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Division I Nordic: High five for Tide x-c teams

  • Concord's Michealla Conery competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Concord's Michealla Conery competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Concord's Erin Waters placed first in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Concord's Erin Waters placed first in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Concord's Nate LaTourette competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Concord's Nate LaTourette competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Concord competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Concord competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Concord's Michealla Conery competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Concord's Erin Waters placed first in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Concord's Nate LaTourette competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Concord competed in the Division I Nordic Ski Championships at Waterville Valley on Thursday morning, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

Four races, three individual titles, two state championships. All in a day’s work for the Concord High Nordic ski teams.

Both the Crimson Tide boys’ and girls’ teams won their fifth straight Division I state championships yesterday with a dominant performance at Waterville Valley, meaning the seniors on the team have known nothing but championships during their high school years.

The girls totaled 778 points to easily outdistance Manchester Central (719.5) and Keene (709.5). Bedford (697), Bishop Guertin (694), Manchester West (608) and Manchester Memorial (565) rounded out the field. The boys accumulated 771 points to beat runner-up Keene (738). Bedford (724), Central (380) and Merrimack (177) completed the team scoring.

For the program, the boys won for the seventh time in eight years and the girls won for the sixth time in seven years.

“I don’t know how much pressure the students feel,” Concord Coach Scott Betournay said. “But I think they appreciate the results of their hard work.”

That hard work, in addition to regular team workouts, also included a ski camp in Pinkham Notch during Christmas break, when the team got nearly a month’s worth of on-snow time packed into four days.

The rewards came yesterday, when Concord skiers won three of the four Division I races.

Nate LaTourette, who finished second in both the classic and skate races a year ago as a sophomore, climbed to the top of the podium after both races this year to lead the Tide. He won the classic race in 12:51 and the skate race in 10:43, nearly a minute ahead of Central’s John Kelley, the runner-up.

“He’s been a strong skier throughout the season,” Betournay said of LaTourette.

Senior Blaine Ayotte, a two-time individual champion last year, finished just two seconds behind LaTourette in the classic race for a 1-2 Tide finish. Senior Tyler Ford took fourth in the discipline in 14:02, while Josh Pifer completed the scoring in seventh in 15:20. Though Sam Brown didn’t figure in the team scoring, he did turn in a top-10 finish, taking ninth in 15:38.

In the skate discipline, Ford was third in 11:52, with Pifer fifth (12:44) and Tobi Eckers 15th (15:27).

Concord’s girls also landed two skiers on the podium in both disciplines, even after losing their top three skiers from a season ago. Sophomore Erin Waters won the classic race in 15:27, a full 28 seconds ahead of Central’s Elizabeth Conway, and was runner-up in the skate race in 13:19, just three seconds behind Conway, to pace the Tide.

“It’s what we’d hoped for,” Betournay said of Waters’s top finishes.

Junior Sabrina Lawrence was third in the classic race in 16:56, with freshman Kate Andy fourth (16:58) and freshman Fiona MacWhinnie sixth (17:30). In the skate race, Andy took third in 13:54, with Lawrence fifth (14:40) and freshman Michealla Conery sixth (14:51).

Just how dominant was the Tide? All six of Concord’s skiers finished in the top eight in the skate race and top 10 in the classic. Zoe Honigberg was seventh in the skate (15:16) with Olivia Cattabriga eighth (15:19), while Conery was seventh in the classic (17:31) with Misheal Khan 10th (19:22).

“Many of us were thinking this is an ideal high school race course,” Betournay said of the Waterville Valley trail. “It has some flats, some rollings, a good hill that tops out with a steep pitch, then a nice downhill with some corners and a fun descent.”

An ideal course that led to ideal finishes for the Tide.

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