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Joyce Endee

Pleeter, Stechers lead Eagle skiers

Senior Megan Pleeter first for Gilford at Gunstock

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Megan Pleeter was the top finisher for Gilford during giant slalom action Jan. 13 at Gunstock. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
January 16, 2012
GILFORD It certainly felt like a Friday the 13th for the Gilford High School and Belmont High School alpine ski teams on Jan. 13, as a rather eventful day of skiing at Gunstock Mountain saw the schools put together solid performances in a five-school giant slalom meet in chilly conditions.

The day got off to an inauspicious start, as poor weather in the morning saw host school Oyster River not able to make it to Gilford for the meet. Add in a 30-minute delay midrace due to timing glitches, and you have quite the formula for a kooky afternoon on the slopes. But the schools got through it, with both the boys' and girls' teams getting two runs a piece on the Ramrod course.

While Evan Cooke of Hollis-Brookline claimed the top spot in the boys' race, a pack of Gilford skiers wasn't far behind, led by Beck and Gunnar Stecher. Beck Stecher was fourth in the first run with a time of 27.61 seconds, and he moved up to claim the top spot in run number two at 27.53. Gunnar Stecher was just as consistent, as he was second in the first run (27.45) and third in the other (27.98). Teammate Tanner Howe was one spot behind the duo, as his combined time of 55.64 seconds consisted of a third and a fourth.

Keaton Quigley and Chester Fox also had top 10 finishes for the Golden Eagles, as the squad put seven of its nine racers in the top 16 in a talented field of competitors with traditional Division III powers Bow and Bishop Brady. That number also includes seniors Garrett Workman (12th) and Bryce Quigley (16th). Spencer McEvoy (23rd) and Bradley Bergman (43rd) also competed for Gilford on the afternoon.

The Belmont boys' team was once again led by junior stalwart Angelo Palmer, who finished an impressive fifth place with a combined time of 56.75 seconds. Palmer was seventh after the first run of the day, but improved thanks to a fifth-place showing in his second run.

The Red Raiders had eight skiers compete on the day, with a pack finishing bunched up in the middle of the final standings. Christopher Spooner-Bishop (26th), Taylor Cyr (28th), Jurrell Guild (29th), Austin Wilder (31st), Quentin Guild (34th), Logan Malone (37th) and Alvin Nix (44th) all completed two runs for Belmont.

The Gilford girls' had just six skiers compete, but the Eagles received solid performances from the top of the order, led by Megan Pleeter, who had the lowest combined time of any skier at 58.98 seconds. Pleeter was second in the first run (29.30) before claiming the top spot in the second run (29.68) in an outstanding afternoon on the slopes. Bow's Collette Gould and Bishop Brady's Jill Thomas rounded out the top three.

Teammate Caitlin Huston was fifth overall (1:00.65) for Gilford, as she had the third best time of run two after taking ninth her first time down the hill. Grace McLaughlin was the third Gilford skier in the top 10, as she was right behind Huston in sixth place at 1:00.71.

Emily Hauf was 13th overall (1:08.45) to help pace the squad, while Emily Watson (30th) and Kelly Gallant (42nd) also raced on the afternoon.

The Belmont girls' team also had six racers compete at Gunstock, led by Kayla Robbins, who took 21st overall with a combined time of 1:11.28. Kaitlyn Berry and Alex Heimlich went back-to-back in 25th and 26th for the Lady Raiders, while Alison Witschonke (32nd), Cory Heimlich (36th) and Alexa Robbins (38th) round out the Belmont scorers for the day.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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