Concord freshman Mika Taylor wins state slalom title as Tide girls’ Alpine finishes 2nd in D-I


Monitor staff

Published: 02-16-2023 10:30 PM

Winning a state title at any age is impressive. Doing it as a freshman is even more so. That’s exactly what Concord High School freshman Mika Taylor did, posting the two fastest slalom runs of the day to win the individual title in that discipline, and senior Hannah Golden also qualified for the Meet of Champions in both slalom and giant slalom to lead the Crimson Tide to second place at the Division I Alpine ski championships at Mount Sunapee on Monday.

Bedford topped the team standings in both the GS (368) and slalom (376) for a combined total of 744. Concord scored 356 in both events to tally 712, a sizable margin over third-place Winnacunnet (678) and fourth-place Bishop Guertin (673).

The Tide improved on its fourth-place finish from last season.

“We knew Bedford would be the team to beat,” Concord head coach George Golden said, referring to a Bulldogs program that was runner-up to Portsmouth last year but won four straight titles from 2018-21.

“The Concord girls gave it 100% and, as a coach, I can’t ask for more than that. In the end, Bedford was the stronger team today, and their girls skied great and earned it.”

Bishop Guertin’s Elena Ellia won the morning GS session with a combined time of 59.72 seconds, with Taylor (1:02.75) and Golden (1:02.87) finishing ninth and 10th, respectively, to qualify for the Meet of Champions. Tide junior Charlotte Summerlin (12th) and sophomore Lilly Merrill (17th) weren’t far behind.

But Taylor turned up the heat in the afternoon slalom runs, clocking a 28.52 on her first run and an even faster 28.31 on her second attempt for a combined title-winning time of 56.83 seconds.

“It was a great accomplishment for her,” coach Golden said. “She should be really proud of herself, especially since the competition in D-I is really strong this year. Not too often does a freshman get on the podium at the championships, never mind win.”

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Nashua South’s Brynn Tefft was second in 57.74, while Golden (seventh), Merrill (19th) and freshman Emma Pelletier (22nd) completed Concord’s scoring.

While Taylor’s career as a skier for the Crimson Tide is just taking off, captain Golden, the coach’s daughter, has one more chance to ski in a Concord uniform before donning a jersey for St. Joseph’s College in Maine next year.

“Hannah has been a consistent leader since her freshman year, scoring points in every race but one over the four years on the team,” coach Golden said.

After topping the girls’ standings at the Capital Cup on Feb. 1, coach Golden commented that Taylor “seems to be getting faster each week,” which would bode well for Concord’s performance at the Meet of Champions, which will be Feb. 23 at Cannon Mountain’s Mittersill Ski Area. The top 10 slalom and GS finishers from all four NHIAA divisions qualify.