KURT NIILER burns through a giant slalom gate during action at King Pine Jan. 20. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 23, 2012MADISON — Kingswood alpine coach Kris Niiler is fond of saying "it's always a good day at King Pine."
Friday, Jan. 20, she hit the nail right on the head, as perfect weather, great snow conditions and solid racing led to a great day of action between Kennett, Kingswood, Moultonborough and Gorham.
With her school in exam week, Kennett coach Laurel Zengilowski was without many of her racers for the morning giant slalom, but returned a full team for the afternoon slalom.
Kennett had just two skiers complete both runs of the morning giant slalom, but they took the top two spots, as Brooke Lemerise skied to a time of 1:02.97 and Molly Van Deursen was next at 1:03.72.
The Gorham girls managed to win the team score in the morning, besting Kingswood by 5.5 points.
The Knights were led by Mandy Cronin, who skied to a fourth place finish in a combined time of 1:05.32, while Sadie Meyer was just one spot behind, finishing in fifth place in 1:09.7.
Carly Donovan was the third Knight scorer, as she placed 12th in 1:15.09 and Alex Lomas rounded out the scoring for the Knights with a time of 1:15.7, which placed her 13th overall.
For the boys, the Eagles had only three skiers for the morning giant slalom and they took the top three places.
Ben Garner was the winner in a time of 59.65, while Kurt Niiler finished second in 59.88 and Jacob Remick rounded out the top three in 1:01.55.
The Gorham boys picked up the morning win, besting Kingswood by 10 points.
The Knights were led by Alec Kalled, who skied to fifth place overall in a time of 1:02.95, while Sam Mason was the second scorer, finishing ninth in a time of 1:06.35.
Peter Gibson was the third Kingswood scorer, as he placed 11th in 1:07.36 and Tyler Mills rounded out the scoring with his 14th place finish in a time of 1:08.67.
After both runs were complete, the skiers actually completed a third run of giant slalom just for fun.
For the girls, Lemerise won that run as well, finishing in 30.51, with Van Deursen finishing third in 31.68 seconds. Cronin finished in fourth in 31.99 seconds and Meyer was fifth in 33.57 seconds. Donovan skied to seventh in 35.61, the only other Kingswood girl in the top 10.
For the boys in the extra run, Garner led the way in a time of 28.80 seconds, while Niiler was third in 29.66 seconds. Kingswood's Tucker Jones was third in 30.20 seconds and teammate Alec Kalled came home sixth in 30.99.
In the afternoon, the attention turned to the slalom and with a full team in tact, the Eagle boys and girls skied to victory.
For the girls, Kennett bested Gorham by a 394 to 367 tally, taking the top four spots on the afternoon.
Lemerise was the winner in a combined time of 1:01.53, with Libby Karabelas skiing to second in 1:02.2 and Van Deursen taking third in 1:03.31. Kayla Morin rounded out the scoring with a time of 1:04.2 for fourth place.
Keara Wagner (sixth, 1:07.17), Paulina Karabelas (seventh, 1:07.45) and Elyse Clancy (10th, 1:10.68) also cracked the top 10 for slalom.
The Kingswood girls finished just two points behind Gorham in third place.
Cronin again was the top scorer, racing to fifth place in 1:06.96, while Meyer was 11th overall in a time of 1:11.78.
Laura Blocher came in as the third Knight scorer in a time of 1:19.21, which placed her 18th, and Lomas was again the fourth scorer, placing 20th in 1:20.98.
For the boys, Kennett bested Kingswood by 20 points to take the win.
Remick was the winner, finishing first overall in a time of 56.36 seconds. Niiler again skied to second place, finishing in 57.07 seconds.
Danny MacDonald skied to fourth place in 57.51 seconds and Garner rounded out the scoring with a fifth place finish in 58.06 seconds.
Lucas Tinkham (sixth, 58.95), Tyler Eldridge (eighth, 1:00.58), Adam Wright (ninth, 1:00.69) and Grant Meserve (10th, 1:02.25) also finished in the top 10.
The Kingswood boys were again led by Kalled, who came home third overall in a time of 57.41 seconds. Jones finished seventh overall in a time of one minute, flat.
Mills was the team's third scorer, as he placed 21st in 1:11.62 and Gibson rounded out the scoring with a time of 1:14.62, which placed him in 22nd place.
Both the Eagles and Knights will be at Waterville Valley on Friday, Jan. 27, for a 9:30 a.m. meet hosted by Plymouth.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126