Falmouth, Merriconeag start strong
RUMFORD — Falmouth´s Nordic ski teams got off to a fast start at the Class A state championships Monday at Black Mountain.
The Yachtsmen placed four boys in the top 16 in the 5-kilometer classic race, and the girls grouped their four scorers in the top 12 as both teams took the lead after the first day of the three-day championships.
The Falmouth girls scored 31 points, seven ahead of Portland. The Falmouth boys had 42 points, with Mt. Blue and Leavitt tied for second at 62.
Silas Eastman of Fryeburg Academy won the boys´ race in 13 minutes, 22.2 seconds. Jay Lesser was the top skier for Falmouth, finishing third in 14:13.6. Gabriel Mahoney (14:54.3) placed ninth, Sam Pratico (15:49.8) was 14th and Scott Lambert (16:36.2) finished 16th.
Emily Bland of Windham was the individual winner in the girls´ race, finishing in 16:30.9. Sarah Wade of Mt. Blue was second at 17:02.1, followed by Abby Popenoe (17:04.9) of Portland and Maddie Wiegman (17:09.4) of Leavitt, and Caitlin Bucksbaum (17:51.6) and Dana Bloch (18:05.6) of Falmouth.
Emily Rioux (eighth, 18:41.9) and London Bernier (12th, 18:45.8) also scored for the Yachtsmen.
Portland also placed four skiers in the top 15, with Popenoe joined by Sadie Sarvis (ninth, 18:42.2), Lizzie Landry (11th, 18:44.9) and Laura Frank (15th, 19:46.6).
Competition continues with the giant slalom and freestyle races Tuesday, and slalom races Wednesday.
CLASS C: The Merriconeag boys and girls were in first place ahead of Freeport after the opening 5K classic races at the Nordic Heritage Ski Center in Presque Isle.
Lance McKenney of Fort Fairfield was the winner of the boys´ race with a time of 15:48.2. Daniel Streinz of Katahdin finished second and Fort Kent´s Kamran Husain was third.
Jack Pierce, Graham Roeber and Ben Tindall all finished in the top seven for Merriconeag to help lift them to first place with a score of 20.
Freeport, led by Elijah McCurdy (17:21.9) in eighth place, was second with 35 points. Forrest McCurdy (ninth, 17:28.5), Mason Cyr (10th, 18:02.8) and Zachariah Merrill (16th, 18:46.2) were the other Freeport scorers.
In the girls´ race, Lydia Streinz (18:55.6) and Hannah Streinz (19:19.3) of Katahdin finished 1-2.
They were followed by Emelie Chace-Donahue (19:23.9), who was one of the four Merriconeag skiers in the top eight. Joining her in the top eight were Samantha Pierce (fifth, 20:21.3), Teagan Wu (seventh, 20:49.6) and Zoe Chace-Donahue (eighth, 20:50.4).