MAU boys finish 3rd, girls 5th at Nordic ski states

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RIPTON — The Mount Anthony boys Nordic ski team finished third and the girls team finished fifth in Division I at the Vermont state championships Monday.

In the second day of competition Monday at the Rikert Nordic Center, teams competed in classic as opposed to freestyle, which they competed in last Thursday in Craftsbury.

In the boys classic race, the top MAU finisher was Noah Payne, who finished fifth with a time of 15:58. Other top Patriots finishers included: Jack Drew (7th), Austin Buttle (14th), Garrett Joly (42nd) and Josua Schmid (43rd).

In the boys classic relay, the MAU team of Drew, Buttle, Payne and Joly placed third with a time of 32:35.

The top Patriots finisher in the girls classic race was Natalie Jelley, who finished seventh with a time of 17:26. Other top MAU finishers included: Sarah Umphlett (10th), Maggie Payne (13th), Kylee Hall (14th) and Bridgette Keenan (33rd).

In the girls classic relay, the MAU team of Jelley, Hall, Maggie Payne and Bethany Hassett finished in fifth with a time of 40:44.

"Everything seemed to hit right on the last day, especially on the girls side," said Patriots coach Rob Short on the effort from his girl skiers. "After the individual race, they were second in the state in D-1, which is something we hadn't done at all this year. It was all my young girls that skied really well yesterday."

For the boys, it was all about consistency, according to Short.

"They've been skiing right around third place in all meets and they kept getting third place in the relay, so it was real nice to see that consistency from the boys."

Of the four MAU skiers that placed in the top 10 in individual races, two are juniors and two are sophomores. Having that young talent to lead the team going forward is huge for Short.

"Last year into this year, we were having the ideas of it being a rebuilding year and we set goals for ourselves and both teams met those goals," Short said. "It's really nice to see that everything is coming together as planned. Hopefully next year, we can keep making the step forward and set some new goals."

Late in the season, Short noted that the team needed to refocus on the enjoyment of the sport and he felt like that showed at the state meet.

"We needed to do a reset of our mindset. I felt like the kids were putting too much pressure on themselves," Short said. "We kind of just started to have fun again and reset our minds to the focus of why we're actually doing this. More for the love of the sport, rather than the pressures of the competition and it really seemed to make a big difference for individual performances."

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In Division II, the Burr and Burton girls team finished fourth and the boys team finished seventh.

In the girls classic race, the top BBA finisher was Brennan Harris, who finished 13th with a time of 19:04. Other top Bulldogs finishers included: Leah Mowry (18th), Maggie Brown (20th), Quinn Evarts (35th) and Sage Lalor (41st).

In the girls classic relay, the BBA team of Mowry, Evarts, Brown, and Harris placed fourth with a time of 44:22.

In the boys classic race, the top Bulldogs finisher was Carter Hall, who finished 11th with a time of 16:50. Other top BBA finishers included: Josh Pearson (19th), Ethan Lareau (46th) and Keenan McMorrow (59th).

In the boys classic relay, the Bulldog team of Hall, McMorrow, Lareau and Pearson finished ninth.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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