MAU girls edge BBA for first win; Patriot boys second

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PERU — With four skiers in the top 10, the Mount Anthony girls Nordic ski team won its first meet of the year at Wild Wings on Friday afternoon.

The Patriots had 20, followed by Burr and Burton in second with 29 and Brattleboro in third with 33 points. Otter Valley was incomplete.

Sarah Umphlett led the Mount Anthony charge with a win in the race, finishing in 20 minutes, 17 seconds. Maggie Payne was next in third, in 20:54. The rest of the Patriot scorers were Kylee Hall in sixth and Sadie Korzec in 10th.

Chloe Stitcher (11th) and Chloe Cichanowski (13th) weren't far behind either.

"Sarah had the day today," said MAU coach Rob Short. "She looked strong throughout the whole race."

Payne was second out of the starting gate, followed by BBA's Leah Mowry, Umphlett and Brattleboro's Bella Takacs, which made for a tough race being the rabbit in the 15-second interval start.

"Maggie was the first one off, so she was being chased the whole time which is a tough position to be in, she was under pressure all day," Short said. "Sarah was doing the chasing."

Mowry was second overall, 19 seconds behind Umphlett. Sylvie Normandeau was fourth and Takacs fifth.

"It's going to be a flip flop year between Sarah, Maggie and Leah and it's good for the three of them because it makes everyone stronger. And Brattleboro has a strong group too."

BBA coach Isabel Caldwell said she was pleased to see Mowry come in runner-up on the Bulldogs' home course.

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"She put in a lot of hard work during the summer and fall and that training is paying off," Caldwell said. "She's off to a great start and I'm excited to see what the rest of the year will bring."

Things were a bit closer on the boys side, with Brattleboro first with 20 points, Mount Anthony second with 23, Burr and Burton in third with 46 and Rutland fourth with 58 points.

Mount Anthony's Charlie Dobson won the race in 17 minutes, 19 seconds, beating Brattleboro's Henry Thurber by five seconds. The Colonels' Sam Freitas-Eagan was third with BBA's Logan Sands fourth and MAU's Jack Drew fifth.

"Charlie Dobson turned in a good race," Short said. "Jack broke a pole during the race, which affected him some. Henry is a front runner in the [league], but Charlie was just super strong all day."

The team event came down to the third and fourth scorers for both Brattleboro and MAU, with Declyn Tourville seventh and Nolan Holmes eighth for the Colonels. Garrett Joly was sixth and Owen Hansen 12th for MAU.

"Gabe [Niles], Andrew [Giorgi] and Owen are all battling for that last scoring spot," Short said. "Owen had the best kick to the finish today."

Sands was fourth, 25 seconds behind Dobson.

"He squeaked onto the Eastern High School team last year, and that's fired him up for this season," Caldwell said. "He wants to qualify for it again and he's put in a lot of hard work."

For the Bulldogs, behind Sands, Ned Swartzentruber was 11th, Luke Lehmann was 13th and Adam Preiser was 21st.

"Today was Luke's first varsity race and he ended up [scoring] for us," Caldwell said. "He's going to keep improving through the season."

Both Mount Anthony and Burr and Burton are scheduled to compete again on Tuesday at Mountain Top, weather permitting.


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