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Alpine season kicks off at King Pine

Eagles and Knights open the year with six runs of giant slalom

MICHAEL LARSON finished second in all three races of the seasonís opening meet Dec. 21 at King Pine. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 28, 2009
MADISON — On one of the shortest days of the year, the Kingswood and Kennett alpine skiers all managed to get in six runs of giant slalom to kick off the 2009-2010 ski season.

The two teams met at King Pine Ski Area on Monday, Dec. 21, for the traditional season opening meet, and the snow was once again in great shape, thanks to the King Pine staff.

The skiers began the day with three morning runs of giant slalom followed by three afternoon giant slalom runs. The runs were grouped by twos, so the first and second were scored together, the third and fourth were scored together and the fifth and sixth were scored together. It should be noted that the afternoon course was different from the morning course.

For the girls, the Kennett squad dominated the first two runs, taking the top five spots and eight of the top 10.

Leading the way for the Eagles was Emily Leich, who skied to a time of 60.82 for first place in the first two runs. She was followed by Paulina Karabelis, who put up a combined time of 62.42, while freshman Elyse Clancy was third in 62.49. Elizabeth Welch rounded out the scoring with a time of 62.93 for her first two runs.

Other Eagles finishing in the top 10 for the first section were Taylor Gardella (fifth, 63.11), Jordan Lemerise (seventh, 64.21), Libby Karabelis (eighth, 65.30), and Meghan Flavin (ninth, 65.93).

For Kingswood, the top finisher in the morning two runs was Mandy Cronin, who raced to sixth place overall with a time of 63.52. Teammate Grace Meserve was 10th in 67.03 and Allison MacDonald was the third scorer in 12th place in 67.33. Meagan Horne rounded out the scoring in 18th place in a time of 71.68.

Kennett placed nine skiers in the top 10 for the second set of runs.

Again it was Leich who led the way, finishing with a combined time of 59.91. Paulina Karabelis was second again in 61.89 with Clancy claiming a third place tie with Kingswood's Cronin in 62.08. Gardella finished fifth overall and was the final Eagle scorer with her combined time of 62.30.

Also cracking the top 10 for the Eagles were Lemerise (sixth, 62.59), Welch (seventh, 63.03), Flavin (eighth, 65.63), Faye Roberts (ninth, 65.64) and Libby Karabelis (10th, 66.06).

Following Cronin's third place tie for the Knights was Meserve, who placed 12th overall in a time of 66.86. Sadie Meyer was third for the Knights in 17th place in 70.82 and Horne was the fourth scorer in 19th place in 70.90.

Leich finished out her clean sweep of the day with a first place finish in the final two runs, posting a time of 60.20. Clancy was third overall and the second Eagle in a time of 61.41, while Welch was the third Eagle scorer in 61.76 in fourth place. Lemerise rounded out the scoring with a fifth place finish in 61.88.

Paulina Karabelis (sixth, 62.17), Gardella (seventh, 62.30), Roberts (eighth, 64.17), Flavin (ninth, 64.54) and Libby Karabelis (10th, 64.80) also finished in the top 10.

Cronin raced her way to second place overall to pace the Knights, finishing in a time of 61.19. Meserve was second for Kingswood, finishing 12th overall in 65.86. Horne was 18th in 70.86 and MacDonald rounded out the scoring in 19th place in 71.81.

On the boys' side, Kennett's Jake VanDeursen won the first two runs with a time of 57.97, while teammate Michael Larson was second in 58.50. Matt Halupowski finished third in a time of 60.54 and Jeff Sires rounded out the Kennett scoring with a fourth place finish in 60.63.

Kurt Niiler (fifth, 60.75), Riley Lambert (sixth, 61.49), RJ Gray (eighth, 62.33) and Sam Getchell (ninth, 62.52) also finished in the top 10 for the Eagles.

For the Knights, Nate Braun was the top skier, as he placed seventh overall in a time of 61.84. Teammate Dan Cronin was 10th overall in 62.71, just one spot ahead of Sam Fagan, who clocked a 63.75. Tucker Jones finished 16th overall in 65,76 to grab the fourth scoring spot for Kingswood.

VanDeursen again took the top spot in the second two runs, finishing with a combined time of 56.50, while Larson was again second in 58.93 and Halupowski returned to third place in 59.07. Niiler (the son of Kingswood coach Kris Niiler) rounded out the scoring for Kennett with a fourth place finish in 59.99.

Lambert (sixth, 60.71), Sires (seventh, 60.75), Gray (eighth, 61.58), Getchell (ninth, 61.75) and Ben Garner (10th, 61.88) also cracked the top 10 for the Eagles.

Braun continued to lead the way for Kingswood, as he placed fifth overall in a time of 60.45. Cronin was 11th in 62.42, with Jones racing to 15th in 64.19 and Max Gustafson rounding out the scoring with a 16th place finish in 64.61.

For the final two runs, it was once again VanDeursen (56.10) and Larson (58.23) at the top of the leader board. Niiler raced to fourth place overall in a time 59.58 to earn the third Eagle scoring spot and Lambert was fifth in 59.65 to grab to the final scoring spot for Kennett.

Sires (sixth, 60.16), Gray (seventh, 60.78), Getchell (eighth, 60.90) and Garner (ninth, 60.91) also finished in the top 10.

For the Knights, Braun raced to third overall in a time of 59.15 to lead the way. Cronin was 10th overall in a time of 61.15, while Fagan raced to 12th place in a time of 62.23. Scott Chrysafidis rounded out the scoring for Kingswood with his time of 63.64, which placed him 15th overall.

Both the Knights and Eagles will return to action on Friday, Jan. 8, when they hit the slopes at Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway.

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