A year ago, Queensbury’s Tim Hughes missed the Section II Alpine skiing championships because of a hand injury.
The Spartan senior made up for that big time on Tuesday by winning both the slalom and giant slalom titles. First place in the girls’ races went to two Shenendehowa skiers, senior Melissa Dombroski in giant slalom and freshman Annie King in slalom.
Both team victors were repeat winners — Saratoga Springs for the boys and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake for the girls.
Saratoga’s win was no surprise, as the Blue Streaks had won six races during the regular season. The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake win was unexpected, considering the team’s best finish was a third, and the rest were fourths and fifths.
The surprises started in the morning.
Kirstin Swits of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 27th down the giant slalom course, posted the fastest time to that point, a 1:21.69. Dombroski was next, and she topped it with a 1:20.72. The two rival seniors were hoping for a 1-2 finish, but King, further down in the running order, grabbed first with a 1:20.72 clocking. King, however, was one of several skiers disqualified for mistakes on the course, so Dombroski and Swits were back in business. King’s disqualification moved Kelly Blackhurst of Johnsburg from fourth into third place.
Dombroski said the course was firm, but not icy, when she made her run.
“It seemed long and fast, though. I didn’t know when it was going to end,” she said.
Swits was the happiest girl on the podium, as she achieved her best finish ever in a high school ski race.
“It’s such a relief,” she said. “I’ve been consistently in eighth place all season, but I was really pumped up for this one.”
King bounced back in slalom in the afternoon, edging out Blackhurst by .29 seconds. Dombroski was third, 1.53 seconds behind Blackhurst.
King said she prefers straighter courses, and she found this one a little “turny.”
“I had a few problems with a few gates where I didn’t do as well as I hoped, but skiing is all about confidence,” she said.
The giant slalom was also a “best-ever” high school result for Will Dreyer of Saratoga Springs, the runnerup to Hughes in that race. A member of the Gore ski team, Dreyer said, “This [the Twister] is my favorite trail. I train on it all the time, and it’s perfect for my style. I can let my skis run, and really carry speed.”
Shenendehowa’s Alex Slemp took third in the race for his best finish this season. For his part, Hughes said he liked the course, even though it seemed a bit icier than it had during inspection.
Hughes’ winning time for slalom was 33.82. Second, with a 34.09, was Steve Brown of Shenendehowa, duplicating his finish in the same race last season. Defending champ Paul Dreyer of Saratoga Springs was third with a time of 34.80.
The Dreyer brothers paced Saratoga. Will added a fourth in slalom to his second in giant slalom; Paul was 13th in giant slalom as well as third in slalom. Dan Rittenhouse had a great day for the Streaks, landing a fourth in giant slalom and a fifth in slalom. Dave Scavone also helped the scoring with a seventh in slalom and a 17th in giant slalom.
Joining Swits on the winning Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake team were Jesse Burdett, fourth in slalom and fifth in giant slalom; Kelsey Cartwright, 14th in slalom and 17th in giant slalom; and Nora Munsey, 23rd in slalom and 29th in giant slalom.
Following the meets, the Section II teams going to the New York state championships were announced.
The boys’ squad consists of Hughes and John Underhill of Queensbury; both Dreyer brothers, Rittenhouse and J.B. Noonan of Saratoga; Dominic Weeber of Niskayuna; Brown and Slemp of Shenendehowa; Alex West of Lake George; Casey McPartlon of CBA; and Sam Spitalny of Albany Academy. Scavone of Saratoga is the alternate.
The girls’ team includes Shenendehowa’s King and Dombroski; Johnsburg’s Blackhurst; Liz Schwab of Saratoga; Swits, Burdett, Cartwright and Munsey of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake; MacKenzie Perkett of Lake George; and Brielle Korenowski of Stillwater. Saratoga’s Deirdre Howard is the alternate.
Combined team scores
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 101, Queensbury 113, Saratoga Springs 118, Shenendehowa 136, Lake George 173, Albany Academy 187, Johnsburg 190, Gloversville 336, Johnstown 340, Niskayuna 351, Glens Falls 402, Holy Names 406, Schuylerville 460, Catskill 555.
Melissa Dombroski (Shen) 1:20.72, Kirstin Swits (BH-BL) 1:21.69, Kelly Blackhurst (JB) 1:21.77, Liz Schwab (Sar) 1:22.04, Jesse Burdett (BH-BL) 1:22.28, MacKenzie Perkett (LG) 1:22.31, Brielle Korenowski (SW) 1:22.68, Deirdre Howard (Sar) 1:22.94, Kelsey Cioffi (N) 1:23.26. Alexis Hudson (Q) 1:23.91.
Annie King (Shen) 35.68, Blackhurst (JB) 35.97, Dombroski (Shen) 37.50, Burdett (BH-BL) 37.71, Hudson (Q) 38.26, Perkett (LG) 38.36, Swits (BH-BL) 38.51, Sarah Phillips (LG) 39.88, Michelle Bielak (AA) 41.11, Howard (Sar) 41.76.
Combined team scores
Saratoga Springs 54, Queensbury 79, Shenendehowa 137, Albany Academy 178, Niskayuna 204, LaSalle 207, Lake George 226, Johnstown 288, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 327, Glens Falls 395, Gloversville 412, Schuylerville 441, Catskill 638.
Tim Hughes (Q) 1:15.91, Will Dreyer (Sar) 1:15.98, Alex Slemp (Shen) 1:17.81, Dan Rittenhouse (Sar) 1:17.83, Steve Brown (Shen) 1:18.39, Dominic Weeber (N) 1:18.64, Sam Spitalny (AA) 1:18.92, John Underhill (Q) 1:19.51, Michael Murphy (Shen) 1:19.79, Richard Hancock (LS). 1:19.81.
Hughes (Q) 33.82, Brown (Shen) 34.04, P. Dreyer (Sar) 34.80, W. Dreyer (Sar) 35.21, Rittenhouse (Sar) 35.95, Casey McPartlon (CBA) 36.39, Dave Scavone (Sar) 36.77, Alex West (LG) 37.07, Spitalny (AA) 37.19, Tom Bishop (Sar) 37.86.
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: High School Sports