High schools: Kearsarge sweeps Alpine titles, girls win for 4th straight year

  • Pembroke Academy’s Jackson Frazier makes his way down the course during the Division II Alpine championships Monday at Crotched Mountain. Courtesy of Katherine Muise

  • John Stark’s Aiden Moser skies during the Division II Alpine championships Monday at Crotched Mountain. Moser finished fourth in the giant slalom. Courtesy of Katherine Muise

  • Hopkinton’s Elizabeth Berliner competes during the Division IV Alpine championship at Loon Mountain on Monday. Berliner placed 14th in the giant slalom and eighth overall in the slalom. Courtesy

  • Kearsarge’s Brie Von Beren (left) and Aiden Markoff pose with their individual titles after leading both Cougars team to Division III championships during Monday’s races at Gunstock Mountain. Courtesy

  • Kearsarge’s Aiden Markoff makes his way past a gate during his slalom run at the Division III Alpine championship on Monday at Gunstock Mountain. Courtesy

  • Belmont’s Lars Major races down the course during the Division III Alpine championship on Monday at Gunstock Mountain. Major won the GS for the Raiders, who finished second overall behind Kearsarge. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 2/11/2019 10:25:48 PM

Brie Von Beren has won plenty of individual titles, but the team title was what she cared about on Monday’s Division III Alpine state championships.

In the end, the Kearsarge senior came away with both.

Von Beren won the D-III giant slalom individual title, leading a 1-2 finish for Kearsarge with fellow senior Jocelyn Young, and sophomore Aiden Markoff won the boys’ slalom title to lead the Kearsarge girls’ and boys’ Alpine ski teams to a sweep of the D-III championships at Gunstock.

The Cougar girls have won the last four D-III Alpine team titles, while the Cougar boys won their third in the last four years.

“During the year you get these up and downs,” Kearsarge coach Bob Underhill said. “That’s ski racing. You only get one chance. If you miss a gate, you’re done. It all came together today.”

Kearsarge was bolstered by a pair of individual champions, but as Underhill was quick to point out, the team’s strength is the depth of the lineup.

Only four skiers scored, but the Kearsarge girls’ placed six skiers in the top 16 of the morning GS runs and six in the top 15 of the afternoon slalom.

Kearsarge placed six in the top 13 of the boys’ slalom and five in the top 18 of the GS, leading to some dominant results.

The Kearsarge girls scored 387 points in the GS and 386 in the slalom for a total of 773, easily besting runner-up Gilford (749), and third-place St. Thomas (680), while the boys scored 386 points in the GS and 383 in the slalom, for a total of 769.

Belmont finished second with 726 points thanks to Lars Major’s victory in the GS.

St. Thomas (714) and Bishop Brady (678) rounded out the top four teams on the boys’ side.

“When they start having some success, the (kids) feed off of each other,” Underhill said. “If you look at the depth. ... it’s incredible.”

Von Beren, who won her third straight GS title and picked up a slalom title last year, got things rolling early for the Cougars, skiing a run of 34.39 seconds in her first GS run (good for third place) before completing a monster second run in 33.36 seconds (the only run under 34 in the GS) for a combined time of 1:07.75.

Young finished second with a time of 1:08.80, while senior twins Isabella Greason (sixth) and Elizabeth Greason (15th) also posted great runs, as did sophomores Megan Norris (eighth) and Isabella Wulff (16th).

“They train together,” Underhill said. “In training runs they’re all pushing each other to go even faster.”

Their depth was necessary in the afternoon slalom when Von Beren missed a gate on her first run, forcing her to hike back up the mountain to complete the course.

Von Beren skied the fastest slalom run of the day in her second attempt, a blistering 30.83 seconds, but her costly first run put her in 15th place.

But Norris, typically the No. 5 on Kearsarge’s slalom depth chart, stepped up to finish third in 1:07.22, behind Isabella Cronin of White Mountains (1:03.96) and Gilford’s Sydni Lehr (1:06.43).

Elizabeth Greason (fourth), Young (fifth), Isabella Greason (sixth) and junior Ellie Madigan (13th) also performed well in the slalom.

“Brie missed a gate, but the other girls stepped up and covered for her,” Underhill said. “They all stepped up. It was a blast to watch. Even the ones in the back (of the lineup) produced.”

Despite missing the one gate in the slalom, Underhill noted the focus that Von Beren put towards getting the team the championships.

“She’s really steady,” Underhill said. “We had talked about the team aspect of the whole thing. You have to finish. We need four good finishers. She pulled (her teammates) along.”

Underhill added that, “Jocelyn wasn’t feeling well, but she stuck it out and really helped the team, especially in slalom.”

While Von Beren was a known quantity heading into the D-III Championship, Markoff was relatively unknown before uncorking the biggest runs of his career in the slalom, posting runs of 30.42 and 30.32 seconds, the fastest times in both runs, topping Major (1:02.29) the runner-up.

Just a sophomore, Markoff showed a lot of growth, according to Underhill, turning his aggressive racing style into a more deliberate one at Monday’s championship meet.

“He has a really big tendency to go really hard,” Underhill said. “He gets a lot of DNFs and crashes. He’s aggressive. He wants to go fast. He has the ability to win, and today he was very deliberate. He didn’t try to win every run. He stepped up big time.”

Markoff also finished third in the GS in 1:05.81.

“He’s starting to figure out his speed and his tactics,” Underhill said. “It was fun to watch from the top.”

Matthew Noyer, a senior who serves as Alpine captain along with Von Beren, was a top Kearsarge skier in the GS, finishing in 1:05.39, trailing only Major (1:04.56), and also finished seventh in the slalom.

“The other boys are inspired by him,” Underhill said.

Senior Patrick Lee (fifth slalom), sophomore James Greason (sixth GS), sophomore Seth Rutledege-Davis (seventh GS, eighth slalom), freshman Anders Sailer (12th slalom) and senior Jacob Long (13th slalom, 18th GS) were the other Kearsarge competitors, who all contributed to the championship.

“We’re really proud of them. (Co-coach) Jill (Firstbrook) and I have a blast doing it,” Underhill said. “They work as a team. They’re all at the finish line helping each other out. It’s pretty neat. It’s a pleasure to work with them. Nobody had any expectations of winning it, but they all worked as a team. They did their jobs.”

Belmont was the runner-up team on the boys’ side thanks to the efforts of Major, Mitchell Berry (eighth GS, 10th, slalom), Jake Deware (11th slalom, 14th GS), Aaron LaFlower (19th slalom) and Nolan Gagnon (20th GS).

The Bishop Brady boys finished fourth behind James Carroll (ninth slalom, 11th GS), Max Marinace (10th GS, 14th slalom), Cody Fuller (16th slalom), Jackson Bemis (21st GS), Will Verdi (24th GS) and John Tauscher (35th slalom).

The Bishop Brady girls finished eighth with Grace Bemis (18th slalom, 21st GS), Sydney Sigua (25th GS), Emily Beane (28th GS) and Maddie Rhynhart (31st GS) scoring for the Green Giants.

Belmont’s Katie Gagnon was the only female Raider to compete, finishing seventh in the GS.

The upcoming storm has postponed the remainder of the ski championships. The Division I boys’ Alpine meet originally scheduled for Tuesday, will now take place on Friday at Mount Sunapee. The Division II girls’ Alpine meet originally scheduled for Tuesday, will now take place on Thursday at Pat’s Peak and the Division IV boys’ Alpine meet originally scheduled for Wednesday, will now take place on Thursday at Crotched Mountain. All start times remain at 10 a.m.

DIVISION I GIRLS’

Concord 3rd

Key players: Concord – Savanah Shannon (1st slalom, 2nd GS), Sophia Shea (18th GS, 22nd slalom), Grace Devanny (20th GS), Emma Burbank (23rd slalom, 36th GS), Lily Bairstow (31st slalom)

Highlights: Freshman Shannon had an incredible afternoon on the slopes at Mount Sunapee, winning the slalom in a combined time of 1:07.92 and finishing second in the GS in a combined time of 1:02.69, trailing only Bedford’s Jessica Rioux (1:01.41). Bedford dominated both events to win the team title with 766 points. Concord initially tied for second with Exeter at 669 points each, but ultimately finished third in the tiebreaker.

Coach’s quote: “In my 19 years of coaching high school ski racing, I can’t remember a freshman placing first and second in the Division 1 state meet.” – Concord’s George Golden

DIVISION II BOYS

Bow 3rd, Pembroke 10th,
John Stark 12th

Key players: Bow – Connor Wachsmuth (4th slalom, 23rd GS), Benjamin Wachsmuth (13th slalom, 19th GS), Eli Gadbois (15th slalom, 25th GS), Jonathan Cook (18th slalom, 27th GS); Pembroke – Jackson Frazier (7th GS, 10th slalom), Harry Army (41st slalom, 54th GS), Owen Thomas (60th GS), Ryan Sporcic (59th slalom, 66th GS), George Chaput (62nd slalom); John Stark – Aiden Moser (4th GS), Nathan Innerfield (11th slalom, 29th GS), Jason Johannisson (32nd slalom, 68th GS)

Highlights: The Falcons finished their inaugural D-II season with 664 points at Crotched Mountain, trailing only Kennett (733) and Hanover (713). Pembroke (530) finished 10th and John Stark (383) finished 12th.

DIVISION IV GIRLS

Hopkinton 4th, Hillsboro-Deering 8th

Key players: Hopkinton – Addie Locke (5th slalom, 6th GS), Elizabeth Berliner (8th slalom, 14th GS), Anna Hoffmann (25th slalom, 34th GS), Lyndon Flanagan (37th slalom), Lillie Presti (42nd GS); H-D – Chloe Braun (38th GS, 44th slalom), Alaina McGillicuddy (42nd slalom, 45th GS)

Highlights: The Hawks finished fourth at Loon Mountain, scoring 658 points, behind Profile (745), Lin-Wood (744) and Sunapee (719). H-D finished eighth with 457.

Coach’s quote: “Very proud of the way all the Hopkinton girls raced today. Finishing fourth out of 11 teams exceeded our expectations. The frozen track was very slick today after last week’s rain and refreeze, but every one of our girls made it down the course clean without any miscues.” – Hopkinton’s Bob Berliner

Girls’ Basketball

Coe-Brown 49, Plymouth 44

Key players: Coe-Brown – Jenny Bettencourt (14 points), Lauren Curtin (7 points), Valentina White (6 points), Angelina Rene (6 points)

Highlights: Coe-Brown led 35-26 at the half in a back and forth game. The contest slowed down in the second half with Plymouth going to zone and Coe-Brown missing shots. As a result, Plymouth received some easy transition baskets to cut the lead to 42-35 after three quarters. The closest Plymouth could get was four points as the Bears closed out the game.

Coach’s quote: “We just love to grind out games. Plymouth kept coming the two sophomores are tough match ups. We needed that win and we got it.” – Coe-Brown’s Joe Vachon

Records: Coe-Brown 7-7; Plymouth 4-10

Boys’ Basketball

Salem 69, Concord 44

Key players: Concord – Scott Lampron (15 points), Rylan Canabano (10 points), Hamza Abdulrahman (5 points off the bench), Max Van Fleet (7 rebounds)

Highlights: The Tide cut a 20-point deficit to seven in the third quarter, but went cold from the floor and saw Salem build its lead back up.

Coach’s quote: “We couldn’t hit our open shots tonight and suffered a tough loss to a talented team. We need to bounce back as we travel to Timberlane Thursday and Spaulding Friday.” – Concord’s Dave Chase

Records: Salem 12-2; Concord 6-6

Coe-Brown 46, Laconia 31

Key players: Coe-Brown – Lucas McCusker (16 points, 4 assists), Cayden Donoghue (8 points), Spencer Murphy (6 points, 13 deflections), Albert Lapiekjo (4 points, 5 rebounds), Mason Winiarski (4 points)

Highlights: It was a tight defensive battle for the first half as the two sides entered the break tied at 12-all. Coe-Brown, though, found its footing in the second half, scoring 12 points in the third and 22 in a game-changing fourth quarter.

Coach’s quote: “Fortunately we were able to get some space in the second half.” – Coe-Brown’s David Smith

Records: Coe-Brown 7-6; Laconia 4-9




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