Alpine Eagles ski in Meet of Champions

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Seven members of the Kennett High girls' and boys alpine teams qualified recently to compete in the prestigious Meet of Champions at Cannon Mountain in Franconia.

The top 10 finishers in slalom and GS for boys' and girls receive an invitation to ski in the Meet of Champions, which brings together the top 30 skiers from divisions I, II and III, at Cannon Mountain in Franconia on March 2.

For the Eagles, Paige Hill, Ashton Coleman, Liz Robert, India Drummond for the girls, while Sean Maloney, Connor Glavin and Dylan West qualified for the boys.

In the morning giant slalom at Cannon, Bedford's Sophia Dobrowski topped 38 other girls to win the two-run, combined time, race in 1 minute, 32.16 seconds. She was joined on the podium by Gorham's Karyssa Lachance, who was second in 1:34.03, and Sunapee's Maddie Austin, who finished third in 1:36.76.

Kennett was led by Coleman, who finished 11th in 1:39.50.

She was followed by teammates Hill, 21st, 1:44.16; Robert, 24th, 1:45.92; and Drummond, 29th, 1:48.86.

For the boys, Will Austin of Sunapee came from behind to lay down the fastest second run of the day to win the race by the blink of an eye in 1:27.21. Profile's Jack Sampo was right on his heels, finishing second in a field of 38 skiers, in 1:27.92.

Austin and Sampo were joined on the podium by Tucker Ormiston of Derryfield, who was third in 1:29.92.

West was the top finisher for the boys from Conway, placing 12th overall in 1:35.94. Glavin was 16th in 1:36.69.

Maloney did not ski in the Meet of Champions, after earning a spot on the 2017 Eastern Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Junior National Team. He competed in the U20 age category, north of Chicago at the Norge Ski Club from Feb. 28-March 4.

In the afternoon slalom, for the girls, Hollis-Brookline's Stephanie Menard had the fastest two runs to win the race by almost two seconds in 1:25.06. She was joined on the podium by Plymouth's Rebecca Caron and Dobrowski, who finished tied for second in 1:27.52.

Coleman led KHS, placing 12th in 1:34.40, followed by Robert, 19th, 1:41.08; Drummond, 20th, 1:41.41; and Hill, 28th, 2:04.77, after a fall on the first run.

For the boys, Austin made it a true daily-double by winning slalom on top of his morning GS title. Again, it was tight at the top, and again, Austin had to come from behind on his second run to claim the crown, winning in 1:14.39. Ormiston was a close second in 1:14.49, while third place honors went to Portsmouth's Tristan Hamilton in 1:17.75.

West was the lone KHS boy to finish, placing 12th out of 25 finishers in 1:25.85.

Glavin did not finish his second run.

The Kennett girls won the overall Division II title for the fifth year in a row on the slopes of Cranmore Resort in North Conway on Feb. 14. The Eagles won the title with 762 points, topping the 11-school field.

Plymouth was second with 691 points, followed by Hanover, 677; Hollis-Brookline, 672.5; Souhegan, 648; Kingswood, 626.5; Oyster River, 588; ConVal, 585; Windham, 560; Lebanon, 522; and Pembroke, 508.

The KHS boys were third for the second year in a row in the state championships.

Plymouth won the title at King Pine Ski Area in East Madison on March 3 based on a strong finish in slalom to secure team honors with 737 points. Windham was second with 728 points, followed by Kennett, 717; Hollis-Brookline, 625; Souhegan, 618; Pembroke, 595; Kingwood, 593; ConVal, 560; Lebanon, 559.5; Oyster River, 512.5; Hanover, 476; Milford, 425; and John Stark, 322.

 

Mackenzie Murphy named Division III Player of the Year

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Junior Mackenzie Murphy has been named the Division III Hockey Player of the Year. He's the third player in Kennett High history to win the award.

Goalie Ricky Gaudreau earned the award in 2010, while forward Kevin Murphy received it in 2012. They were both seniors when they were honored.

Kennett, which won the state championship on March 11, beating Berlin/Gorham 4-0 at Southern New Hampshire University Arena (the former Verizon Wireless Arena), placed just two players on the Division III All State roster, which includes six athletes on the first team, six on second team and six on the honorable mention roster. Aside from being the player of the year, Murphy was named to the first team, while junior center Colby Couture was tabbed honorable mention.

Murphy, who was named the Division III Player of the Year on March 12, had an outstanding season for the Eagles. The talented defenseman developed a nose for the net this winter and was in the top three in scoring for the state champs.

This season, Murphy scored 15 goals to go along with 29 assists for 42 points.

The 42 points give Murphy 72 for his career heading into his senior year.

"Kenzie plays 200 feet of ice," said Michael Lane, Eagles' head coach. "He plays the most minutes of anyone on the team (besides goalie Johnny Biggio), and he always plays against the best player on opposing teams."

Murphy started a tradition at KHS his freshman year when he came up with the idea of a Teddy Bear Toss at one of the team's home games. The bears are collected and then taken to Boston Children's Hospital. Each year, the event has grown.

"As of last count we were at 137 bears," Lane said. "It was great to see. The credit for this goes to Mackenzie ; he came up with the idea."

Aside from the Teddy Bear Toss, Murphy was named the most valuable player in the Peter Hall Holiday Tournament, which was played at the Ham Ice Arena during the Christmas break. He was also honored by WMUR (Channel 9) as a Hometown Hero, which goes to a high school athlete that goes above and beyond in their sport and community.

"The great thing about Kenzie is he plays for his teammates," Lane said. "He'll trade all of his personal accolades for team success."

Murphy, who wore the "A" for assistant captain at the beginning of this season, was promoted to captain in December.

"He deserved it," Lane said. "All of the coaches agreed that he earned it by what he does on and off the ice. He's a good student in the classroom; volunteers for Mount Washington Valley Youth Hockey. He just does everything the right way. Young kids look up to him. We're lucky to have Mackenzie Murphy on our team and in our community. I'm really excited to see what he does next year."

Couture, a junior, received honorable mention honors. He was third on the team in total points this winter with 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points.

"Colby is another of the kids who plays in all situations from the power-play to penalty kill," Lane said. "Like Kenzie, he plays all 200 feet of the ice. He does so many of the little things really well. He was incredibly successful in the face-off circle.

"Colby never takes a shift off," he continued. "He's one of those kids you love to have on your team. It's nice to have him be recognized by other coaches around the state."

Division III Coach of the Year honors went to Belmont-Gilford's Dave Saball, who guided the Bulldogs to the Final Four this winter.

Joining Murphy on the first team were sophomore Jameson Bourque of John Stark-Hopkinton; Joe Morrisette, a senior at Somersworth/Coe-Brown; Hunter Dupuis, a junior for Belmont/Gilford; Casey Pridham, a senior for Somersworth/Coe-Brown; and Jacob Arnold, a senior for Kearsarge/Plymouth.

Second team: Bailey Defosei, a senior for Belmont/Gilford; Alex Muthersbaugh, a sophomore for Belmont/Gilford; Cameron Bourque, a senior for John Stark/Hopkinton; Mike Dalzell, a senior for Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes; Cam Cochran, a junior for Berlin/Gorham; and Harrison Parent, a junior for Belmont/Gilford.

Honorable mention: Hunter Sanders, a sophomore for Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes; James Buckley, a senior for Belmont/Gilford; Noah Schoenbeck, a junior for Berlin/Gorham; Joel Boulanger, a senior for Somersworth/Coe-Brown; Owen Dorval, a senior for Berlin/Gorham; and Couture.

Lane felt several of his players, including Biggio and junior forwards Caleb McPherson and Connor Doucet were worthy of state accolades.

"The voting process takes place prior to the playoffs," he said. "These accolades are nice, but we got the biggest one of all, the state championship. I told the guys going into the season that you need to give up a little bit of yourself for the good of the team, and that's what this group did."

Still, it's hard to believe Biggio, a junior, wasn't one of the three goalies recognized. He went 14-3 during the season with a 1.73 goals against average. In the playoffs, Biggio yielded two goals in the quarterfinals and then posted back-to-back shutouts in the semifinals and finals.

"Johnny knows how I feel about him," Lane said. "There's no goalie I'd rather have in our division or in the state. I think goalies can sometimes be overlooked on successful teams because they don't necessarily see as many shots as other teams. Johnny showed how good he is in the tournament. Hopefully, this state championship takes away some of the sting."

 

Thirty-two KHS scholar-athletes honored

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Thirty-two Kennett High seniors were among those honored March 13 at the annual New Hampshire scholar-athlete awards ceremony in Concord.

The event, sponsored by the N.H. Interscholastic Athletic Association and N.H. Athletic Directors Association, was held at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord on March13. This was the 30th year for females and the 19th year for males to receive these highly distinguished awards.

Kennett boys and girls invited included Nina Badger, who does soccer and Nordic skiing and outdoor track; Andrew Belle-Isle, cross-country and indoor track; Maya Bernier, soccer and Nordic skiing; Tanner Brown, football, ice hockey and lacrosse; Leah Canavari, field hockey and ice hockey; Jonathan Caputo, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track; Sam Cawley, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track; Theo Charles, football and lacrosse; Emily Cormier, volleyball and Nordic skiing; Elizabeth Davis, soccer and tennis; Cain Drouin, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track; India Drummond, field hockey, alpine skiing and outdoor track; Noah Dubois, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track; Lincoln Gonyo, cross-country and outdoor track; Logan Hagerty, cross-country and outdoor track; Taylor Hanlan, cross-country, alpine skiing and outdoor track; Kaitlyn Janos, cross-country and softball; Jamie Kelemen, football, alpine and ski jumping; Aaron Lamar, football and baseball; Noah Lautenschlager, indoor track and outdoor track; Rebecca Lees, field hockey and tennis; Matteo Lentini, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track; Zoe McKinney, cross-country, Nordic skiing and outdoor track; Mykala Merrill, volleyball and tennis; Dennis Morgan, alpine and lacrosse; Darren Piotrow, cross-country, Nordic skiing and outdoor track; Dana Saxby, cross-country and alpine; Jasmine Schmidt, cross-country and tennis; Allison Solomon, field hockey and softball; Michael Welch, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track; Nick Whitley, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track; and Rachel Yalenezian, soccer, alpine and ski jumping.

Kennett High principal Neal Moylan and athletic director Neal Weaver, attended the ceremony and was delighted to see so many Eagles recognized.

"It was truly an honor to travel with our scholar athletes to the awards ceremony and their families," he said. "The Kennett community and the Mount Washington Valley should be proud that we were represented by such outstanding young men and woman. It was an awesome day."

"It was really impressive to see so many of our student-athletes recognized," Weaver added.

NHIAA high school student athletes from throughout New Hampshire were recognized for achieving academic and athletic excellence. Award recipients are nominated each year by their school principals based on criteria that requires the high school seniors have a B-plus grade point average, letter and be currently active in at least two varsity sports, participate in community service activities and serve as role models to their peers.

At the awards ceremony, each student athlete received an award certificate and a commemorative pin. WMUR Sports Anchor Jamie Staton was invited to address the group and present a proclamation from Gov. Chris Sununu declaring March 13, 2017 Scholar Athlete Awards Day. "The talent, spirit and accomplishments of these New Hampshire athletes are truly worthy of our praise," he stated in the proclamation.

 

Utah wins NCAAs; Eastman posts two top 25 results

CONWAY — The Utah ski team won its 11th NCAA Skiing Championship title, its first title since 2003, on March 11, at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson.

Among those competing in the championships was former Fryeburg Academy standout Silas Eastman of Chatham, a senior at Colby College. He raced in the classical and freestyle (skate) cross-country ski races in Jackson. On hand to cheer him on were several of his former Fryeburg teammates and coach John Weston.

The championships, which were hosted by the University of New Hampshire for the fifth time, brought together the top 74 men and 74 women from across the United States to compete in slalom and GS at Cannon Mountain in Franconia along with classical and freestyle (skate) cross-country skiing in Jackson.

Former Kennett High standout, Cory Schwartz, is the coordinator of UNH ski team.

The Utes came into the final day on March 10 in second, trailing leader Denver by 34.5 points with Colorado a close third, needing two solid Nordic races from the men and women to attempt to move into the lead. Utah got that, scoring 541.5 points, winning over Denver (525) and Colorado (524).

Dartmouth College was fourth with 400 points, while UNH was ninth, 146; Colby College, 10th, 142.5; and Plymouth State University, 16th, 49.

Utah's Martin Bergstroem won both the 10K classical and 20K freestyle races in Jackson on March 9 and March 11. In the two-lap race classical, Bergstroem won the race by an impressive 26 seconds, covering the 10K course in 25:33. Denver's Dag Frode Trolleboe was second in 25:59, and Martin Mikkelsen of Utah, rounded out the podium in third in 26:25.

Eastman, who also runs cross-country for Colby in the fall, narrowly missed a top 20 finish, crossing the line in 25th place out of 40 racers in 27:54, just 15 seconds out of 20th.

Granite State finishers included Dartmouth's Fabian Stocek, Luke Brown and Callan Deline, who finished 12th, 14th and 30th, respectively, in 27:17, 27:21 and 28:05; UNH's Peter Holmes, 35th, 28:02

In the women's race, Colorado University's Petra Hyncicova won the 5K by 19 seconds in 14:55. She was joined on the podium by Utah's Merete Myrseth and UVM's Alayna Sonnesyn, who were second and third, respectively, in 15:14 and 15:15.

New Hampshire finishers included UNH's Elizabeth Gill, ninth, Katrin Larusson, Silje Wilson. who finished ninth, 15th and 22nd, respectively, in 15:43, 16:08 and 16:27.

Skiing for Dartmouth were Lauren Jortberg, Abigail Drach and Lydia Blanchet, who finished 10th, 27th and 33rd, respectively, in 15:44, 16:36 and 16:57.

In men's GS at Cannon on March 8, Colorado's David Ketterer won the two-run, combined time race in 2:13.51. He was joined on the podium by Sam Dupratt of Utah and Dartmouth's Brian McLaughlin, who finished second and third, respectively, in 2:13.62 and 2:13.65.

Other Dartmouth skiers included Thomas Woolson, 11th, 2:15.63, and Tanguy Nef, 15th, 2:16.19.

Chris Steinke of UNH was 29th in 2:19.23, while Plymouth State University's Karl Kuus took 30th in 2:20.43.

For the women in GS, Montana State's Benedicte Lyche and Stephanie Gartner finished first and second in 2:17.58 and 2:17.71. They were joined on the podium by Roni Remme of Utah, who was third in 2:18.07.

Dartmouth finishers were Kelly Moore and Alexa Dlouhy, who were 12th and 13th, respectively, in 2:20.16 and 2:20.22.

Plymouth State's Freydi Einarsdottir was 19th in 2:21.61.

Lisa Wedsjoe led three UNH women, placing 16th in 2:20.81. Fellow Wildcats Emma Woodhouse and Genevieve Frigon were 21st and 22nd, respectively, in 2:22.97 and 2:24.59.

In the slalom on March 9, for the women, UVM's Paula Molten won the race in 1:56.57. She was joined on the podium by Dencer's Andrea Komsic, who was second in 1:57.08, and Dartmouth's Foreste Peterson, who was third in 1:57.46.

Other Darmouth finishers were Dlouhy, sixth, 1:58.18; and Moore, 11th, 1:59.27.

Einarsdottir was 15th for Plymouth State in 1:59.93.

For UNH, Frigon was ninth, 1:58.96, while Wedsjoe did not finish her second run, and Woodhouse was disqualified on her second run.

For the men in slalom, Colorado's Ketterer won for the second time in two days, finishing in 1:49.23, besting UVM's William St. Germain, who was second in 1:49.63, and Denver's Eric Read, who took third in 1:49.92.

For Dartmouth, Woolson was fourth, 1:49.97; Nef, sixth, 1:50.39; and McLaughlin, 27th, 1:58.66.

Kuus of Plymouth State, just missed the top 10, finishing 11th in 1:51.75.

For UNH, Steinke was 32nd in 2:17.06.

In the men's 20K freestyle, Bergstrom won the race in 46:02, winning by half a second over Colorado's Mads Stroem, who was second in 46:03.3, and Denver's Moritz Madlener, who was third in 46:03.4.

Eastman turned in strong race, finishing 18th overall in 48:00. He was a minute out of 11th place.

Granite State finishers included Dartmouth's Stocek, Brown and Deline, who finished fifth, ninth and 16thth, respectively, in 46:04, 46:51 and 47:58; UNH's Holmes, 22nd, 48:16.

For the women, Colorado's Hyncicova won for the second time in two days, dominating by 21 seconds in the 15K in 39:21. She was UVM's Sonnesyn and Colorado's Christina Rolandsen, who were second and third, respectively, in 39:42 and 40:00.

New Hampshire finishers included UNH's Gill, Wilson, and Larusson, who finished ninth, 24th and 32nd, respectively, in 40:48, 42:07 and 43:27.

Skiing for Dartmouth were Drach, Jortberg and Blanchet, who finished 20th and 21st, respectively, in 41:51 and 41:52.