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Busy week for Kingswood skiers

Knight alpine and cross-country kids tackle Division II State Meets

MAX GUSTAFSON powers through a giant slalom gate at Waterville Valley on Feb. 9. (click for larger version)
February 15, 2010
WOLFEBORO — It was a busy week for the Kingswood ski team, as the Knights competed in the Division II alpine and cross-country state meets over the course of three days.

Alpine boys

The week started with the alpine boys making the trip to Waterville Valley for the Division II State Meet hosted by Plymouth Regional High School.

Skiers and spectators were treated to a perfect day from Mother Nature and the Knights came away with some solid results, placing sixth among the 14 Division II teams.

The skiers opened the day with the giant slalom, with each competitor getting two runs on the course and the combined time being used to place the skiers in order.

Leading the way for Kingswood was senior Dan Cronin. He raced to a combined time of 71.82 to take 16th place overall.

Next in line for Kingswood was senior Nate Braun, who finished 26th overall with his combined time of 74.67.

Freshman Tucker Jones raced to 33rd overall with a time of 77.73 and Max Gustafson rounded out the scoring for Kingswood with a time of 78.21 for 36th place.

Sam Fagan finished 45th overall in 80.69 and Scott Chrysafidis had a great second run after falling on his first run and finished 68th in 127.28.

The teams returned to the hill in the afternoon for the slalom, where the Knights bettered their morning results, taking fifth place.

Cronin was again the top Knight, as he raced to 19th place overall in 66.80 seconds.

Jones moved up to second among the Kingswood skiers with his time of 69.19, which placed him 24th overall.

Braun was the third scorer for the Knights with a time of 71.99 for 29th place.

Chrysafidis bounced back from his tough giant slalom to record two solid runs of slalom to take 35th place in a time of 75.15 to round out the scoring for coach Kris Niiler's troops.

Fagan was 45th in 82.43 and Peter Gibson rounded out the Knight skiers in 51st place in 84.18.

The Knights finished only one point out of fourth place in the afternoon slalom, netting 309 points to Bedford's 310.

When the final points were tallied, combining the slalom and the giant slalom, Kingswood finished sixth overall, just three points out of fifth place. Kennett led the way with 774.5 points, followed by Plymouth with 749.5 points. Bedford was third with 637 points and Hollis-Brookline took fourth with 630 points. Souhegan was fifth with 616 points and Kingswood netted 613 for sixth. St. Thomas, Lebanon, Oyster River, Con-Val, Milford, Laconia, Hanover and John Stark rounded out the field of teams.


The cross-country Knights traveled to North Conway's Whitaker Woods on Wednesday, Feb. 10, for their state meet.

Coach Tom Merrell had six girls and six boys entered in each race and the day began with the girls' classical race.

Leading the way for Kingswood in that race was Haley Heinrich, who raced to 22nd place overall I a time of 21:13. Hannah Benson of Kennett was the winner, finishing in 16:29.

Caitlyn Brooks was close behind her teammate, finishing 24th overall in a time of 21:23 to place as the second Knight on the morning.

Hanne Heinrich was the third scorer for Kingswood, as she clocked in at 22:42 for a 33rd place finish overall.

Kelsey Trites rounded out the scoring for Kingswood with a 35th place finish in a time of 23:06.

Amanda Langer (43rd, 28:11) and Hanna Zdrnja (45th, 29:48) also skied for the Knights.

The Knight girls skied to fifth overall in the morning classical race, edging out Con-Val by two and a half points.

The boys took to the course next for their classical race and senior Ben Donahue led the way, finishing 27th overall with a time of 17:57. Winner Sean Doherty of Kennett clocked in at 14:06.

Alex Fernald was second for the Knight boys with a time of 18:26 for 31st place.

Chris Brooks clocked in with a time of 18:29 to grab 33rd place and record the third Knight score.

Matt Lounsbury rounded out the scoring with a 37th place finish in a time of 19:13.

Austin Beveridge (47th, 21:09) and Tyler Tozier (48th, 21:26) rounded out the field for the Knights, who placed seventh overall.

After a break to let the course set and competitors grab a bite to eat, the racers returned to the Whitaker Woods trails for the freestyle race.

The girls went out first, with Brooks leading the way for the Knight ladies with a strong 15th place finish in 17:56. Hanover's Emily Nice won the race in 14:07.

Haley Heinrich was next for Kingswood with her time of 19:55, which put her 31st overall.

Trites skied to 34th place in a time of 20:30 and Hanne Heinrich rounded out the scoring for Kingswood with a 37th place finish in 21:11.

Langer (45th, 28:12) and Zdrnja (46th, 33:11) also skied for the Knights.

Kingswood's 311 points in the afternoon race placed them sixth, but they edged out Con-Val in the overall standings to take fifth place with 326.5 points. Hanover won the title and Lebanon took second place.

The boys then hit the trail for their freestyle race and again it was Donahue leading the way for Kingswood. He finished 30th overall in 15:46. Doherty picked up the win in an impressive time of 12:19.

Lounsbury was second for Kingswood, finishing 36th in 16:23, with Brooks right on his heels in 37th place in 16:27. Fernald rounded out the scoring with a 39th place finish in 17:22.

Beveridge (45th, 18:16) and Tozier (49th, 20:15), a first-year skier, rounded out the field for the Knights.

Kingswood placed eighth in the afternoon run and took eighth overall for the competition, with Hanover grabbing the title and Souhegan taking second place.

Alpine girls

Coach Kris Niiler is fond of saying that Division II is the top division for skiing in the state, and there are few people who would argue that fact.

With that in mind, she figures that placing in the top half of the best division in the state is a good accomplishment for her team.

After the Knight boys skied to sixth place (out of 14 teams) in their state meet, it was the girls' turn to crack the top seven on Thursday, Feb. 11, at Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway.

The day opened with the giant slalom, which ran from the top of the race course, dropping down under the chairlift before finishing up just above the finish shack.

Mandy Cronin came out strong from the beginning and led the way for the Knight girls with a ninth place finish in a time of 87.71 for her two runs.

Grace Meserve was next for the Knights, taking 28th place in 101.35.

Sadie Meyer was the third Knight scorer, as she crossed the finish line in 32nd place in 103.61, just a smidge ahead of teammate Megan Horne, who raced to 33rd place in 103.79 to round out the scoring for the Knights.

Alex Lomas finished 38th in 106.29 while Alison MacDonald had a tough fall on her second run and finished 67th overall in 128.86.

For the morning, the Knights finished sixth overall, just nine points out of fifth place.

The teams returned to the slope for the afternoon slalom and again it was Cronin leading the way for the Kingswood girls. The sophomore clocked in at 76.36 for an 11th place finish overall.

Meyer was second for Kingswood, taking 30th place overall in 94.31, while Meserve was third for the Knights in 95.40, which placed her 31st overall. Horne rounded out the scoring with a 33rd place finish in 97.44.

Lomas was 52nd in 109.65 and MacDonald was unable to finish her second run after a solid first run time of 47.6 seconds.

The Knights again placed sixth, just four points out of fifth place and when the total points were tallied up, Niiler's troops had picked up a solid sixth place finish. Plymouth was the overall winner, edging Kennett by three points, while Hanover took third, Oyster River was fourth and Souhegan was fifth. Bedford, St. Thomas, Hollis-Brookline, Con-Val, Laconia, John Stark, Lebanon and Milford rounded out the field.

With her ninth place finish in the giant slalom, Cronin earned an invitation to the Meet of Champions, which takes place at Cannon Mountain on March 3. She is eligible to race in both the giant slalom and slalom.

Martin Lord Osman
Brewster Academy
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