Tiger Nordic girls seize first-leg lead

TIGER BETH MCINTOSH works her way up a slope on the way to her big win in the girls’ 5K on Tuesday in the first day of the Nordic state championship meet, hosted by Rikert Outdoor Center. Independent photo/Steve James

MUHS JUNIOR BETH McIntosh smiles after winning the girls’ classic 5K by a big margin on Tuesday’s first day of the state Nordic skiing meet, hosted by the Rikert Outdoor Center.
Independent photo/Steve James

RIPTON — The Middlebury Union High School girls’ Nordic skiing team took a commanding lead in the Division II championship meet on Tuesday, when the first leg of the two-day state event was staged at the Rikert Outdoor Center. The Tiger girls are seeking their third straight title.

The defending champion Tiger boys are in second place after day one’s classic-style racing at Rikert in warm, sunny conditions, but Woodstock has a substantial lead heading into the freestyle races on the second day, which Craftsbury is set to host on Friday. 

In Tuesday’s girls’ 5-kilometer classic race Tigers Beth McIntosh and Ava Schneider finished first and second, respectively. Teammate Mary Harrington was fifth, and the Tigers’ fourth scorer, Lila Cook Yoder, was 12th overall. MUHS won the morning event with 16 points to take a big lead over their nearest competitors in the six-team field, Montpelier (38), Woodstock (44) and  U-32 (52). 

McIntosh’s time was about 30 seconds faster than the top D-I competitor and 36 seconds ahead of her teammate Schneider in the D-II race.

The same four Tiger skiers then breezed to victory in the afternoon relay to extend the Tigers’ lead. Heading into Friday’s freestyle races at the Craftsbury Nordic Center MUHS led with 26 points, trailed by Woodstock (64), Montpelier (68), and U-32 (92).

Skiing as individuals, Mount Abe’s June Yates-Rusch came in seventh and Vergennes Union High School’s Ellie Eckels was 34.

Meanwhile the Tiger boys stood in third out of seven scoring teams after the morning 5K, well behind Woodstock, but nipping at Montpelier’s heels. The other four teams were out of contention. 

Matias Citarella (fourth place), Baxter Harrington (sixth), Matthew Berg (13th) and Baker Nelson (17th) were the scorers for the Tiger boys in the morning 5K.

The Tigers moved past Montpelier and into second place by finishing second in the afternoon relay. The same four skiers also competed for the MUHS boys’ relay team. 

Woodstock prevailed in the relay to stretch its lead. Heading into Friday at Craftsbury, the top three boys’ teams and their scores were: Woodstock, 28; MUHS, 54; and Montpelier, 58. Lyndon was well back in fourth at 122.


The top 10 girls’ and local skiers’ places and times in the classic 5K were: 

1. McIntosh, MUHS, 20:26.6; 2. Schneider, MUHS, 21:02.9; 3. Anika Leahy, Craftsbury, 21:12; 4. Claire Serrano, U-32, 21:46.3; 5. Harrington, MUHS, 22:06.8; 6. Sara Saligman-McGill, Montpelier, 22:47.1; 7. June Yates-Rusch, Mount Abraham, 23:09.9; 8 Margaret Voisin, Montpelier, 23:29.6; 9. Priscilla Richardson, Woodstock, 24.24.5; 10. Leila Griffith, SHS, 24:46.2; 12. Cook Yoder, MUHS, 25:35.3; 34. Ellie Eckels, Vergennes, 30:02.6; and 41. Sarah Benz, MUHS, 32.13.

TIGER AVA SCHNEIDER picks up speed on a downslope on the way to her second-place finish in the girls’ classic 5K at Riker Outdoor Center. She helped MUHS to a big lead Tuesday in the first day of the Nordic state meet.
Independent photo/Steve James

The relay results for the top teams were: 1. MUHS, 46:33.8; 2. Woodstock, 49:57; 3. Montpelier, 50:02.6; 4. U-32, 53:04.8. 


The top 10 boys’ and local skiers’ places and times in the classic 5K were: 

1. Uva Quinn, Woodstock, 19:07.3; 2. James Underwood, Woodstock, 19:19.2; 3. Sam Brondyke, Montpelier, 19:42; 4. Citarella, MUHS, 19:47; 5. Sage Grossi, Montpelier, 20:03.2; 6. Harrington, MUHS, 20:07.7; 7. Joseph Sluka, Woodstock, 20:14.8; 8. Graham Fox, Woodstock, 20:33.5; 9. Charles Kehler, Craftsbury, 20:57.1; 10. Lincoln Miller, White River, 20:57.8.

MIDDLEBURY UNION HIGH School senior Baxter Harrington finished sixth in the boys’ 5K and helped the Tiger relay team finish second at the Rikert Outdoor Center on Tuesday. The MUHS boys are in second after the first leg of the two-day state Nordic ski meet.
Independent photo/Steve James

Also, 11. Lorenzo Atocha, Mt. Abe, 21.05; 13. Berg, MUHS, 21:22.4; 17. Nelson, MUHS, 22:06.3; 18. Aaron Carr-Perlow, MUHS, 22:31.3; 35. Nate Cook Yoder, MUHS, 24:44.3; 40. Kaden Hammond, MUHS, 25:36.8; 44. Eli Bagley, Otter Valley, 25:58.8; and 63. Ike Bagley, OV, 32:33.9;  

The relay results for the top teams were: 1. Woodstock, 37:23.2; 2. MUHS, 39:13.9; 3.  Montpelier, 39:37.2. 

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