PITTSFIELD -- With temperatures in the mid-40s at the start of the race Monday night at Bousquet Ski Area, skiers faced a 40-plus degree increase from the negative temperatures of last week.
The higher temperatures meant a softer surface, which can cause slower times.
Despite the loose surface, the Monument Mountain ski team put together solid runs, with the boys finishing first overall with a score of 191.32. The Spartan girls finished second with a score of 195.68.
The Taconic girls took first place with a score of 193.19, and Pittsfield finished third with a 204.25 score.
For the boys, Pittsfield finished second with a score of 197.88 and Mount Greylock finished third with an even 207.
The Taconic girls placed six skiers in the top 15 to secure the top spot, led by freshman Jill Scussel with a time of 47.85 seconds.
"The girls always put up a good time," Taconic coach Marc Latimer said. "Tonight, the course wasn't necessarily a fast course, but it was about picking the right line."
Latimer added that the experience of his skiers, and their familiarity with the course gave them an advantage when deciding how to navigate their runs. Taking rounded lines allowed for a smoother run, instead of coming straight at the gates, he said.
Freshman Micaela Bartlett paced the Monument girls with a 46.76 time, placing her first overall, .05 seconds ahead of teammate Emily Martin. Emma Pizzuto of Pittsfield finished third in 47.
"For the girls, I'm very confident with the three [skiers] that I have. It's a solid first three," Monument Mountain coach Peter Dunham said. "Micaela Bartlett is really showing her stuff and the potential we knew she had."
"Coming from my win last week, I was just trying to keep that good record up," Bartlett said. "I wasn't expecting to win. I was just trying to put down a good run. I didn't feel like I had a good run, but my time came out [first]."
On the boys side, Monument's Trent Pfeiffer finished first with a time of 43.67. Ryan Kuhn of Greylock, and Erich Maynard of Pittsfield finished second and third with times of 44.23 and 46.52, respectively.
Pfeiffer said he was able to stick to his game plan of taking wider turns at the top of his run, and then tightening up as he got closer to the finish. This approach differed from his strategy last week.
"Considering the temperatures were high, the snow was a lot softer than it was last week," he said. "This week it was a little slushy. It was hard to hold an edge and the outside ski tends to slide out"
Overall, Dunham said he was pleased with the efforts of his skiers, and now he's looking forward to seeing state-qualifying numbers from his team.
"For the girls, second place is nothing to be ashamed of and we're looking forward to state," he said.
"For the boys, Trent has been a very strong skier for a long time. We look for him to be on the leaderboard and unless he makes a mistake, it's his season to lose."
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