Behind Von Beren, Kearsarge girls notch third straight D-III Alpine title

  • Kearsarge skier Brie Von Beren makes her way down the giant slalom course at Sunapee ski area on Monday at the Division III GS race. Von Beren finished first and the Kearsarge girls’ team won the championship for the third straight season. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Bow High School giant slalom skier Madeline Soucy nears the finish line at the D III ski championships at Sunapee ski area on Monday, February 12, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Gilford’s Bethany Tanner competes during Monday’s D-III Alpine championships at Mount Sunapee. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Kearsarge skier Brie Von Beren makes her way down the giant slalom course at Sunapee ski area on Monday, February 12, 2018 at the Division III GS race. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hillsboro-Deering’€™s Chloe Braun on the giant slalom course at the D III skiing championships at Sunapee ski area on Monday, February 12, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Newfound’€™s Victoria Roman starts off the D III girls giant slalom at Sunapee ski area on Monday, February 12, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

There’s no question that Brie Von Beren is fast on her skis. That was clear in 2017 when she won the giant slalom race and placed second in slalom, leading Kearsarge to its second straight Division III title as a sophomore.

This year, Von Beren’s focus has shifted to cleaning up the finer details, especially in slalom where technique is closely tested on tight turns.

Monday morning, her work turned into results as Von Beren took first in both GS and slalom and the Kearsarge girls won a third Division III Alpine championship in as many years.

Von Beren took first in both of her two slalom runs with 2.5 seconds between her and runner-up Olivia Crainich from Bishop Brady.

“It’s exciting because normally slalom is difficult for me,” Von Beren said. “Winning both the GS and slalom is an exciting goal I’ve been working on for so long.”

The Cougars gathered 770 points between the two disciplines to outrun second-place Gilford (730) and third-place Bishop Brady (705).

Von Beren led a group of three Kearsarge girls that placed in the top four in slalom at Mount Sunapee. Lara Stokes finished third and Isabella Greason was fourth. Elizabeth Greason also earned points in slalom for the Cougars with her seventh-place finish.

In GS, Von Beren earned the only podium finish for Kearsarge but top-10 finishes by Isabella Greason (sixth), Izabella Von Beren (seventh) and Stokes (ninth) were key to the Cougars earning the championship as a team.

“We have a great group and a huge team I’m really lucky to be a part of,” Brie Von Beren said. “We have the best coaching we can ask for. It’s special. Our team is huge (14 girls), but everyone races.”

Belmont’s Katie Gagnon was close on Brie Von Beren’s heels in GS. Gagnon finished second, just 1.3 second behind Von Beren.

The conditions were challenging because of rainfall the day before the race, particularly on the GS course where the terrain was affected as skiers tore down the run.

Facing a hard run is where the mental component comes into play, Brie Von Beren said.

“It can be tricky with obstacles, bumps,” she said. “It could have been really difficult. You just need to stay strong. If you’re going to be scared of going fast and the obstacles in front of you, you’re not going to be able to handle them well. You’ve got to trust yourself and trust your skis.”

Both Von Berens, Stokes and Isabella Greason qualified for the Meet of Champions in GS. Those four, plus Elizabeth Greason, qualified for MOC in slalom.

“I’m pretty proud of them,” said Jill Firstbrook, who coaches the Kearsarge girls’ team. “It’s nice to see. We’re always trying to build confidence in women, and skiing is a pretty tough sport. It’s nice to see them improve, and that’s the best part for me.”

Runner-up Gilford was led by Bailey Hildreth (fifth slalom, 11th GS), Sydni Lehr (sixth slalom, third GS), Bethany Tanner (11th slalom, 10th GS) and Kendall Jones (15th slalom, 20th GS).

Bishop Brady finished third on the work of Crainich (second slalom, fourth GS), Sara Lopresti (eighth slalom, 19th GS), Kamryn Compton (10th slalom, 15th GS) and Sydney Sigua (22nd slalom, 31st GS).

Bow (604 points) placed fifth overall, led by Megan Lavigne (14th slalom and GS).

Belmont gathered 587 points for sixth place, led by Katie Gagnon’s runner-up finish in GS and Becca Camire 16th-place finish in slalom. Abby Camire placed 16th in GS to help the Raiders.

Laconia (489 points) finished ninth as a team. Nicole Turpin placed 13th in slalom and GS to lead the Sachems.

Newfound didn’t qualify in slalom but earned 196 points in GS for 10th place overall. Hillsboro-Deering tallied 148 points for 11th.

Division I

Bedford was crowned state champion in the Division I girls’ races at Gunstock.

Concord finished sixth overall among 18 teams. The Tide was eighth in slalom with Ella Fabozzi (15th), Fabi McLeod (28th), Grace Devanny (56th) and Emma Burbank (57th) scoring points. Concord placed fifth as a team in GS, led by Fabozzi (11th), Devanny (20th), Sophia Shea (31st) and McLeod (38th).

“Team captain, senior Ella Fabozzi had the best day of racing in her high school career, an awesome way to end,” Concord coach George Golden said. “The girls gave 100 percent effort today. As a coach, that is all I can ask for. The returning girls are already looking forward to next year.”