JERICHO - The Burr and Burton Academy boys and girls Nordic ski team had a good showing at the State Championships this year with the boys team taking third place in Division II - seventh overall - in the classic relay.

"That was great. It's sort of tough to see while they're racing how they're placing within their division so we usually got to look at the overall for a quick guage and they were right there. It was really fun to see," said Burr and Burton Academy coach Ian Black.

In addition to the boys relay team of Anders Proft, Kevin Pollio, Thomas Kittross, and Scott Mooney taking third place, Mooney also placed third in DII - fourth overall - in the individual classic race. Two other BBA skiers - Kittross and Proft - placed just outside the top 10 in the individual classic, taking 11th and 12th place respectively.

The girls relay team - made up of Helena Bigelow, Amanda Mulroy, Ali Leiter and Raili Utiger - also performed well in the classic - taking sixth place in DII and 13th place overall.

"That was fun mostly because we didn't even have a girls team last year," said Black. "This year two girls on our relay team, Ali Leiter and Amanda Mulroy, they're both new skiers and they were both doing JV races at the start of the year, but they stepped it up to varsity and they were able to join the relay team and make it a pretty solid relay team."

Bigelow also performed well individually in the classic, placing 7th in DII and 16th overall.


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"It was just a blast to see them doing so well in the classic," said Black. "We just had a good day and everything just kind of fell into place." Black said he believed that the reason both teams performed better in the classic portion of the State Championship as opposed to freestyle - or skate - was that it was practiced about 60 percent of the time throughout the year.

"I would guess other schools ski maybe 75 percent skate, 25 percent Classic," said Black. "We're able to ski more classic because we have a smaller team so waxing is not as big of an issue. Waxing for classic takes longer and you have to do that every time you go out skiing. So, with small numbers you can get the skis waxed quicker and go out and work on classic."

In the freestyle portion of the State Championship both the boys relay team of Proft, Simon Aborn, Kittross and Mooney and the girls team of Bigelow, Mulroy, Leiter, and Utiger both placed sixth in DII. Mooney was the best individual finisher for BBA in freestyle finishing in 10th place overall and Bigelow was the top girls performer finishing in 22nd place.

Looking ahead to next year, Black said that they were going to try to focus on freestyle a little bit more given the results from this year's State Championship. However, he said he was pleased with the team's results this year.

"It was a very small amount of surpise," said Black of how the team finished. "I guess I was just proud of the kids. They really went for it. Also they knew it was their last race of the year so they just went out there and left it all out on the course."

Following on the heels of the State Championship, Bigelow, Proft, and Mooney will be competing at the Eastern J2 Championships this weekend, which is for students that are 14-15 years old.

"They take some of the best J2s from each state. So our kids are going to represent Vermont and Vermont is going to ski against New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts [and] New York is usually there," said Black. "So, it's a higher level event that those three kids qualified for this year so we're excited to see how they do."

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