KENNETT’S DANNY NASH carves a turn at King Pine on Dec. 21. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 26, 2011MADISON — Mother Nature may not have come through for the Kennett and Kingswood alpine ski teams, but King Pine Ski Area sure did.
The Madison ski hill cranked up its snowmaking during the weekend of Dec. 17 and 18, giving the Knights and Eagles enough space to run their traditional opening race of the season on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
"That's why we have the first one here," Kingswood coach Kris Niiler said. "Because we know we can pull it off here."
Kennett coach Laurel Zengilowski echoed those statements, as she noted that getting the first race in is key because there's always at least one cancellation down the pike somewhere.
"The important thing is, we got it in," she said. "We know we'll lose at least one (other meet) along the way."
The snow quality was great in the morning and the racers got in four runs each before breaking for lunch.
The weather turned rather nasty in the afternoon, with rain falling steadily, but the Knights and Eagles still got in another two runs. Two runs count as one race, so the teams raced three times on the day.
The Kennett kids swept the day, taking the top spots in all three races.
For the boys in the first race, Kennett's Matt Halupowski led the way with a time of 59.02 for his two runs, while Ben Garner came home second in 59.51. Danny Nash followed in third place in 61.05 and Danny MacDonald rounded out the scoring for Kennett with a time of 61.1.
Tyler Eldridge (fifth, 61.54), Luke Tinkham (sixth, 62.00), Grant Meserve (eighth, 62.4), Adam Wright (ninth, 62.75) and Thomas Chant (10th, 64.08) all finished in the top 10 for the first two runs.
Tucker Jones led the Knight boys, as he finished seventh overall in a time of 62.3 seconds. Alec Kalled raced to 13th in 66.11, followed closely by Sam Mason in 14th in 66.14 and Erik Fredrickson in 15th place in 68.6.
For the second two runs, it was Halupowski again out in front, as he raced to a time of 58.67, just edging out Garner, who crossed in 58.68. Nash was third again in 60.43 and MacDonald again came home fourth in 61.39.
Eldridge (fifth, 61.74), Wright (seventh, 62.02), Tinkham (eighth, 62.24), Meserve (ninth, 63.3) and Jon Saxby (10th, 63.5) all finished in the top 10 for the second two runs.
Jones was again the top Knight, as he skied to sixth place in a time of 61.9 seconds, with Kalled again finishing second for Kingswood in 13th overall in 65.88 seconds. Mason finished 14th in 65.92 and Peter Gibson was 15th in 68.07.
In the final two runs before lunch, it was Halupowski again leading the way, posting a combined time of 57.53, with Garner again taking second in 58.47. Nash took third again, this time in 58.99 and Wright skied to fourth in 59.66
Tinkham (fifth, 59.99), Eldridge (sixth, 60.28), MacDonald (seventh, 60.77), Meserve (ninth, 61.15) and Saxby (10th, 61.61) all cracked the top 10.
Jones continued as Kingswood's top skier, finishing in 61.04 to take eighth place. Mason was 13th in 64.54, with Kalled right behind in 14th in 64.58 and Gibson rounding out the scoring in 15th in 64.84.
For the girls, Kennett's Elizabeth Welch led the way in the first two runs, posting a combined time of 61.63. Elyse Clancy came home second in 62.57 and Faye Roberts was third in 62.69. Brooke Lemerise rounded out the scoring in 63.82 seconds.
"Molly Van Deursen (fifth, 64.05), Keara Wagner (seventh, 66.02), Kayla Morin (eighth, 66.38), Brook Deshaies (ninth, 67.93) and Abigail Kelly (10th, 68.69) all finished in the top 10.
Senior Mandy Cronin led the way for the Knight ladies, finishing sixth in 64.05. Sadie Meyer was 14th in a time of 69.97, with Carly Donovan in 20th in 73.23 and Shayla Willette finishing 23rd in 79.14.
For the second two runs, Welch again led the way in 62.71 with Clancy in second in 62.82. Van Deursen skied to third in 63.8 and Lemerise was fourth in a time of 64.59.
Wagner (sixth, 66.97), Libby Karabelis (seventh, 66.98), Gillian Wilcox (eighth, 67.08), Sarah Smith (ninth, 67.62) and Paulina Karabelis (10th, 67.95) all finished in the top 10.
Cronin led the way for the Knights with a fifth place finish in a time of 65.22, with Meyer taking 15th place in 69.96. Donovan was 19th in 73.7 and Willette was 23rd in 78.48.
For the final two runs, Clancy took the victory with a time of 60.78, while Welch was second in 60.95. Roberts finished third in 62.35 and Lemerise earned her third fourth place finish in 62.45.
Van Deursen (fifth, 62.54), Wagner (seventh, 65.38), Morin (eighth, 65.56), Deshais (ninth, 65.88) and Kelly (10th, 66.28) also finished in the top 10.
Cronin was sixth to lead Kingswood, posting a time of 62.8, while Donovan was 18th in 70.06. Willette finished in 74.69 for 22nd place and Laura Blocher was 24th in 75.71.
Both the Knights and Eagles will return to action on Jan. 6 for a meet at Cranmore.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126