CONWAY — The defending state alpine champions — the Kennett girls and Hanover boys — picked up where they left off on the slopes on Friday with both posting wins in the season-opening giant slalom races at Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway on Friday.
While light fluffy snow fell during the morning, the Kennett girls looked in midseason form as they swept the podium in the morning GS race in the four-school meet.
The Kennett boys finished second to Hanover on the competition slope at Cranmore but gave the Marauders all they handle in the morning GS.
“It was a great first day of racing,” said Laurel Zengilowski, Eagles’ head coach. "Besides Oyster River (due to a weather cancellation), we had a full day of racing with Hanover and Kingswood. Our girls squeaked out a win with Hanover hot on their heels and the soys came in second to a strong Hanover team."
In the morning GS, the Kennett girls scored 389 points to top Hanover, 382; Kingswood, 360; and Oyster River, which did not attend the meet due to the storm.
Kennett junior Ashley Garside posted the fastest two runs (29.88 and 29.96) to win the first GS in 59.84.
Teammates Allie Hussey and Liza Graustein, both sophomores, finished second and third, respectively, in 1:01.12 and 1:03.19.
Fellow Eagle Kylie Jacobs-Carr was next across the finish line in 12th place in 1:06.77. She was followed by Amy Burton, 15th, 1:07.35; Ellie Nelson, 16th, 1:07.61; Katherine Brooks, 24th, 1:11.83; Cassie Irish, 25th, 1:12.03; Ceili Mahoney, 26th, 1:12.14; Cami Newton, 27th, 1:14.05; Avery Whitelaw, 33rd, 1:18.89; Ella Ugino, 36th, 1:21.75; and Cassie Nigro, 38th, 1:29.54.
Morgan Carr and Elise Vachon, who did not finish their first runs, were 15th and fifth, respectfully, on their second runs in 33.48 and 32.22.
"Ashley, Allie and Liza were the top three finishers in both GS races for us, looking like they'll be the ones to beat at the state level as we get closer to the championships in February," said Coach Z. "Our freshmen girls had a great first day on the slopes as well, acclimating to our team dynamic exceptionally well."
In the afternoon GS, Kennett took first with 388 points, followed by Hanover, 384; Kingswood, 362; and Oyster River, no score.
Garside made it a true daily double by putting down the fastest two runs (29.72 and 29.74) again for the win in 59.46.
Hussey was second again, finishing in 1:00.89. She and Garside were joined on the podium by Hanover’s Grace Lewandoski, who finished third in 1:03.42.
Other Kennett finishers were Graustein, who was fifth in 1:04.41, followed by Carr, 11th, 1:06.30; Jacob’s-Carr, 12th, 1:06.48; Burton, 17th, 1:06.90; Nelson, 21st, 1:08.67; Mahoney, 27th, 1:12.58; Brooks, 28th, 1:12.85; Irish, 29th, 1:13.86; Newton, 30th, 1:15.10; Whitelaw, 35th, 1:20.63; Ugino, 38th, 1:25.58; Vachon, 39th, 1:28.21; and Nigro, 41st, 1:32.24.
For the boys, in the morning GS, Hanover scored 388 points for the win followed by Kennett, 383; Kingswood, 363; and Oyster River, no score.
Individually, Hanover’s Camden Dwyer had the fastest two runs (29.15 and 28.73) for the win in 57.88.
Kennett’s Carter Tasker, a sophomore, was second overall in 1:01.65, while Hamover’s Wesley Stocken rounded out the podium in third, 1:01.27.
Other Eagles who raced included Joseph Nichipor, fourth, 1:01.65; Reed Karnopp, sixth, 1:01.83; Henry Moneypenny, 10th, 1:03.38; Bridger Viger, 12th, 1:04.14; Liam Chesley, 13th, 1:04.20; Jack Calderwood, 14th, 1:04.29; Sean Morgan, 17th, 1:05.03; Brandyn Nault, 18th, 1:05.48; Cole McAllister, 24th, 1:11.32; Sebastian Brochu, 27th, 1:15.53; and Ansel Barclay, 28th, 1:16.66.
Matteo DegliAngeli did not finish his first run but was the 28th fastest (37.98) on his second run.
In the afternoon GS, Hanover tallied 391 points to best Kennett, 378; Kingswood, 365; and Oyster River, no score.
Dwyer also enjoyed a daily double by winning the race in 57.62 (the fastest two runs in 28.75 and 28.87).
Once again, Tasker was second in 1:00.39, while Andrew McGuire was third in 1:00.62.
Nichipor was the second fastest Eagle, placing seventh in 1:01.83; Karnopp, 10th, 1:01.89; Moneypenny, 11th, 1:03.06; Chesley, 12th, 1:03.85; Viger, 13th, 1:04.12; Barclay, 16th, 1:04.12; Calderwood, 19th, 1:05.23; Nault, 22nd, 1:07.51; DegliAngeli, 24th, 1:11.65; Brochu, 27th, 1:14.56; and Morgan, 29th, 1:25.24.
McAllister posted the 26th fastest first run, did not finish his second run.
"Carter Trasker ran the day for us as our top finisher with some solid skiing from senior Reed Karnopp and sophomore Joey Nichipor, as well," ZEngilowski said. "The boys will have an uphill battle for a state title as Hanover, Souhegan, Windham and Hollis Brookline have been very competitive with us in the past, and their continuing to see growth in their programs."
Kennett is scheduled back in action at Cranmore on Friday (9:30 a.m.) for its next race with Kingswood, Gorham, Moultonborough Academy and Plymouth.