Patriots girls win classic event at Wild Wings
PERU — Mount Anthony Nordic ski coach Rob Short said that he was at Wild Wings Touring Center at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning before that afternoon's classic Southern Vermont League championship.
He was waxing skis and taking them around the course to get just the right combination for his MAU skiers.
His lengthy day was rewarded as the Mount Anthony girls won and Patriot skiers Sarah Umphlett and Jack Drew won the individual races.
"I prep three pair of skis, six individual skis and they all have a different wax on them," Short said. "I go out around the loop, test which ones are running faster and which ones are sticking. It comes from years of knowing the wax lines and the products, knowing what works when.
Short said he also takes temperature readings because even a slight change can have an effect on the skis.
"This was the first day in my coaching career, I didn't have one kid that came back and needed to have their wax changed."
The girls had all four scorers in the top 11, led by Umphlett who finished in 18 minutes, 23 seconds — 22 seconds better than Burr and Burton's Leah Mowry in second.
The first three MAU skiers went Umphlett first, Maggie Payne third and Kylee Hall fifth overall. Freshman Elyse Altland was the final scorer for MAU in 11th.
"They are starting to group together and that's where it's at," Short said. "Elyse is still figuring it out and she's quickly learning where she's going to be for the next few years, it's nice to see Elise taking off."
Burr and Burton was second, 20-27, with Brattleboro close behind in third with 31 points.
Mowry led the Bulldogs, followed by Serena Harris in sixth, Harriet Dahlstrom in ninth and Brennan Harris in 10th.
"Every weekend they have awesome team results and I think that motivates them to keep going and keep getting results in the top 10," said BBA coach Isabel Caldwell.
On the boys side, Brattleboro edged Mount Anthony, 21-22, as a tie for eighth place resulted in Brattleboro eking ahead. Drew was first for MAU, finishing in 15 minutes, 5 seconds — 32 seconds ahead of Brattleboro's Declyn Tourville.
Charlie Dobson and Garrett Joly finished fifth and sixth, while Henry Thurber was fourth and Nolan Holmes seventh for Brattleboro.
The difference came as Sam Freitas-Eagan finished tied for eighth place with Rutland's Brady Geisler. Owen Hansen was 10th for MAU, its final scorer.
"Garrett is usually next to Charlie or Jack and you need to have that 1-2," Short said. "The top three guys are racing well and we're hoping for some great results, like we got today from the fourth and fifth place guys.
Peter McKenna was 11th overall, with Gabe Niles 12th.
Heading into Monday's relay event at the Brattleboro Outing Club, the MAU girls have a 12-point lead and the Brattleboro boys have a five-point lead.
"It always comes down to the relay," Short said. "It'll be interesting to see what happens and set the tone for the state meet."
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