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Joyce Endee

Smith sweeps at state championships

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

MAs Joe Smith captured both events at the Division IV State Championship meet on Feb. 14. File Photo. (click for larger version)
February 20, 2012
WATERVILLE VALLEY The scary thing for the local Nordic ski scene is that Joe Smith still has an entire senior year of eligibility left in front of him.

The Moultonboro Academy junior put together quite a dominating day of skiing at the Division IV State Championship meet on Feb. 14, as Smith was the runaway winner in both the 5K classic and skate races held at Waterville Valley Resort.

Smith's time of 10 minutes, 24 seconds gave him a 31-second cushion over runner-up Matthias Marklin in the skate race, and he bettered that in the classic when his time of 11:50 was 39 seconds ahead of the next closest finisher to compete the two-race sweep and grab 200 points towards the team standings.

Ryan Boquist of Inter-Lakes High School was the next-best local finisher on the boys' side, as he continued his steady Nordic campaign with a pair of third place finishes and 196 total points for the Lakers. Boquist crossed in 12:32 in the classic race and 11:04 in the skate.

I-L had four more skiers record top 10 finishes on the day, as Robbie Wood was seventh in the classic and eighth in the skate, Bryce Frizzell was sixth in the skate, ninth in the classic, Derek Chase was 10th in the classic and John Findlay grabbed 10th in the skate.

The Lakers totaled 752 points on the day, putting them second overall in Division IV behind state champion Hopkinton (771), which had four skiers in the top six of the classic.

Smith's pair of victories helped the MA boys' team finish in third place on the day, as the Panthers accumulated 723 points, putting them ahead of fourth place Profile (699) and fifth place Derryfield (659). Sunapee and Gorham rounded out the seven-school field.

Nick Bennett was 11th overall (11:47) in the skate race for the Panthers, while Nate Bennett (13th) and TJ Marchand (23rd) were the other MA scorers in the race. The squad received points in the classic from Smith (first), Nate Bennett (11th), Marchand (14th) and Ian Bird (21st).

The girls' race saw the Inter-Lakes girls' team claim a third-place finish with 719.5 points, just two behind runner-up Derryfield School (721.5). Hopkinton earned the championship thanks to a commanding 777-point total. The MA girls' were fourth on the afternoon with 708.5 points while Profile rounded out the top five with 693.5.

MA senior Brianna McKinley had a strong final state championship meet, as she was fourth overall in both the classic and skate races. McKinley's time of 12:37 put her fourth in the skate behind winner Tess Hamilton of Hopkinton, and her time of 14:46 in the classic also had her fourth with Shannon Nadeau of Hopkinton claiming the top slot.

A trio of I-L skiers were next in line on the local front, as Annie Wilcox, Braelynne Morrow and Emelia Pendergast all performed well for the Lady Lakers. Wilcox was eighth in the skate (13:37) and ninth in the classic (15:51) while Morrow claimed eighth in the classic (15:43) and ninth in the skate (13:50). Pendergast was a solid third scorer for Inter-Lakes, as the freshman claimed 14th in the skate (14:45) and 11th in the classic (16:41). Samantha Chase rounded out the I-L scorers with a 20th place performance in the skate and a 16th place finish in the classic.

MA used different combinations of skiers behind McKinley in the classic and skate races, as the trio of Jerrica Davy (15th), Aberdeen Bird (tied 17th) and Gabby Smith (tied 17th) helped reach the Panther total of 355.5 points in the skate. Davy was 16th in the classic while Jasmin Buteau and Charlotte Chico were 18th and 21st, respectively.

MA's Smith and McKinley qualified for the Meet of Champions, to be held at Gunstock Mountain in Gilford on Saturday, Feb. 25. I-L had several qualifiers in the top 10, as Boquist, Wood, Frizzell, Chase and Findlay on the boys' side and Morrow and Wilcox on the girls' side made the cut.

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