Bow Nordic teams continue Division III dominance
Bow's Kevin McCully, right, waits at the finish line while cheering on teammates after finishing the Division III Nordic Ski Championships held at Gunstock on Tuesday, February 13, 2013.
(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
Bow's Naomi Kramer takes off from the starting line while competing in the Division III Nordic Ski Championships held at Gunstock on Tuesday, February 13, 2013. Kramer won the race.
(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
Naomi Kramer left a sliver of doubt last year at the Division III Nordic championships. She left none this time around.
The Bow junior finished first in dominating fashion in both the freestyle and classical races (she was first in the freestyle but second in the classical last winter) to lead the Falcons to their fourth straight D-III title yesterday at Gunstock.
“She has turned up her level of skiing in the last few weeks,” Bow Coach Chris Naimie said. “And she really turned it up today and skied phenomenally.”
The Bow boys didn’t have a superstar like Kramer to lean on, but they still won their fourth D-III title in the last five years.
“The story for the boys was they didn’t place anybody in the top three, but placed everybody in the top 10,” Naimie said. “They’ve all been motivated to be fast and to be fast together. They’ve been doing that all year and they did it again today.”
Kramer started her day by winning the classical race in 16:44, a staggering 1:10 ahead of her nearest competitor, Gilford’s Sophie Czerwinski. Bow sophomore Lilly Naimie, the coach’s daughter, was just four seconds behind Czerwinski to take third.
The freestyle race was a little bit tighter, but Kramer still finished 24 seconds ahead of Jackie Kleinschrodt of White Mountains (14:24-14:48). Naimie also took third in this race, finishing in 15:12.
While Kramer and Naimie have been consistent forces all season, and among the best in the state as they showed last week by finishing in the top 10 in the NH Series race (Kramer was sixth, Naimie 10th), the rest of the Falcons were more like unknowns heading into yesterday’s event. But the unknowns rose to the occasion.
Ana Urbina, in particular, stepped up as she took fifth in the classical and seventh in the freestyle. Lindsey Reynolds struggled in the morning race, but she bounced back to take ninth in the afternoon freestyle. And Christine Mitchell had her best race of the season to claim eighth in the classical.
All those results added up to 771 team points for the Bow girls, which put them well ahead of second-place White Mountains (754). Kearsarge finished third with 708 and Belmont (163) was seventh.
Arianna Stokes led Kearsarge, finishing fifth in freestyle and ninth in classical and qualifying for the Meet of Champions for both in the process (the top 10 qualify). Emmaline Keene (16th freestyle, 19th classical), Svetlana Kozikowski (18th classical, 20th freestyle) and Kayleigh Davis (17th classical) also scored for the Cougars.
Belmont’s points came from Carol Lipshultz, who was 27th in the freestyle and 28th in classical.
The team scores were closer on the boys’ side, where Bow finished with 757, White Mountains took second with 745.5 and Fall Mountain was third with 730. Kearsarge (515) wound up fifth and Belmont (164) was sixth.
The Falcons had a feeling things would turn out that close after the morning classical race, which finished with them 6.5 points ahead of White Mountains and nine up on Fall Mountain.
“Just before the freestyle race the two captains (Kevin McCully and Thomas Cleary) got everyone together and were talking about how hard they worked to accomplish what they were trying to accomplish and getting everyone enthused for the race,” Coach Naimie said. “I started to walk over there with my assistant and to talk to them, but we just stopped and let them take care of it.”
And after the talk, the Falcons took care of it on the course. Mitch Blair (fourth), Cleary (fifth) and McCully (sixth) finished ahead of all but the top skiers from White Mountains and Fall Mountain in the freestyle race, and Jeff Andrew (eighth) sealed the win as he snuck across the finish line just ahead of two White Mountains skiers.
“You have to win all those little battles, and it seemed like our guys skied on the positive side of all those matchups and gaps,” Naimie said. “If they hadn’t, that freestyle race could have gone to White Mountains.”
In the morning’s classical race, McCully (fourth), Blair (fifth), Cleary (eighth) and Andrew (10th) scored for Bow.
Kearsarge’s points came from Conor Terhune (ninth classical, 19th freestyle), Peter Martin (19th classical, 20th freestyle) and Keatton Hansen (21st classical, 22nd freestyle). Devon Kenney (25th in both races) scored for Belmont.
D- IV BOYS’ ALPINE
Hopkinton’s James McCluskey and Jake Hemmerlein turned in four quality runs to lead the Hawks to a fourth-place result at Cannon Mountain. Lin-Wood finished with 733 points to edge out Profile (730) and win its fourth title in six years. Gorham (723) took third, followed by Hopkinton (700) and Littleton (617).
Hemmerlein was second overall in the slalom with a two-run combined time of 78.81, just .06 behind the winner, Profile’s Tyler Doyle. McCluskey was third, .35 behind Doyle. McCluskey finished fourth in the giant slalom and Hemmerlein took sixth.
Hopkinton’s other points came from Austin Cowan (11th slalom), Etienne Fontaine (34th GS), and Cam DeBrusk (31st slalom, 29th GS).