SMS Alpine racers dominate openers

SUGARBUSH/STRATTON - This past weekend, Stratton Mountain School alpine team racers dominated Vermont Cup Giant Slalom (GS) races at Sugarbush on Dec. 15 and Stratton on Dec. 16.

"These were a great couple of race days," said SMS Alpine Program Director Mike Morin. "The kids came out strong and ready to put their training to the test. I was so psyched to see the wins and also to see the young U16 kids working hard to make results."

At Stratton on Dec. 16, the girls staged a shut-out, scoring eight of the top-10 spots. Postgraduate Emily Husson of Derry, N.H. finished in the top slot, with junior Lara Lathrop of South Londonderry, finishing second. Postgraduate Morgan Klein of Oregon, Wisc. finished third, with alumna Christine Schozer (SMS '09) of Stratton Mountain in fourth. Postgraduate Caite Zeliff (North Conway, NH,) rounded out the top-five, and sophomore Amanda Steffey (Hanover, NH) took sixth place overall, but first for U16 girls, beating the younger girls in her division by nearly 10 seconds. Junior Whitney Hadden, (Manchester) finished seventh; junior Leah Fowler (Winhall) placed eighth, and sophomore Anne Guarino (Rutland) finished ninth. Rounding out the top-30 were senior Hannah Burwell (Winhall) in 11th place; senior Chloe Daley, (Richfield, Wisc.) in 12th; senior Izzy Lynch, (Winhall) in 17th; junior Beatrice Rossi, (Monza, Italy) in 19th; freshman Emma Finfer (Highland Park, Ill.) in 21st; freshman Elly Berge (New York, N.Y.) in 22nd; and sophomore Allison Smith (Woodstock) in 24th.

The boys also dominated the podium at Stratton on Sunday, with local senior Zach Kinsella (Manchester) taking first; and Kazui Kusumi (Ramsay, N.J.) in fourth place. Senior Brian Mangiacotti (South Londonderry) placed seventh; while freshman Spencer Smith (Woodstock) placed eighth, which put him in first place for U16 boys by nearly four seconds. Sophomore Brendan O'Keefe (West Wardsboro) placed 15th (second U16); freshman Tyler Wetzel (Skaneateles, N.Y.) took 18th (fourth U16); junior Jimmy Duddy (Ridgefield, Conn.) placed 22nd; sophomore Sebastian Konecsny (Rochford, Australia) tied for 24th with freshman Austin Lilley (Tinton Falls, N.J.) Sophomore Joe DeMuyt (Greenwich, Conn.) placed 26th; freshman Mike Fischer (Bedford Hills, N.Y.) placed 29th; and freshman Hunter Rodrick (Stratton) placed 30th.

On Dec. 15 at Sugarbush, the U16 younger racers from SMS were up against a field dominated by older racers. Despite the challenges, sophomore George Steffey (Hanover, N.H.) took seventh and second for U16 racers. Smith placed 23rd overall (fifth U16), and Wetzel took 36th.

The girls took charge as well with Amanda Steffey placing 7th overall, but first U16 girl. Alumna Elle Gilbert (SMS '12), who currently skis on Middlebury's ski team, placed eighth. Finfer finished in 20th place, and Berge finished 24th.

Stratton Mountain School is a ski and snowboard academy located at the base of Stratton Mountain. SMS serves students in grades 7 - 12. The SMS community of students, faculty, coaches and staff share the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.


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