Alpine skiing: Mika Taylor defends slalom title, leads Concord girls to 3rd in D-I, Bow girls finish 5th in D-II

Concord’s Mika Taylor competes in the slalom at the NHIAA Division I girls’ Alpine skiing championship on Monday at Gunstock. Taylor defended her slalom title and finished runner-up in the giant slalom to lead Concord to third place as a team.

Concord’s Mika Taylor competes in the slalom at the NHIAA Division I girls’ Alpine skiing championship on Monday at Gunstock. Taylor defended her slalom title and finished runner-up in the giant slalom to lead Concord to third place as a team. Courtesy

Concord’s Mika Taylor competes in the giant slalom at the NHIAA Division I girls’ Alpine skiing championship on Monday at Gunstock. Taylor defended her slalom title and finished runner-up in the giant slalom to lead Concord to third place as a team.

Concord’s Mika Taylor competes in the giant slalom at the NHIAA Division I girls’ Alpine skiing championship on Monday at Gunstock. Taylor defended her slalom title and finished runner-up in the giant slalom to lead Concord to third place as a team. Courtesy

Bow’s Sophia Coombs competes in the slalom at the NHIAA Division II girls’ Alpine skiing championship on Monday at Crotched Mountain. Coombs was Bow’s top finisher in the both the giant slalom and slalom to lead the Falcons to third place. 

Bow’s Sophia Coombs competes in the slalom at the NHIAA Division II girls’ Alpine skiing championship on Monday at Crotched Mountain. Coombs was Bow’s top finisher in the both the giant slalom and slalom to lead the Falcons to third place.  JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 02-13-2024 11:34 PM

On Dec. 21 Mika Taylor finished third in the slalom in the first Alpine race of the season. She never lost again.

The Concord High sophomore defended her title in the slalom and finished runner-up in the giant slalom to lead the Crimson Tide to third place at the Division I Alpine skiing championships on Monday at Gunstock.

Concord was in fifth place through the morning GS runs, but had a huge afternoon in the slalom portion of the meet, finishing second as a team in that event to vault up to third place overall.

Bedford (747 points) won the D-I title with Bishop Guertin (690), Concord (672), Winnacunnet (640) and Keene (625) rounding out the top five.

“They worked really hard all winter long,” head coach George Golden said. “(Third place) was a big accomplishment. When they announced that Winnacunnet was number four and there were only three teams left, they got so excited. The girls skied great … Third place is a really good finish for this group of girls.”

Taylor put together two strong GS runs in the morning, posting a combined time of 1 minute, 18.81 seconds behind Bishop Guertin’s Elena Ellia (1:17.60). The second-place finish was a significant improvement over her ninth-place finish in the GS last year. All that before Taylor even took the slopes for her best event.

Taylor won the slalom with authority, clocking the two fastest slalom runs of the day for a combined total of 1:13.97, nearly two full seconds ahead of Bedford’s Audrey Purnell the runner-up (1:15.8).

Senior Charlotte Summerlin (12th slalom), sophomore Emma Pelletier (19th GS, 20th slalom), and juniors Lilly Merrill (22nd slalom, 27th GS) and Charlotte Dill (27th GS) also scored for the Tide.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Missing Dartmouth student’s body found in Connecticut River
Monitor bids farewell to Ray Duckler
Lawyers and lawmakers assert the Department of Education is on the verge of violating the law
“We are in a crisis” – Child care costs hit $32k on average
In the face of tragedy, Franklin softball seeks togetherness
Middle schooler charged with assault after school bus skirmish

With only five girls on the roster (the top four in each event per team score), it’s the smallest team that Golden has ever coached in 24 years with Concord Alpine, and with very little room for error, he needed all five to be on top of their game.

“It’s roughly three minutes of focus,” Golden said, regarding the rough combined time of skiing the course four times (two GS runs and two slalom runs). “I told the girls ‘If you put everything else aside and focus on those three minutes, we’ll have a good result,’ and each and every one of them did that.”

Taylor is the only skier on the girls’ side who also competes privately on the weekends, whereas many other programs have far more than that, and Taylor led the team well, as she has always done.

“She really stepped it up in the (GS), she had one of her best races that I’ve seen from a high school racer,” Golden said.

The Concord boys’ Alpine team will ski in the Division I boys’ championship on Friday at Crotched Mountain.

Division II

The Bow Falcons finished fifth in the D-II girls’ championship at Crotched Mountain on Monday.

Kennett won its fifth state title in a row and its 24th in the last 27 years, totaling 759 points. Hanover (736), Souhegan (694), Kingswood (691) and Bow (633) were the top five team scores.

Sophia Coombs (20th GS, 20th slalom), Vivan Madden (24th GS, 29th slalom), Ava Gadbois (21st slalom, 25th GS), Sierra Scull (25th slalom) and Lilly Gula (32nd GS) were the top skiers for the Falcons.

Kennett’s Allie Hussey won the slalom (1:13.36) by five seconds and also won the GS (1:11.13) title.