MUHS Nordic girls win D-II skiing title; boys are third
RIPTON — After rolling to a big lead on Feb. 24 in the first day of the Nordic state championship meet, the Middlebury Union High School girls’ team cruised to the Division II title on Monday at Rikert Nordic Center.
With freshmen Beth McIntosh and Ava Schneider leading the way, the Tigers finished first in Monday’s 5-kilometer freestyle race and second to Harwood in the skate relay to defeat second-place Harwood, 105-141.
The Tigers led by 30 points after winning both the classic 5K race and relay over Harwood at Craftsbury on Feb. 24. They then extended their lead on their home course on Monday even though the Highlanders edged them by about 12 seconds in the relay.
McIntosh finished fourth in Monday’s 5K, with Schneider in fifth, while junior Lia Robinson (13th) and senior Astrid Olsen (14th) also scored for the Tigers as they won the program’s first girls’ title since 2018.
In the 5K classic race at Craftsbury on Feb. 24, Schneider led the way in sixth, followed by McIntosh (eighth), Robinson (11th) and Olsen (14th). Those same four skiers also took to the course for both successful relay teams.
The Tigers’ victory snapped a three-title winning streak for U-32, which finished third in the 11-team field at 174, ahead of Craftsbury (210) and Woodstock (278).
In cold but sunny and calm conditions on both days the Tiger boys finished third with 197 points behind four-time winner U-32 (55) and Craftsbury (105). MUHS finished ahead of Woodstock (265) in fourth and Montpelier (288) in fifth.
Sophomore Baxter Harrington led the MUHS boys on both days, taking seventh in the individual race at Rikert and 13th at Craftsbury, while junior Eliot Schneider was 14th on both days.
At Craftsbury junior Trey Bosworth (21st) and freshman Aaron Carr-Perlow (32nd) also scored for MUHS, and at Rikert Bosworth (17th) and freshman Matthew Berg (25th) rounded out the Tiger scorers.
Schneider, Bosworth, freshman Haakon Olsen and Harrington skied the Tigers to third place in the classic relay at Craftsbury. The quartet of Schneider, Bosworth, Berg and Harrington finished third in the skate relay on Monday at Rikert.
GIRLS’ DAY ONE
The Tiger girls took the lead after the classic events in Craftsbury on Feb. 24 by placing all four scorers in the top 14 in the 5-kilometer individual race and then edging Harwood in the relay.
The relay win was pivotal — essentially it equaled a 20-point swing, with 10 points for first and 20 points for second.
The Tigers thus led second-place Harwood, 49-79, with U-32 in third at 87, and Craftsbury in fourth at 99.
The winner and Tiger finishers in the 5K were:
- Ava Thurston, Harwood, 14:43.5; 6. Schneider, 16:52.6; 8. McIntosh, 17:00.4; 11. Robinson, 18:36.2; 14. Olsen, 18:52.2; 31. Ella Landis, 20:57.5; 37. Eva Andrews, 21:26; 41. Ari Graham-Gurland, 22:40.2; and 49. Dahlia Harrison-Irwin, 23:03.1.
The Tigers’ first-place relay time of 31:12.6 edged Harwood (31:24.9) by about 12 seconds, with McIntosh, Olsen, Robinson and Schneider skiing for MUHS. Craftsbury (32.23.5) took third.
GIRLS’ DAY TWO
The Tiger girls nailed down their win by placing their four scorers in the top 14 in the individual race again at Rikert on Monday.
The winner and Tiger finishers in the 5K were:
- Thurston, Harwood, 12:57.9; 4. McIntosh, 15:08.6; 5. Schneider, 15:25.5; 13. Robinson, 17:14.9; 14. Olsen, 17:16.4; 19. Landis, 18:11.6; 32. Graham-Gurland, 19:43.9; 43. Lila Cook-Yoder, 20:49.1; 49. Harrison-Irwin, 22:03.3.
The Tigers’ second-place relay time of 29:06.3 trailed Harwood (28:54.9) by about 12 seconds, with the same quartet skiing for MUHS. Craftsbury (32.23.5) took third.
BOYS’ DAY ONE
U-32 built a big lead after Feb. 24 classic skiing in Craftsbury. The Raiders led second-place Craftsbury, 24-50, with the Tiger boys third at 107 and Montpelier fourth at 136.
The Raiders placed three skiers in the top 10 individually in the classic 5-kilometer race and edged Craftsbury in the relay event.
The Tigers were joined in the boys’ races by two Mount Abraham and two Otter Valley skiers participating as independents.
The winner and Tiger, Eagle and Otter finishers in the 5K were (the top four MUHS finishers scored):
- Tevi Schwartz, U-32, 13:49.7; 13. Harrington, MUHS, 15:07; 14. Schneider, MUHS, 15:15.7; 19. Lorenzo Atocha, Mt. Abe, 16:09.7; 21. Bosworth, MUHS, 16:18.1; 28. Abel Atocha, Mt. Abe, 16:56.6; and 32. Aaron Carr-Perlow, MUHS, 17:21.3.
Also, 41. Baker Nelson, MUHS, 17:51.1; 44. Matthew Berg, MUHS, 18:14.8; 49. Ben Munkres, MUHS, 18:35.3; 54. Luke Calvin, OV, 19:12.7; 68. Baker Larock, OV, 20:42.6; and Lucas Flinner, MUHS, 22:33.5.
U-32 won the relay in 25:22.4, with Craftsbury in second (25:42.6) and MUHS in third (28:09.5). Schneider, Bosworth, Haakon Olsen and Harrington skied the relay.
BOYS’ DAY TWO
U-32 did nothing but extend its lead on Monday at Rikert, placing all four scorers in the top seven of the 5K individual event and winning the relay by 10 seconds.
Again Mount Abe and OV independents raced with the Tigers in the boys’ races.
The winner and Tiger, Eagle and Otter finishers in the 5K were:
- Schwartz, U-32, 12:46.8; 7. Harrington, MUHS, 13:10.9; 14. Schneider, MUHS, 13:40.8; 19. L. Atocha, Mt. Abe, 14:11.1; 17. Bosworth, MUHS, 14:13.4; 28. A. Atocha, Mt. Abe, 15:07.9; and 25. Berg, MUHS, 15:25.9.
Also, 32. Carr-Perlow, MUHS, 15:43; 33. Munkres, MUHS, 14:44.1; 49. Nelson, MUHS, 15:52.2; 55. Calvin, OV, 17:53.3; 67. Larock, OV, 18:54.1.
U-32 won the relay in 23:43.4, with Craftsbury in second (23:53.6) and MUHS in third (25:34.7). Schneider, Bosworth, Berg and Harrington skied the relay.
JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM
Meanwhile, on Feb. 20 after the Eastern Cup Nordic season wrapped up with a competition in Dublin, N.H., a number of local skiers were named to U.S. Junior National teams, or were chosen as alternates.
McIntosh was named to the national girls’ 16-and-under team, and Ava Schneider was chosen as an alternate.
Elvis McIntosh, a former MUHS skier now attending Green Mountain Valley School, made the U-20 men’s team.
Joe Graziadei, a former Mount Abe independent, and former Tiger skier Lucas Palcsik both made the boys’ 18-and-under team. Both now ski for Green Mountain Valley School.
Former Tiger and current GMVS skier Phoebe Hussey was named an alternate to the girls’ U-18 squad.
They all competed on the Eastern Cup circuit, as did Baxter Harrington, Middlebury Union Middle School student Mary Harrington, both Ava and Eliot Schneider, and GMVS student Matthew McIntosh.
Both Harringtons, Ava Schneider and Beth McIntosh are also members of the Frost Mountain Nordic Club, based at Rikert.
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