By Lloyd Jones
FRYEBURG — "It took two miracles, but we pulled it off."
That's how John Weston, head ski coach for Fryeburg Academy described last week's Western Maine Conference Cross-Country Skiing Championships that were held at Stark's Hill in Fryeburg last Tuesday and Saturday. Mother Nature had been none too kind to the skinny skiers this winter.
Weston said the first miracle occurred Tuesday when the Raiders hosted a 5.4K skate freestyle with barely any snow on the ground. And then temperatures soared in to the 50s later in the week and thinks looked bleak.
"We got a second miracle," Weston said smiling, "thanks to the unforecasted snow we got Friday. We managed to pull off two races."
Weston said his troops were dealing with some sickness, but still managed to turn in a number of impressive results.
In team scoring, the FA girls finished fourth overall, just two points out of third behind Freeport with 137 points. Yarmouth took the top spot overall with 41 points followed by Mc Waldorf, 68.
Falmouth was fifth, 194; Waynflete, sixth, 198; Greely, seventh, 254; York, eighth, 302; and Gray, no team score as the Patriots did not have four skiers finish the classic race.
For the boys, Freeport finished first overall out of night schools with 46 points, followed by Falmouth, 90; MC Waldorf, 118; Fryeburg, 125; Yarmouth, 138; Waynflete and Cape Elizabeth, 251; Greely, 305; and Gray, no team score as the Patriots did not have four skiers finish the classic race.
In Tuesday's skate race for the girls, Kaelyn Woods, of Gray, win the race by 25 seconds in a blazing time of 15:03.
Woods was joined on the podium by a pair of Yarmouth skiers, Sophia Lauki, second, 15:28, and Lucy Alexander, third, 15:33.
Fryeburg was ld by Emily Carty, who placed eighth overall out of 58 skiers in 17:19.
By virtue of a top 10 finish, Carty earned All Western Maine Conference honors.
Other Raiders to finish included Irina Norkin, 14th, 18:23; Faye Taylor, 25th, 19:57; Costanza Santarelli, 35th, 21:07; Mae Milo, 44th, 21:59; and Erin Richardson, 47th, 22;30.
Yarmouth won the race with 21 points, followed by MC Waldorf, 38; Freeport, 68; Fryeburg, 75; Gray, 79; Waynflete, 95; Falmouth, 122; Greely, 124; and York, 158.
For the boys in the skate, Tucker Pierce of MC Waldorf won the race by 6 seconds in 13:05.
Also on the podium were John Lane of Yarmouth, who was second in 13:11, and Bennett Hight of Freeport, third, 13:34.
Fryeburg's Patrick Carty skied to all-conference honors by finishing fourth in 13:42.
Other Raiders to finish in the 58-skier field included: Ben Caffrey, 14th, 15:02; Christian Bedell, 16th, 15:19; Alfie Walker, 28th, 16:38; Seth Johnston, 47th, 19:06; Sam Paulding, 51st, 20:11; Jacob Gerrish, 54th, 21:27.
Team scores had Freeport on top with 24 points; Falmouth, 43; MC Waldorf, 60; Fryeburg, 62; Yarmouth, 65; Cape Elizabeth, 128; Waynflete, 129; Gray, 129; and Greely, 154.
In the 5.19K classic race on Saturday, team honors for the boys went to Freeport with 22 points, followed by Falmouth, 47; MC Waldorf, 58; Fryeburg, 63; Yarmouth, 73; Waynflete, 122; Cape Elizabeth, 123; Greely, 151; and Gray, no score.
Waynflete's Wilson Moore won the race by 12 seconds in 15:11. Pierce was second, 15:23.4, and Lane, third, 15:23.5
Carty was eighth, in 16:22, earning all-conference laurels. He was followed by Bedell, 13th, 17:23; Caffrey, 18th, 18:11; Walker, 27th, 18:55; Jonhston, 35th, 20:05; Gerrish, 49th, 22:52; and Reed Wales, 55th, 24:32.
There were 63 finishers in the race.
For the girls, Yarmouth finished first as a team with 20 points, followed by MC Waldorf, 30; Fryeburg, 62; Freeport, 67; Falmouth, 72; Waynflete, 103; Greely, 130; York, 144; and Gray, no score.
Individually, Lily Johnston of Freeport won the race by 48 seconds in 17:42. She was followed by Yarmouth's Alexander, second, 18:30.6; and Fiona Ahearne of MC Waldorf, who was third in 18:30.9.
Carty led the Raiders and earned her second all-conference honors of the week by finishing 10th in the 62-skier field in 20:18.
Other FA finishers included: Norkin, 15th, 21:04; Zoe Maguire, 19th, 22:18; Elise Richardson, 24th, 22:34; Taylor, 35th, 23:59; Santarelli, 41st, 24:32; and Milo, 47th, 25:21.
The State Meet is scheduled for next week at Titcomb Mountain Farmington.
Coach Weston believes the Raiders have a chance to finish in the top three as a team for both the girls and the boys.