Profile’s Quinn Malcolm attacks the giant slalom on Cannon Mountain last Friday morning. Charlie Lentz/The Courier. (click for larger version)
February 13, 2013FRANCONIA — Put on roller blades then hop on a steep granite ramp — or try the winter version with skis on a mountain converted to cement by 50-degree weather followed by a frozen night in single digits. Whatever you pleasure it was no day at the beach on Cannon Mountain last Friday morning.
"We're not in the gym here playing basketball — not that that's easy," said Profile coach Steve Roberts. "But this is inherently high risk — we don't talk about that a lot. Luckily no one got injured."
No words were necessary with enough hard knocks to tell the tale during last Friday's high school ski meet. Balmy weather and high winds closed Cannon Mountain to recreational skiing last Thursday but a deep freeze overnight whipped up a hard surface for the boys giant slalom races on Gary's Hill Friday morning.
Two-time defending champion Lin-Wood made another rock-solid showing and staked it's claim as the favorite for the Division IV state alpine championships scheduled for Feb. 13 right back here at Cannon. Lumberjacks coach Aaron Loukes said the course was tough but his team handled the conditions.
"It was bulletproof. It was really icy," Loukes said. "We haven't seen those conditions yet this year."
In the morning's two-run giant slalom competition Lin-Wood finished first with 387 points followed by Profile (373), Plymouth (361), Gorham (356), Woodsville (333) and Littleton 314.
Lin-Wood also captured first in the afternoon's single-run giant slalom event with 385 points followed by Profile (370), Gorham (360), Plymouth (360), Woodsville (331) and Littleton (318).
In the morning's double-run giant slalom competition, Lin-Wood sophomore Bryce Gillen finished first overall and he also took the top spot in the afternoon's single run GS event. On his first run in the morning Gillen had the fastest clocking in the field of 63 racers and scored the third fastest time on his second run. Loukes said it was the first race in his high school career that Gillen captured the top spot at a meet.
"He's been in the mix all season. It's really great to see his really strong results today," said coach Loukes of Gillen. "I was very pleased with the boys overall. They skied solid. It was tough conditions."
Lin-Wood's Colby Chase finished third overall in the two-run morning competition followed by teammate Bailey Clermont in fifth place. Lin-Wood's Owen Sawyer skied to an eighth-place finish in the morning as the Lumberjacks placed all four of their scorers in the top ten.
"Bailey, Bryce and Colby have been pushing each other all season. Owen is coming on strong," Loukes said.
Loukes is not one to make predictions but it appears the Lumberjacks are peaking at the right time as the state meet nears on Feb. 13.
"I'm very pleased with where we're at," Loukes said. "We've worked very hard to this point."
Profile's Roberts said his Patriots have some work to do if they have any chance of catching the Lumberjacks at the boys state meet.
"Lin-Wood — they look consistent, rock solid," said coach Roberts. "(Profile's) Chris Seely is peaking at the right time for us. But we're just not pounding the bottom of the top ten right now. I feel we're a top-three or top-four team. You've got to have basically three skiers in the top ten and one lurking just behind that."
In the morning's two-run giant slalom event Profile's scorers were Seely in second place followed by teammates Tyler Doyle (seventh), Luke Golden (ninth) and Neville Morris in 13th place.
Woodsville's scorers in the morning's event were Mike Vogt (18th), Chris Hunter (21st), David Bazzell (31st) and Phil Cadreact in 32nd place.
Littleton's scorers in the morning's two-run GS were Garret Millen (39th), Tommy Read (41st), Brett LaPan (43rd) and Matt Horne in 48th place.
In the afternoon's single run giant slalom, Lin-Wood's scorers were Gillen in first place followed by Clermont (second), Chase (fifth) and Sawyer in 11th place.
Profile's scorers in the afternoon were Seely in fourth place, Doyle (eighth), Quinn Malcolm (ninth) and Carter Merrill in 13th place.
Woodsville's scorers in the afternoon race were Vogt in 12th place, Hunter (26th), Cadreact (38th) and Jaden Dalton in 39th place.
Littleton's scorers in the afternoon race were Chris Hill in 30th place, Horne (35th), Millen (40th) and Read in 42nd place.
The season continues this Friday with Profile playing host to a meet at Cannon with Woodsville scheduled to be among the competitors. Lin-Wood is scheduled to travel to King Pine this Friday.