PITTSFIELD -- Prior to last month's New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Alpine Class C Ski Championships, Phoebe Spare said she believed the team would do well, but she wasn't sure how well.
"I knew we were going to do okay, just based on previous results this year," said Spare, one of five Miss Hall's skiers who participated. "And there was good snow."
Real good snow, at least for the Miss Hall skiers. They finished first -- by a considerable margin -- to win the school's first New England championship in any sport.
The school won the Western New England Prep School Volleyball Association league title in 2003-04, according to David Smith, the school's communications manager.
Miss Hall's skiers won both the slalom and the giant slalom and finished with 16 total points at the event, held at Sunapee, N.H. The event is scored like cross-country running, with the low score being the top score.
That was far ahead of runner-up Bancroft School of Worcester (53 points) and third place finisher Brewster Academy of Wolfboro, N.H (75 points).
Co-captain Haleigh Quigg won both races, with Spare finishing second in both events. Rachel Campoli of Pittsfield was fourth in the giant slalom and sixth overall in the slalom, while Emma Whittum of Williamstown was 15th in the giant slalom and ninth in the slalom. Co-captain Greta Gomez closed out the school's performance with a 28th in the giant slalom and a 21st in the slalom.
"I was a little nervous," said Whittum, in her first year at the school, speaking about the race.
"Good snow" for non-skiers is hard-packed snow, as opposed to slushy snow. Hard snow, according to Miss Hall's coach Rex Channell, favors teams with faster skiers -- like the Hurricanes.
In fact, Miss Hall's team would have finished first in either the boys or girls race, according to Channell.
Although Miss Hall's is a single-sex boarding school, most of the other boarding schools are co-educational.
Channell, a former ski coach at Pittsfield High School, is in his first year at Miss Hall's.
"I was just lucky enough to be here at the right time," said Channell of his efforts. "All credit goes to these girls."
When the team returned to the school after the meet, they were met by most of the school's students and staff.
Asked about seeing the greeting party when the bus pulled in, Whittum laughed.
"We were asleep," she said.
"One of the things about this school is that it's a community," said Channell. "You become a part of it as soon as you get here. Everyone, from the staff to the students, is very supportive here. The student body was all here to welcome us when we got back. It was inspiring."
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