Tuesday January 8, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- Eamon Connor was already complaining about not having much prep time after finishing the first Alpine race of the season.

Luckily for the Taconic senior, his run of 42.7 seconds turned into little more than a glorified Giant Slalom training run. Monday's boys race had to be abandoned after several lights went out on the race hill at Bousquet Ski Area.

"It's good because there's not been a lot of practice with these kids," said Braves coach Marc Latimer. "He's been practicing slalom a lot because for Tri-State ... they've been focusing on slalom. We've been practicing what we could for GS, but we've only had three practices out here."

Connor and the rest of the boys league will give it another go on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. That will be followed by a second race for both boys and girls.

The girls were able to get their first race in on Monday, with Maria Giacoletto leading six Taconic skiers in the top 10. The Braves cruised to the team win, with Giacoletto pocketing a victory in 44.52 seconds. The junior had damaged her skis in a crash the day before and wasn't even sure if she'd race Monday.

"I came and my bib [13] was my lucky number," Giacoletto said. "I was a little excited about that. I just skied hoping my skis wouldn't break again."

Her skis held and so did her time, edging out Monument's Emily Martin, who finished in 45.01. Pittsfield/St. Joseph's Emma Peplowski was third in 45.67. Taconic's Lauren Jones was fourth (46.25). Four other Braves were in the top 10, allowing Taconic to beat Monument by more than six seconds. The two schools shared the county title a year ago.

"We only lost one of our top racers and we have a couple tricks up our sleeve for this year," Martin said. "We're looking to take the title for ourselves this year."

That could be a tall task if the Braves race like they did in the opener. Latimer said Giacoletto's win was a long time coming.

"Totally different skier from last year," Latimer said. "She's been skiing aggressive. We've been working on some fine-tuning stuff. She knows what she has to do with the hands. Her hands and her feet and her edges, she's all-out."

Connor is hoping ski just like last year on the boys side, where he won the last four races of 2012. He had the best time when the boys race was called with 18 skiers still to go.

While Connor said he needed to make small adjustments, Mount Greylock's Ryan Kuhn said he was happy to be less than a second (43.37) behind the clubhouse leader. His time was good for fourth-best among the boys who made it down the hill. The added practice should help for Wednesday's double feature.

"I haven't really been doing a lot of GS," Connor said after his run. "Just getting back into the groove of it. Just trying to get back where I was last year. Hopefully I can improve because these kids aren't that far off me."

To reach Christopher James:
cjames@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6252.
On Twitter: @BECJ2k.