High schools: Kearsarge boys win back-to-back D-III Nordic titles

Monitor staff
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The Kearsarge boys’ Nordic team claimed its second straight Division III title at Great Glen Trails on Tuesday.

The Cougars had just one skier reach the podium, but several Kearsarge skiers crowded the top of the board and earned valuable points to secure the championship with 774 points.

Kearsarge placed four skiers in the top 10 in classic and three in freestyle.

The Cougars held a nine-point lead over White Mountains after the classic race, led by Hunter Burns in third place. Then they edged White Mountains by four points in the freestyle race to claim the title.

White Mountains finished second with 738 points, followed by Bow in third with 727, Fall Mountain (fourth, 712) and Belmont (fifth, 200).

Belmont’s Zachary Ennis finished first in both disciplines.

Burns, a senior in just his third year skiing with Kearsarge’s Nordic team, made a quick impression on coach Kevin Lee.

Burns came in with a background in endurance competition as a cross country runner.

“He’s been our strongest skier all year,” Lee said. “He’s embraced the sport and has been a good leader for us.”

Kearsarge carried a team laden with juniors this season, many who were like Burns and picked up the sport in just the last couple of years.

Among those juniors were Trevor Pauling (fifth classic, seventh freestyle) and Ben Boulton (seventh classic, eighth freestyle).

Also like Burns, the endurance element of the sport was a strong point for Boulton.

“He’s another fit athlete who, with time, will develop into a better skier while working on his technique,” Lee said.

Edward Stowell, a sophomore, contributed key points finishing 10th in classic and 11th in freestyle.

“Edward improved so much this year,” Lee said. “It’s unbelievable. Probably the most improved of the boys.”

Bow, chasing its first title since winning six in nine years from 2005 to 2013, tied for second as a team in the freestyle race with White Mountains.

The Falcons were led by London Warburton (sixth classic, fourth freestyle), Christian McDonald (ninth classic, 10th freestyle), Samuel Berube (ninth freestyle), Luca Demian (13th freestyle), Kirpal Demian (16th classic) and Brett Provost (18th classic).

Ennis, Warburton, Burns, Pauling, Boutlon, Stowell, Berube and McDonald qualified for the Meet of Champions.

Division IV

Moultonborough scored 775 points to earn a second straight Division IV title, getting by second-place Inter-Lakes (757 points) and third-place Hopkinton (723).

Hopkinton’s Zach Berliner was named the Division IV Skimeister Champion.

Inter-Lakes senior Ian Daly won both the freestyle and classic disciplines. Fellow senior Parker Caswell also reached the podium with a third-place finish in classic and sixth in freestyle.

“Ian won both of those races convincingly,” Inter-Lakes coach Steve Olafsen said. “They have been consistently our top skiers and put in the work they needed to this year.”

Aidan Carney (seventh classic, eighth freestyle), Amos Wobber (12th classic) and Clayton Hornkohl (16th freestyle) scored points for the Lakers.

The Hawks were led by Simon Doneski (ninth classic, 10th freestyle), Theodore Mollano (10th classic, fifth freestyle), Berliner (13th classic, 14th freestyle) and Michael Eggers (18th classic, 17th freestyle).

“Strong showing by the Hawks boys who placed third overall. Mollano, a newcomer, proved he will be a force in the future for the boys team,” Hopkinton coach Rob Rothe said. “Berliner, with a great (performance at the) Alpine championship and Nordic championship, won the skimeister overall.”

Daly, Caswell, Carney, Doneski and Mollano qualified for the Meet of Champions.