peter Foley, Taconic, 51:08; 104. Jeffrey Crosier, Taconic, 52:20.
Girls Team Scores
Concord-Carlisle, 50; 1. Mount Greylock, 50; 3. Lenox, 53; 4. Wellesley, 109; 5. Wahconah 117; 6. Wayland, 120; 7. Newton North, 131; 8. Mohawk Trail, 132; 9. Winchester, 156; 10. Acton-Boxboro, 168; 11. Lincoln-Sudbury, 173; 12. Hoosac Valley, 184; 13. Dover-Sherborn, 201; 14. Westford Academy, 250; 15. Amherst, 285; 16. Nashoba, 360.
Girls Top 10 and local finishers
Laura Appleby, Lincoln-Sudbury, 30:57; 2. Mica Bodkins, Dover-Sherborn, 31:17; 3. Ella Nichol, Concord-Carlisle, 32:27; 4. Phoebe Meyerson, Concord-Carlisle, 32:34; 5. Tali Wong, Westford Academy, 32:41; 6. Brandi Gill, Mount Greylock, 33:01; 7. Jacqueline Wells, Mount Greylock, 33:30; 8. Charlotte Snow, Wellesley, 33:56; 9. Mary Elliot, Lenox, 33:58; 10. Gabby Orlando, Wahconah, 34:04; … 11. Grace Elliot, Lenox, 34:32; 12. Solia Herndon-Schmit, Lenox, 34:32; 14. Margo Smith, Mount Greylock, 34:53; 21. Aidan Burns, Lenox, 35:48; 22. Maggie Sorrentino, Lenox, 35:51; 23. Lainey Gill, Mount Greylock, 35:53; 24.Mia Gale, Hoosac Valley, 36:00; 25. Elizabeth Dupras, Mount Greylock, 36:04; 28. Julianne Harwood, Lenox, 36:15; 30. Hazel Scullin, Mount Greylock, 36:26; 31. Haley Crosier, Wahconah, 37:25; 32. Isabelle Viner, Wahconah, 37:43; 44. Julia Trager, Wahconah, 39:43; 51. Suki Liang, Hoosac Valley, 40:52; 54. Natalie Pompi, Hoosac Valley, 41:13; 55. Sydni Jamros, Hoosac Valley, 41:40; 57. Grace Calvert, Wahconah, 41:52; 74. Maddy Rabuse, Wahconah, 44:50; 78. Megan Francoeur, Taconic, 46:08; 80. Jenna Levesque, Hoosac Valley, 46:13; 84. Grace Kronick, Hoosac Valley, 47:39.
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