Tiger boys ski to third, girls fourth in Division II

RIPTON — Highlighted by a dramatic second-place finish in Tuesday’s classic relay race at the Rikert Nordic Center, the Middlebury Union High School boys’ Nordic ski team took third in the two-day Division II state championship meet.
The Tiger girls finished fourth in D-II in racing staged over two days in two venues: Freestyle skiing races were held on Feb. 26 at the Craftsbury Nordic Center, and Rikert in Ripton hosted Tuesday’s classic events.
Woodstock won both the boys’ and girls’ titles, with Stowe edging the Tiger boys’ for second place overall. U-32 and Harwood ran 2-3 in the girls’ competition.
The closest races came between the Stowe and MUHS boys in the 4-by-2.5-kilometer relays that capped each day’s racing.
On Thursday, the team of Sam Hodges, Haven Tate, Harlow Punderson and Nick Wilkerson took third at 32:25.5, 1.1 seconds behind Stowe’s second-place finish, with Woodstock 22 seconds ahead in first.
On Tuesday, Wilkerson gave the Tigers the early lead, and then Hodges made up four seconds in the anchor leg to give the Tigers’ second place by a tenth of a second over third-place Stowe, 25:19.8-25:19.9. Woodstock won at 25:08.
Tiger coach Chas Lyons said Hodges had to hold off a late Stowe charge.
“He pushed hard and clinched second place for us,” Lyons said. “That was dramatic.”
In finishing third as a team in the freestyle 5K individual race, Hodges paced the Tigers by taking third place, with Wilkerson and Tate cracking the top 20.
In Tuesday’s classic 5K, the Tigers were again third as a team with Wilkerson (third) and Hodges (sixth) in the top 10, and Tate (14th) in the top 20.
The Tiger girls finished fourth in all their events. Amelia Ingersoll cracked the top 20 individually on both days, and Julia Rosenberg did so in the classic 5K at Rikert.
Julia Rosenberg, Isabel Rosenberg, Ingersoll and Katherine Koehler competed for MUHS in the classic relay, finishing in 33:51.4. Ella Nagy-Benson joined both Rosenbergs and Ingersoll in the free relay on Feb. 26, and the Tigers crossed the line in 44:54.4.
Lyons said he was happy with the Tigers’ effort and results all winter.
“I just want to compliment the team on a great season,” he said.
Also competing were individuals from Otter Valley and the Mount Abraham club team. Isaac Roberts led the OV boys by taking 53rd on Feb. 26 and 55th on Tuesday, while Otter Sophie Wood’s 39th was the Brandon school’s top finish on Feb. 26; no OV girls competed at Rikert.
Morgan Pratt’s 15th-place finish in the girls’ classic at Rikert proved to be the best effort for the Eagle contingent.
The complete boys’ final team scores were:
1. Woodstock, 96; 2. Stowe, 134; 3. MUHS, 146; 4. U-32, 220; 5. Harwood, 250; 6. Burr & Burton, 257; 7. Fairfax, 374.   
The complete girls’ team results were:
1. Woodstock, 69; 2. U-32, 83; 3. Harwood, 129; 4. MUHS, 255; 5. Fairfax, 292; 6. Burr & Burton, 319; 7. Montpelier, 408.
MOUNT ABRAHAM UNION High School sophomore Nesta McIntosh competes in the Vermont State High School Nordic Championships in Craftsbury last Thursday. Photo by Kim Callahan
The winners and local finishers in each race were:
1. Zane Fields, Woodstock, 12:59.3.
3. Hodges, MUHS, 14:10.7.
13. Wilkerson, MUHS, 15:38.5.
15. Tate, MUHS, 15:46.3.
24. Punderson, MUHS, 16:45.9.
30. David Dregallo, MUHS, 17:16.3.
37. Bob Avery, MUHS, 18:18.9.
39. Ross Crowne, MUHS, 18:43.6.
49. Bo Tran, MUHS, 19:45.3.
53. Roberts, OV, 20:39.5.
63. Aidan May, Mt. Abe, 23:06.6.
65. Andrew Jerome, OV, 24:04.9.
1. Fields, Woodstock, 14:56.5.
3. Wilkerson, MUHS :16:05.4.
6. Hodges, MUHS, 16:37.7.
14. Tate, MUHS, 17:33.6.
21. Punderson, MUHS, 18:25.5.
23. Dregallo, MUHS, 18:37.4.
32. Crowne, MUHS, 19:29.1.
36. Tran, MUHS,19:54.1.
40. Avery, MUHS, 20:48.5.
55. Roberts, OV, 22:46.0.
56. May, Mt. Abe, 22:48.4.
1. Ruby Lamb, U-32, 16:57.6. 
20. Ingersoll, MUHS, 20:47.1.  
23. Pratt, Mt. Abe, 20:49.4.  
25. Keeley Kane, Mt. Abe, 20:53.5.  
27. Julia Rosenberg, MUHS, 21:13.5.  
30. Isabel Rosenberg, MUHS, 21:33.7.  
39. Wood, OV, 23:36.7.  
42. Nagy-Benson, MUHS, 23:47.2.  
45. Emma Cijka, OV, 24:04.7.
47. Signi Livingstone-Peters, MUHS, 24:11.7.  
52. Kate Oster, MUHS, 24:39.0.  
55. Ernesta McIntosh, Mt. Abe, 24:54.2.  
59. Jonna Keith, OV, 25:20.1.  
65. Ashley Turner, Mt. Abe, 27:23.7.  
66. Maria Wiles, MUHS, 28:54.8.  
1. Phoebe Sweet, Harwood, 19:16.3.
15. Pratt, Mt. Abe, 21:45.2.
18. J. Rosenberg, MUHS, 21:58.2.
19. Ingersoll, MUHS, 22:08.6.
23. Kane, Mt. Abe, 22:39.5.
26. I. Rosenberg, MUHS, 22:59.6.
36. Koehler, MUHS, 23:49.4. 

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