Looking back on big wins in Alpine opener
PITTSFIELD -- It could be an interesting Alpine ski season in Berkshire County this year.
On Thursday night at Bousquet Ski Area, the defending county champion Taconic girls held off Monument Mountain to win the team race.
On the other side, Pittsfield High School, which hadn't won a race in at least two years, edged the Spartan boys in the team standings.
Monument Mountain veteran sophomore Trent Pfeiffer won the boys race in 31.92, slipping by Pittsfield's Erich Maynard, who finished the slalom race in 32.80.
On the girls side, Monument's Micaela Bartlett won the first varsity race in which she ever participated with a time of 33.99, beating Taconic's Lauren Curry by .83 seconds.
"I expected to do well," said Bartlett, who is a freshman. "Monument has a great program, with two great captains [Emily Martin and Jen Evans], who I've been working with for a few years. Did I think I would win? No. But the snow was very fast, and I made very few mistakes."
Bartlett is excited about her team's chances, but cautioned that "there are a lot of very good skiers in Berkshire County. Anyone who finished in the top 10 [Thursday] night could have won."
Boys champ Pfeiffer agreed.
"I certainly expected to do well," he said. "It was a clean run."
The Spartans, he said, "are super-excited this year. We were county champs last year, and we have a lot of good skiers."
Monument's boys shared the county title with Taconic in 2013.
And while the Generals' first place finish on the boys side was not terribly surprising, PHS coach Bob Geller was pumped.
"Well, this is the first time in two years, at least, that we won a race," he said. "So we were excited. I thought, before the race, we had a great chance of finishing second."
Instead, the Generals edged Monument by a little more than three seconds.
"I think we were better prepared this year," Geller said. "We have a lot of seniors and they were ready.
"There's a lot of luck involved in this sport. I thought [second place finisher] Erich [Maynard] skied very well, but I also thought our No. 3 and No. 4 guys, Alex Teichert and Jack Salatino, really stepped up. It just all came together [Thursday] night."
The defending county champion Taconic girls won, again, "but it was closer than usual," said Taconic coach Marc Latimer. "But it was the first race of the season. Five of my six girls finished in the top 12, so I had a good feeling about [Thursday]."
Latimer praised his top skier, Lauren Curry, who was narrowly beaten by Bartlett.
"Lauren had a great run, and she was in first until Micaela came down," said Latimer. "Micaela's a great skier and she did a nice job."