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Joyce Endee

Eagle girls bring DII title back to Valley

TAYLOR GARDELLA was Kennett’s second skier in the giant slalom and the slalom (pictured) at Thursday’s State Meet. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 15, 2011
NORTH CONWAY — Last year the Kennett alpine girls saw the Division II title slip away with a couple of tough slips on their home slope.

This year, they weren't going to let that happen again.

In what was quite possibly the best-run State Meet in years, the Kennett girls rolled to victory, besting defending champion Plymouth and recapturing the Division II title on Thursday, Feb. 10.

"They all knew what they had to do," said coach Laurel Zengilowski. "Last year left a little sour taste in their mouths.

"Losing because you fell is something you don't forget," she continued. "Enough of the girls are repeats from last year and they laid it all out there."

In the morning giant slalom, which was completed in less than an hour and a half, thanks in part to the crack Cranmore race crew, Katie Burton was Kennett's top skier, as she raced to second place overall with a time of 80.96 for the two runs.

Taylor Gardella finished fourth overall and second among Kennett skiers with a time of 81.97.

Close behind her was Amber McPherson, who skied to fifth place in 82.03.

Paulina Karabelas wrapped up the scoring for the Eagles with her eighth place finish in a time of 83.03.

Emily Leich (11th, 84.95) also completed the two runs for the Eagles. Molly Van Deursen had a strong first run of 41.96, but crashed out of the second run.

The girls returned to the hill for the afternoon slalom and again the two runs were completed in less than an hour and a half.

McPherson led the Kennett girls, as she placed second overall in a time of 68.03.

Gardella again placed second among Kennett skiers, racing to third place in 71.94.

Leich picked up Kennett's third place with a fifth place finish in 74.05.

Annabella Canter rounded out the scoring for the Eagles with her seventh place finish in 75.99.

Karabelas (ninth, 77.01) also finished both runs for the Eagles.

Burton had a strong second run of 39.99, but missed a gate on her first run and didn't record a time.

When the points were calculated, the Eagles had a 60-point win over Plymouth, 772-712 and had the championship plaque back in Kennett hands.

"Not a bad week at all," Zengilowski stated.

The Kennett head coach was also quick to praise Cranmore and race director Doug MacDonald for their great work.

"Cranmore did a fantastic job," the Eagle coach said. "Doug and I talked all week, which helped it run as smooth as possible.

"We can't thank them (Cranmore) enough for all they do," Zengilowski noted.

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