D-II Nordic skiing: Hopkinton girls complete perfect season, sweep all three titles

  • The Hopkinton girls’ Nordic ski team poses with the championship plaque after winning the Division II title and completing a perfect season at Great Glen Trails on Wednesday. Courtesy of Rob Rothe

  • Hopkinton junior Will Chapin (center) stands on the podium with his teammates after Chapin won the boys' skimeister championship following the Division II Nordic championship at Great Glen Trails on Wednesday. The skimeister competition combines the scores from the Alpine and Nordic championship races. Hopkinton swept the boys' podium, while Clara Locke, also of Hopkinton, won the girls' skimeister. Courtesy of Rob Rothe

  • Hopkinton’s Ava Rothe (center), teammate Francie Trafton (left) and Kearsarge’s Molly Ellison stand on the podium after finishing in the top three of the girls' skate race at the Division II Nordic ski championship at Great Glen Trails on Wednesday. Trafton won the classic race and the Hopkinton girls capped a perfect season by winning the D-II team title. Courtesy of Rob Rothe

Monitor staff
Published: 3/10/2022 10:38:28 PM

Last year, things didn’t quite come together at the state championship for the Hopkinton High Nordic skiing girls at states, but this year the results spoke for themselves.

The Hawks completed an undefeated season on Wednesday at the Great Glen Trails in Pinkham Notch, N.H., winning the NHIAA Division II team title and claiming both individual titles with senior Francie Trafton winning the classic race and junior Ava Rothe winning the skate.

With an undefeated regular season and a N.H. Coaches Series title (against all other NHIAA Nordic programs and a handful of prep schools), the Hawks were the clear favorites and lived up to their billing, tallying 382 points in the classic race and 384 in the skate – the best team score in both disciplines – to finish with a total score of 766 points to complete a perfect season.

Plymouth (727) was the runner-up, followed by Lebanon (716), Kearsarge (684) and Gilford (670), rounding out the top five of 13 teams competing.

The victory was especially sweet after Hopkinton lost to Lebanon by four points in the 2021 championship due to some mishaps (missing wax) and an altered race format due to the pandemic.

“The results speak for themselves with the whole team of six in the top 13 for both races,” said Hopkinton head coach Rob Rothe.

“They have been dominant all season, and this was a nice end to a perfect year for them. They were eager to come back and prove just how strong a team they really are.”

Only the top four skiers on each team score, but such is the depth of Hopkinton’s program that every single Hawk skier who competed (each team could have a maximum of six per race) qualified for Tuesday’s Meet of Champions and will ski against the best from Division I.

Trafton won the 4K classic race 14:12.3, ahead of Kearsarge sophomore Molly Ellison, who was the runner-up in 14:21.6. Ava Rothe (fourth, 14:40), Elizabeth Clarner (eighth, 15:24.8), Clara Locke (ninth, 15:25.3), Hannah Bennett (10th, 15:28) and Elizabeth Trafton (13th, 15:47) provided plenty of depth.

Rothe won the 4K skate race in 12:16, with Francie Trafton (12:22) giving Hopkinton a 1-2 punch.

Bennett (seventh, 13:06), Locke (10th, 13:31), Elizabeth Trafton (11th, 13:34) and Clarner (13th, 13:44) rounded out the qualifiers. 

“It was absolutely great to see Francie and Ava on the podium together,” coach Rothe said. “They have worked so hard with their team to get to this moment. It has truly been a team effort this year to get to this point.

“I’m so impressed by this group and what they have accomplished through their dedication and hard work. From roller skiing in the August heat to skiing up Pat’s Peak at 6 a.m. for early winter strengthening, they have worked so hard and are such a cohesive group. I’m just so proud of them and love the fact that they spend as much time having fun as they do working hard.”

The Division II awards demonstrated not just Hopkinton’s strength on the ski trails, but on the slopes as well. 

Junior Will Chapin took first place in the boys’ skimeister, a competition that combines scores from both Nordic and Alpine championship races, while Locke, also a junior, won the skimeister for the girls. Chapin led a 1-2-3 Hawk sweep of the boys’ podium.

Gilford – led by two individual victories from Mitchell Townsend – won the D-II boys’ Nordic plaque with 745 points, followed closely by Lebanon (735) and Fall Mountain (734).

Kearsarge (681) was fourth and Hopkinton (653) was fifth. William Riley was second in both the classic and the skate to score all 198 of Belmont’s points en route to 13th place as the sole Raider competitor.

Townsend won the classic in 11:45.4 and the skate in 10:46.8, while Riley was 12:03.7 and 10:52.8 in the classic and skate, respectively.

Matt Clarner (eighth, 11:20 in the skate; 11th, 13:13 in the classic), Chapin (17th classic, 20th skate), Conrad Mollano (25th classic), Cameron Bassett (29th classic, 36th skate) and Harrison Wilson were the scoring skiers for the Hawk boys.

Elias Baer (seventh, 13:04 in the classic; 11th, 11:52 in the skate), Gareth Richer (ninth, 11:42 in skate; 26th classic), Andrew Blagden (21st classic, 22nd skate) and Camden Dezotell (21st skate, 22nd classic) scored for the Kearsarge boys.

Ellison (third, 12:27 in the skate), Kylin Frenkiewich (18th classic, 22nd skate), Ayla Frenkiewich (22nd classic, 30th skate), Katelyn Harvey (23rd skate) and Ava Valle (26th classic) were the scoring skiers for the Cougar girls.

The Meet of Champions will be held on Tuesday at Proctor Academy in Andover.

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