MIAA State Alpine Championships: Pittsfield's Michael Mansfield finishes 7th in GS race
CHARLEMONT — It was a bit of a hectic morning in the Mansfield household Tuesday. With all three boys — Josh, David and Michael — competing in the 2018 MIAA State Alpine Championships at Berkshire East, there was a lot to get ready and not much time to do it with a 9:15 a.m. gate time.
"We're pretty scattered in the morning," said David Mansfield, a Pittsfield junior.
"Get a bag, throw some stuff together and get here," added Josh, a senior captain.
Once on the mountain, though, the three brothers were as calm and cool as could be. Pittsfield, which was represented solely by the three brothers, placed fifth overall at the state meet, led by an individual podium from Michael, a freshman.
The Berkshire County champion in his debut varsity season, Michael Mansfield finished seventh in the morning's Giant Slalom competition. With a time of 38.77 seconds, he was the lone county skier to earn a medal in Charlemont.
"I just kind of wanted to make it down, I guess, finish all my runs so I could contribute to the team," he said. "[My brothers] just said to treat it like any other race. It was really exciting. On that Slalom course we all had a bit of trouble, but all made it down.
"It felt like we did really well, especially only with three athletes. A lot of these teams have a lot more than us. It was a good spot."
Pittsfield competitors finished all six of their individual runs, an impressive feat considering the 74 DNFs and disqualifications skiers faced throughout the day.
"We've been training at this hill all year for Tri-State, so we had a bit more experience with it," said David Mansfield, who finished 20th in GS. "The GS was a lot more fun this morning. Then the Slalom course was super tight and really hard."
In the GS race, Wahconah's Tanner Hill just missed the podium, finishing 12th in 39.18. No boys finished in the top 10 of the afternoon's Slalom race, including the defending state champion Hill, but David Mansfield blazed to a 39.19 finish to land 13th. Michael Mansfield was 19th, and Taconic's Andrew King was 17th.
"It's always a lot of fun, and I've improved every year I've come," said King, who was also 23rd in GS. "The slalom I liked. I'm a bit of a smaller guy, so I can move my legs faster and that helped out in going through it smoother than some others."
The Wahconah boys — Hill, Drew Dunham and Kyle Brogan, who battled Pittsfield all season for the county's top spot — all tumbled out of the sticky slalom course. The three DNFs removed the Warriors from the team chase.
"We had a good time. We unfortunately didn't get the result we wanted, but we all had fun today," said Brogan, who finished 34th in GS. "I just had fun on the GS course. It was nice and hard in the morning, just left it all out there."
On the girls' side, county champion Abby Kate Caproni had a strong day, nailing down twin 12th-place finishes. She was the top Berkshire skier in both races; finishing in 38.89 in Slalom and 42.49 in GS.
"It was a really fun day of racing," said the Drury student and Lenox athlete. "This morning, the slalom was a fun course; really fast and I skied it well so I'm happy with that. The GS this afternoon, it was warmer, but the course was wide and pretty fast."
Despite Monument Mountain and Lenox ruling the county regular season, it was Wahconah's girls squad that performed best at Berkshire East. The qualified Warriors — Aspen Burke, Danni Orlando and CeCe Dunham — landed all six individual runs safely to place 19th as a team.
"It's pretty cool to have three boys and three girls here. We came in pretty excited. Danni and Aspen, it's their first year, and Drew is coming off an injury," said Wahconah coach Jill Johnson. "Today was not the best of days, but they had a blast. [For the boys] I think it is going to be a motivator for them. We've also got a young team coming up, so there is going to be some competition from inside the program as well."
In GS, Lenox got a 45.94 for 55th place from Molly Knight, battling back from a hard wipeout, while Monument got a 46.34 for 64th from Adelaide McFarland, but both fell out of their morning Slalom runs. The Spartans did see Carly Terranova finish both her runs and place 56th in Slalom.
"I just took what I was feeling from the first one, things I wished I had done in Slalom, and applied it to GS," said McFarland, a senior captain. "It didn't feel like I got set up enough, which threw me off. In GS I wasn't going to let that happen. I felt much better with that run."
While the Mansfields had blood relation on the slopes, they were hardly the only family at Berkshire East. The entire Berkshire Alpine community was on hand, with 20 total racers and countless supporters.
"It's been a lot more fun this year. Our friends from PHS came out this time to support us," said David Mansfield.
But it was more than individual team support. The Berkshire tables were packed at lunch with athletes trading course reports, and a group with representatives from five different schools gathered for a post-race photo.
"They always do a really great job with it. It's awesome to be a part of," said McFarland.
"The Berkshire County community is different than a lot of others at this meet. There are 20 of us and we ski together all year. The coaches get along, all of us get a long, so it was just a fun day to be together here," added Caproni. "Everyone was really supportive."
Just one podium and a series of hard falls and DNFs didn't stop Berkshire County skiers from enjoying a bluebird day.
"I know a lot of kids in the county, and I'm close with a lot of them," King said. "It's really fun, we're all kind of a family."
Team — 1. Marblehead 235.1; 2. Saint John's Prep 238.5; 3. Xaverian 241.9; 4. Dover-Sherborn 246.6; 5. Pittsfield 246.7.
Slalom — 1. Jason Dettencourt (Andover) 36.27; 2. Jack Preston (Winchendon) 37.19; 3. Will Bertram (Xaverian) 37.42; 4. Tucker Braun (Marblehead) 37.50; 5. Dan Schwartz (Brookline) 37.82; 6. John Burger (Longmeadow) 37.99; 7. Jack Masciadrelli (St. John's) 38.38; 8. Drew Bruno (St. John's) 38.39; 9. Jack Donaldson (Bromfield) 38.52; 10. Jacob Stephans (Westfield) 39.11.
Berkshire finishers — 13. David Mansfield (PHS) 39.19; 17. Andrew King (Taconic) 39.66; 19. Michael Mansfield (Pittsfield) 39.77; 40. Max DiGrigoli (Lenox) 41.94; 53. Raphael Kummer-Landau (Monument) 42.71; 88. Josh Mansfield (Pittsfield) 46.56; 100. Keegan Leach (Monument) 48.07.
Giant Slalom — 1. Jason Dettencourt (Andover) 37.53; 2. Matt Masciadrelli (St. John's) 37.94; 3. John Burger (Longmeadow) 38.10; 4. Sam Thompson (Marblehead) 38.32; 5. Cameron Ottoson (E. Longmeadow) 38.69; 6. Jonah Tobin (Wellesley) 38.73; 7. Michael Mansfield (Pittsfield) 38.77; 8. Evan Symes (St. John's) 38.78; 9. Will Bertram (Xaverian) 38.86; 10. Rok Gundaker (Needham) 38.94.
Berkshire finishers — 12. Tanner Hill (Wahconah) 39.18; 20. David Mansfield 39.99; 23. Andrew King (Taconic) 40.05; 34. Kyle Brogan (Wahconah) 40.86; 74. Josh Mansfield (Pittsfield) 42.44; 83. Drew Dunham (Wahconah) 42.91; 92. Raphael Kummer-Landau (Monument) 43.57; 98. Max DiGrigoli (Lenox) 43.96; 124. Keegan Leach (Monument) 47.03.
Team — 1. Hingham 244.2; Marblehead 248.1; 3. Mohawk 252.7; 4. Duxbury 255.5; Concord-Carlisle 259.4. 19. Wahconah 303.
Slalom — 1. Stella Alphas (Weston) 35.54; 2. Cameron Easton (Winchester) 36.52; 3. Ashley Lacross (Mohawk) 36.70; 4. Maria Cavallaro (N. Andover) 37.63; 5. Faith Stanton (Masconomet) 37.75; 6. Taylor Loomis (Mohawk) 38.13; 7. Karen Oh (Waltham) 38.23; 8. Katie Bateman (Nashoba) 38.63; 9. Courtney Pingree (Marblehead) 38.69; 10. Julia Martin (Belmont) 38.71.
Berkshire finishers — 12. Abby Kate Caproni (Lenox) 38.89; 56. Carly Terranova (Monument) 42.67; 94. Aspen Burke (Wahconah) 47.79; 109. Danni Orlando (Wahconah) 48.92; 115. CeCe Dunham (Wahconah) 50.45; 118. Ava Bachman (Lenox) 51.01; 124. Morgan Schnauber (Taconic) 52.94.
Giant Slalom — 1. Faith Stanton (Masconomet) 40.67; 2. Audrey Cole (Hingham) 40.89; 3. Julia Waal (Hingham) 40.97; 4. Julia Martin (Belmont) 41.28; 5. Lizzy Murphy (Lincoln-Sudbury) 41.41; 6. Maria Cavallaro (N. Andover) 42.98; 7. Allison Marr (Hopkinton) 42.16; 8. Grace O'Connor (Westfield) 42.22; 9. Grace Crochiere (Minnechaug) 42.29; 10. Stella Alphas (Weston) 42.32.
Berkshire finishers — 12. Abby Kate Caproni (Lenox) 42.49; 55. Molly Knight (Lenox) 45.94; 64. Adelaide McFarland (Monument) 46.34; 106. Carly Terranova (Monument) 49.32; 112. Aspen Burke (Wahconah) 51.07; 118. Morgan Schnauber (Taconic) 51.58; 121. CeCe Dunham (Wahconah) 52.28; 122. Danni Orlando (Wahconah) 52.44; 123. Ava Bachman (Lenox) 52.57; 125. Emily Martsen (Monument) 53.26.
Mike Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.
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.