Berkshire County girls post solid times at MIAA state Alpine ski meet
PRINCETON -- It was Ladies Day at the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area on Tuesday. At least it was for Berkshire County's high school Alpine skiers.
The county's girls led the charge in the MIAA state Alpine ski championships, collecting one top-10 finish and three more top 30 results.
The day's best result belonged to Monument Mountain senior Emily Martin, who wrapped up her high school career by finishing 10th in the girls slalom.
"It's definitely exciting and something that I always wanted to do," said Martin, after receiving her medal. "To finish in the top 10 at the state meet is really cool."
Lenox's Ella King made a nice splash in the state meet. The freshman finished 21st in the girls giant slalom, the top prize for a Berkshire racer. Monument's Micaela Bartlett was 23rd and Martin was 26th.
The only Berkshire County boy to earn a top 30 finish on the day was Monument's Trent Pfeiffer. The Spartan standout bounced back from a 40th-place finish in the morning giant slalom to claim 20th in the slalom.
The Monument Mountain girls had the best team day among the Berkshire County teams here; finishing 10th and Taconic was 14th. Wellesley defended its state title with 543 points, beating Lunenburg by six points. Last year, they shared the title.
St. Peter Marian of Worcester won the boys team title with 566 points and St. John's Prep was second with 489. Monument was 12th with 371 and Pittsfield finished 22nd with 154 points.
The race went off shortly after 9:30 Tuesday morning, and it didn't take long to establish the time to bat. Belmont's Michelle Martin, wearing bib No. 1, conquered the hill in 37.61 seconds. Lunenburg's Rachel Bateman came next and her time of 37.69 ended up as second.
Martin got out of the gate seventh and she finished in 39.59. That was a top-10 time, and while four racers from the second 20 group of skiers forced their way into the top 10, it wasn't enough to knock Martin out.
"It's a really short course, so you have to make the most of what is there for you to work with and make sure to not lose any time on the flats, which I think I did a pretty good job of," Martin said. "I was happy with my result."
Martin said that she gained whatever speed she could on the top pitch because the rest of the course was fairly flat and the skiers had to work to pick up time.
King was the next Berkshire finisher, taking 37th in 42.32, followed by Pittsfield's Ali Williamson who was 43rd in 42.54.
King was much more pleased by claiming the top Berkshire County finish in the afternoon giant slalom.
Lunenburg's Bateman set the time to beat, clocking in at 56.05. Monument's Martin followed at No. 7 and had a 60.05, which was good for 26th place. The Spartans' Micaela Bartlett came out at 13 and finished with 59.71, and was the top Berkshire skier -- for about five minutes.
King flew down the course and her 59.51 put her in 21st position.
"I'm a pretty even skier" in both disciplines, said King. "For me, it's harder for me to do well on flat courses because of my size. It's hard to generate speed.
"Today on the GS course, I could really carry my speed through the flat. It did surprise me. I tucked the whole way and was thinking ‘Let's carry the speed.' I was happy when I came across the finish line."
Michaela Craft of Taconic was 33rd in the GS.
The boys did GS in the morning and Pfeiffer was the only county racer to crack the top 50. His Monument teammate Thomas Berle was 62nd. Pfeiffer's finish in 40th place helped fuel his afternoon run in slalom.
"I was a lot more in tune and a lot more pumped up," he said. "I just wanted to try hard and get a good run."
Pfeiffer's time out of the gate as the No. 7 skier was 37.21 seconds. The slalom field, however, was stacked and seven of the top 10 skiers on the day skied from position 14 or lower.
Luke Hanlon of St. Peter Marian won the gold with a 34.97.
Mount Greylock's Ryan Kuhn, who did not finish in the GS, came in 35th in slalom and Monument's Trevor McFarland was 39th.
For Pfeiffer, Tuesday gave him a chance to see how he stacks up against the best in the state as he said he hopes to return to Berkshire East next year for the meet.
"[Berkshire East] is one of my favorite courses," he said. "It's good, having another year to prepare and also see where I stand against the competition."
To reach Howard Herman:
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.