No crystal ball is needed to predict that Queensburywill dominate Nordic events at the Section II Skiing Championships next week.
Things are less certain on the
Alpine side, although favorites have taken shape during the regular invitational season.
Alpine events, slalom and giant slalom, will be staged Tuesday at Gore Mountain in North Creek, with cross country racing at Lapland Lake in Benson on Wednesday.
In Nordic racing, Queensbury has dominated both girls’ and boys’ events with perfect scores in most races, meaning sweeps of the first three places for a score of six. One meet remains on the regular-season schedule, today’s Glens Falls/Lake George Invitational.
In girls’ Nordic, Johnsburg has finished second to Queensbury in every meet. Guilderland has been third three times, with Shenendehowa third twice and Lake George third once.
Queensbury freshman Carly Wynn has skied off with all six invitational titles, with her teammate, senior Shannon Mulshine, second each time. Third-place finishes have been registered three times by Queensbury freshman Danielle Winslow and once by her teammate, junior Chelsea O’Reilly. Queensbury junior Juliann Lajoie has been just off the podium, finishing fourth three times and fifth once.
Holly Osowiecki, a Johnsburg sophomore, has been the only non-Spartan able to make the
podium, finishing third in the opening Johnsburg meet and again in Johnstown’s Ahearn Memorial race Jan. 31. Top-10 threats also include junior Hannah Jay and sophomores Emily Burns and Addie Bruce of Johnsburg.
In boys’ cross country team scoring, Johnsburg was second to Queensbury in every meet but one, when Glens Falls was able to push into the runner-up spot. Glens Falls was also third in four other meets, with Lake George and Guilderland following in order.
Queensbury junior Kevin Sprague is leading the Spartans with four wins, a third and a fourth to his credit. The other two top spots went to Sprague’s classmate, Pat Carroll, the defending Section II cross country champion.
Queensbury senior Alex Benway has been runner-up in every meet except the Ahearn Memorial, in which he finished third. Other Queensbury skiers close to the top include seniors Matt Flint and Sean Barber.
Senior Peter Morehouse of Johnsburg has been the only skier
able to break up the Spartan’s
1-2-3 party in invitational meets. He did that in the opening meet when he finished third. Morehouse and senior Steve Veldman have since finished consistantly in the top 10 for Johnsburg.
Other skiers who have turned in top-10 invitational performances include junior Dan Stevens of
Scotia-Glenville, junior Jon Williams of Queensbury, sophomore Steven Petramale and freshman Willie Underwood of Lake George and seniors Dan Johnston, Rob Kristel and Guy Sawyer from Glens Falls.
Queensbury has won three of six invitational team titles this season, with defending Section II champion Shenendehowa winning two. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake took first in the Ahearn Memorial last Saturday
after finishing with thirds, fourths and fifths in the previous contests.
Two skiers will be defending their 2007 Alpine titles — Holy Names sophomore Paige Chardavoyne in slalom and Queensbury senior Katie Hughes in giant
Trying to keep them from scoring repeats will be Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake senior Erika Swits, who missed the Section II Championships last season because of USSA schedule conflicts.
Chardavoyne and Swits each have three invitational wins this season and Hughes has two, so the sectionals will be a scramble.
Other girls with top-five finishes who will be waiting for openings include juniors Melissa Dombroski and Melanie Scuderi of Shenendehowa, senior Allix Beauchamp and junior Kelsey Cioffi of Niskayuna, sophomore Liz Schwab of Saratoga Springs, juniors Kirstin Swits and Jesse Burdett of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, senior Liz Schumacher of Holy Names and sophomore Kelly Blackhurst of Johnsburg.
Defending Section II champ Saratoga Springs has the best record in invitational team competition, having won five of the six meets during the regular season. The Blue Streaks’ only blemish was a half-point loss to Queensbury in the Saratoga Invitational.
Queensbury, Shenendehowa and Albany Academy will likely be Saratoga’s keenest competitors, with each team landing the runner-up spot once or twice at invitationals.
Saratoga is led by junior twin brothers Paul and Will Dreyer, who have placed regularly in the top five. Paul has won four of the eight individual races, including the slalom and giant slalom events at the Ahearn Memorial last Saturday. Other skiers hoping to score sectional points for Saratoga are sophomores Jon Noonan, Todd Chatterton and David Scavone, junior Tom Bishop and seniors Chris Pehl and Patrick Howard.
Defending his Section II slalom title will be senior Connor Lee of Niskayuna. Lee has six top-three finishes this season, including a win, four seconds and a third.
Skiers who have landed top- five in invitationals include senior John Bennett of Queensbury, junior Steve Brown of Shenendehowa, eighth-grader Jake Jacobs of Glens Falls, sophomore Casey McPartlon of CBA, seniors Peter Maloy and Kirby Daly of Albany Academy and sophomore Michael Galgay of Berne-Knox-Westerlo.
Queensbury will be hurt by the absence of junior Tim Hughes, a top-three skier who will miss the sectionals with a hand injury.
Kitty Gelberg of the Schenectady Wintersports Club and Bill Zimmerman of the Albany Ski Club took Class I honors at the Albany Ski Club Giant Slalom Invitational at West Mountain on Saturday.
Gelberg won the two run race with a combined time of 95.98. Second with a time of 99.62 was Chris Phillips of the Out of Control Ski Club. O.C. skier Beth Huntley was third in 105.69.
Zimmerman had the fastest time for both runs to win the Class I men’s race with a total time of 77.29. He was followed in order by two Albany Ski Club teammates, Dave Vanderzee in 78.89 and Cannon Bailey in 79.67.
The top three finishers in order in other classes were:
Class II women — Maria Lattanzio (OC), Jean Dudley (ASC); Class II men — Dick Moir (OC), Steven Svoboda (OC), Hassan Dibadj (OC); Vet women — Mary Beaulac (ASC), Dorie Valenti (SWC), Brenda Grober (OC); Vet men — Mark Pavlus (OC), Dean Palen (ASC), Barry Maday (ASC); Women super vet — Anna Dugan (SWC); Men super vet — Clif Mark (ASC), Tom Weiss (OC), Mike Karl (ASC); Juniors — Z.Z. Salvador (OC), Peter Valenti (SWC), Matt Enny (SWC).
The Albany Ski club won the Class I men’s trophy with the O.C. Ski Club first for Class II women. The O.C. Ski Club won both Class II divisions and the overall title.
BECKMANN AT WEST
Chris Beckmann of Altamont, a member of the U.S. ski team, made a surprise appearance at West Mountain on Sunday, signing
autographs and handing out awards to winners of a J4 slalom (ages
Beckmann had just returned from Europe, where he won a
Europa Cup super-G and finished seventh and ninth in two other
Europa Cup races.
The top-three J4 girls at West were Sierra Spring (Gore), Amy Slemp (Gore) and Hannah Feinberg (Whiteface). The top three boys were Sean Madden (Whiteface), Ian Hauser (Whiteface) and David Meola (Gore).