Chittenden County high school Nordic ski capsules

Chittenden County high school Nordic ski capsules


Chittenden County high school Nordic ski capsules



* Coach: Abbie Harris (first season)

* Last season: Girls sixth at state championships; boys did not place

* Key returnees: Boys — Jake Van Buren, senior; Eli Van Buren, sophomore; Ben Hunt, sophomore. Girls — Sabrina Farmer, senior; Lucy Leith, senior; Andrea Noonan, senior; Callie Flynn, junior.

* Key newcomers: “Too many to pick just a couple,” said Harris, noting that 23 members of the BHS squad are new to Nordic racing.

* Outlook: Jake Van Buren’s return from a knee injury should help bolster the BHS boys, while a strong upperclassmen core — five seniors and three juniors — has the girls looking to build on their success last season.

Champlain Valley

* Coach: Sarah Strack (19th season)

* Last season: Boys and girls both won state championships

* Key returnees: Boys — Thomas Clayton, senior; Parker Francis, junior; Charlie Maitland, junior. Girls — Autumn Eastman, senior; Cally Braun, senior; Anna Francschetti, senior.

* Key newcomers: Freshmen Ben Carnahan and Sophia Gorman each won their first JV race of the season Dec. 17 at Craftsbury.

* Outlook: While the Redhawks certainly have the talent to repeat, Strack says her team will define success in many different ways this season. “We have a wide range of individual goals for the season, from finishing a varsity race to making the New England junior national team,” Strack said. “The team goals are to have fun, train hard, and give each race your best effort.”


* Coach: Morgan Samler (ninth season), Callie Douglass (fifth season)

* Last season: Girls eighth at state championships; boys did not place

* Key returnees: Boys — Ethan Thibeault, senior; Jordan Lamay, senior; Nigel Sarrazin, sophomore. Girls — Jenna Baillargeon, sophomore; Hannah Echo, sophomore; Megan Severance, sophomore.

* Key newcomers: None singled out, but Samler said CHS has “a big group of freshman skiers that have skied in our middle school program the last few years.”

* Outlook: With 50 skiers on their roster, the Lakers will look to build on each successive race and ski their best when it counts the most. “Our goal is to improve their skiing technique and fitness as the season progresses,” Samler said. “We are looking to be competitive with the other schools in the state.”


* Coach: Paul Allison (fourth season)

* Last season: Boys fourth at state championships; girls seventh

* Top returnees: Boys — Ethan John, junior; Steven Maloney, junior; Caleb Guziak, junior; Girls — Ellie Pinto, senior; Sarah Tallman, junior

* Top newcomers: The Hornets’ 11 freshmen and 10 sophomores could yield some key contributors. “It takes time to develop as a racer,” Allison said. “They need to get on snow and get experience.”

* Outlook: “Overall we’re still a very young team,” Allison said. “We have a very solid core on the boys side, and five to seven girls who could factor into scoring.” The Essex girls have back three of the four legs of their sixth-place classic relay team from last year’s states in junior Katherine Moino and sophomores Madison Corkum and Chloe Lemmel-Hay. Junior captains Maloney and Guziak also took part in the relay at last year’s states, where John was far and away Essex’s best performer (ninth in classic, 13th in skate).

Mount Mansfield

* Coach: Eric Barker (23rd season)

* Last season: Girls second at state championships; boys third

* Top returnees: Boys — Wylie Picotte, senior. Girls — Molly Shallow, senior

* Top newcomers: The MMU roster includes 14 underclassmen, 10 of them freshmen

* Outlook: The Cougars bring back two of their top three individual performers from last year’s state championships in Picotte (fifth in skate) and Shallow (10th in classic,14th in skate). The MMU boys also return two other skiers from their third-place classic relay team in senior Austin Trembley and junior Alec Pelton; while the girls’ returnees from their second-place relay team are Shallow and junior Amy Bruce.

South Burlington

* Coach: Vince Masseau (12th season)

* Last season: Boys eighth at state championships; girls ninth

* Key returnees: Boys — Eric Goodman, senior; Griffen Canon, junior; Matt Gordon, junior. Girls — Janie Merrick, junior; McKenna Gould-Murray, sophomore.

* Key newcomers: Too soon to single anyone out

* Outlook: The Rebel boys look primed for some consistent groupings this season, as their top three skiers were within 30 seconds of each other at the season-opening race. “We’re hoping to have a pretty solid boys team by the state meet,” Masseau said. On the girls side, the coach sees room for improvement with Merrick leading the way.


More USA TODAY High School Sports