GORHAM — The Gorham High School ski team got its 2017 season underway with a pair of giant slalom races on Jan. 6 at Loon Mountain. Hosted by Lin-Wood High School, the format included the main event, a two-run, combined-time race in the morning, and a one-run sprint in the afternoon.
The Gorham girls, Division IV State Champions a year ago, finished the morning giant slalom in second place with 360 points, behind Profile (369 points), and ahead of Lin-Wood (353.5), Sunapee (353), Derryfield (352.5), Littleton (306), Woodsville (294), Moultonborough (285) and Lisbon (99).
Senior captain Natalie Harmon lead the way with a fifth place finish in 63.18, with junior Karyssa Lachance right behind in sixth, 63.88. Also counting for Gorham in the team standings were junior Danielle Cotnoir, 14th, 69.75; and senior Emily York, 21st, 73.12.
Adding depth for Gorham were Riley Fitzmorris, 26th, 74.6; Amira Robertson, 28th, 76.69; Olivia Halle, 40th, 83.03; Hannah Fox, 43rd, 87.2; and Phoebe Ross, 48th, 110.51.
Sarah Blampied from Profile won with a time of 61.99 seconds.
The competitiveness within the division was confirmed in the afternoon race with last year's runners-up, Sunapee, taking the win with 371 points. Packed in behind Sunapee were Profile in second place (366), Gorham and Lin-Wood tied for third (350) and Derryfield, fifth (349). Littleton (309), Woodsville (294), Moultonborough (217), Lisbon (96), Newport (68).
Lachance, fifth, 32.33, and Harmon, sixth, 32.42, again led the way for Gorham, followed by Cotnoir, 18th, 35.41; Fitzomorris, 29th, 37.62; Robertson, 33rd, 38.75; Halle, 38th, 40.85; York, 40th, 41.02; and Fox, 44th, 43.26.
Blampied repeated her morning win in a time of 31.39 seconds.
The Gorham boys' ski team started five high school and five middle school skiers, including three seventh-graders. Coming off a seventh place finish at the state championship last year, the boys fought to a sixth place finish in the two-run morning race, and moved up to fifth place in the afternoon run.
Derryfield narrowly edged a host of schools for team honors with 375 points, followed by Lin-Wood (373), Profile (369), Sunapee (359), Littleton (313), Gorham (311), Moultonborough (298), Woodsville (292) and Newport (280).
Senior Sam Sjostrom led the boys in 21st place , finishing in 67.15, after fellow senior, Bronson Leclerc, suffered a mishap in the first run to finish 36th, 72.01. Freshman Ben Harmon, 32nd, 70.71; and sophomore Melvin Olson, 46th, 78.02, also scored for Gorham.
Other finishers included Bryce Gauthier, 47th, 78.53; Teagan Leclerc, 51st, 83.82; Nolan York, 58th, 88.02; Tristan Robertson, 59th, 89.59; Jordan Lukaszewski, 60th, 90.06; and Lex Mayerson, 64th, 95.22.
Sunapee's Will Austin took home individual first place honors with a time of 56.56 seconds.
In the one-run afternoon race, the Gorham boys bettered their morning score to finish in fifth place. Profile took top honors with 380.5 points, followed by Derryfield (372.5), Lin-Wood (369), Sunapee (354) Gorham (320), Moultonborough (308), Woodsville (293), Littleton (293), and Newport (280).
Austin earned his second win of the day in 29.2 seconds.
Scoring for the Gorham boys were Bronson Leclerc, 32.95; Sjostrom, 33.91; Harmon, 36.22; and Gauthier, 39.08.
Other Huskies to finish included Olson, 46th, 40.7; Teagan Leclerc, 47th, 40.97; York, 52nd, 43.1; Tristan Robertson, 59th, 44.16; Mayerson, 62nd, 45.98; and Lukaszewski, 63rd, 46.85.
“Good start for the new season, and always nice to get some of those first race jitters out of the way, especially with five young skiers making their first start ever,” said Coach Sherrill Tracy. “Our veterans got a better sense of what they need to work on, and what the competition looks like this year.”
Next up for Gorham was a day of slalom on Friday on the Taft Training Hill, a new race venue and part of the recently dedicated Mittersill Project at Cannon Mountain. Results were not known as of press time.