Concord’s Read Merrill qualifies for MOC in both slalom and GS as Tide boys’ Alpine finishes fourth in D-I

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 02-16-2023 10:25 PM

Read Merrill has been a leader for Concord High Alpine skiing for four years, so it’s only fitting that he led the Tide down the slopes one more time.

Merrill, a senior captain for the Crimson Tide, qualified for the Meet of Champions in both the giant slalom and slalom, leading Concord to fourth place at the Division I Alpine skiing championships on Tuesday at Mount Sunapee.

Bedford won its third straight title with 735 points, followed by Keene (722), Portsmouth (680) and Concord (670.5), the top four teams out of the 16 that competed.

Bedford tallied 360 points in the morning GS and 375 in the afternoon slalom.

Merrill finished fifth in the GS with a combined time of 56.02 seconds. Bedford’s Luke Purnell won in 54.38.

“Besides being a great ski racer, Read has been a strong team leader that the younger athletes look up to,” head coach George Golden said.

Junior Brett McDonough (10th), senior Davis Foley (22nd) and junior Carter Pratt (26th) were Concord’s other scorers in the morning GS as the Tide tallied 342 points in the session.

Pinkerton’s Christopher Bennet won the slalom in 58.25 seconds, the only skier to break 60 seconds on the course.

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Merrill finished sixth in 1:02.52, while junior Noah Cascio (19th), Foley (21st) and junior Pablo Winn (32nd) helped Concord garner 328.5 points.

“We kept it close in the morning GS, but Bedford and Keene pulled away in the afternoon,” Golden said. “With all the talent in Division I, a fourth-place finish is respectable. The boys skied well and kept the day competitive. … Although the boys’ team is graduating three seniors, the returners are already talking about, and looking forward to, another competitive season next year.”

McDonough qualified for the Meet of Champions in the GS due to his top-10 finish and will join Merrill at the MOCs at Cannon Mountain’s Mittersill Ski Area on Feb. 23.

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