CONWAY — There’s a new champion in Division II boys’ alpine skiing, but Kennett High didn’t let the trophy go easily, coming within 19 points of a three-peat, but Wednesday at Crotched Mountain in Bennington, the day belonged to Bow.
The Flacons jumped out to an 8-point lead by winning the morning giant slalom and stretched their advantage by winning the afternoon slalom, too.
Bow won the championship with 717 total points, followed by Kennett, 698; Souhegan, 689; Hanover, 652; Hollis-Brookline, 647; Plymouth, 641; Oyster River, 628; ConVal, 609; Kingswood, 547.5; Pembroke, 540; Portsmouth, 521.5; and John Stark, 74.
Kennett Coaches Laurel Zengilowski and Ed Bradley knew the Eagles would need to ski near-perfect to defend their crown. They came close, but the Falcons were pretty flawless.
In the morning GS, Plymouth’s Dylan Welch had the fastest two runs (28.41 and 28.59) to win the race in a combined time of 57.0.
He was joined on the podium by Kennett senior Connor Glavin, who was second in 57.60, and Andrew Taylor of Souhegan, who was third, 57.96.
Bobby Graustein was the next Eagle to finish, placing ninth overall in the 72-skier field in 59.66. He was followed by Reed Karnopp, 17th, 1:01.77; Bridger Viger, 26th, 1:03.51; Garrison Phaneuf, 27th, 1:03.77; and Henry Moneypenny, who did not finish his first run.
Bow placed there skiers in the top 10 (sixth, eighth and 10th), and the all-important fourth skier was 22nd, to give it the team plaque with 358 points, followed by Kennett, 350; Souhegan, 349; Hanover, 329; Hollis-Brookline, 324; ConVal, 312; Oyster River, 310; Plymouth, 302; Pembroke, 269; Portsmouth, 267.5; Kingswood, 265.5; and John Stark, 74.
In the afternoon slalom, Welch made it a true daily-double by putting down the fastest two runs (38.04 and 39.02) to take individual honors among 70 skiers in a combined time of 1:17.06.
Glavin was second again in 1:19.12, while Bow’s Connor Wachsmuth rounded out the podium in third in 1:21.68.
Graustein was the second KHS skier, placing seventh in 1:23.68. He was followed by Connor West, 23rd, 1:32.58; Reed Karnopp, 26th, 1:34.53; Gabe Mohla, 32nd, 1:37.30; and Moneypenny, did not finish.
Bow had four skiers in the top 18, to ski to the slalom title with 359 points, followed by Kennett, 348; Souhegan, 340; Plymouth, 339; Hanover, 323; Hollis-Brookline, 323; Oyster River, 318; ConVal, 297; Kingswood, 282; Pembroke, 271; Portsmouth, 254; and John Stark, 0.
Alternates for the boys were Julian Brochu, Ethan Nemeth, Sean Morgan and Brandyn Nault.
Top 10 finishers in GS and slalom at the State Meet earn skiers an invitation to the prestigious Meet of Champions at the Mittersill Ski Area at Cannon Mountain on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 9:30 a.m. Kennett and Kingswood are the host schools for the day. Glavin and Graustein have qualified to ski in the meet for Kennett.