CONWAY — The only thing hotter than the weather might be the Kennett High cross-country ski team, which is sizzling after dominating the freestyle (skate) race in the second and final NH Nordic Coaches Association Series Race of the season in Whitefield on Saturday. The KHS girls had a sensational day, taking team honors, while the boys from Conway were a close second to Concord High.
There were more than 500 high school and middle school racers on snow Saturday when schools from throughout the Granite State came to race in the meet hosted by the White Mountain School.
This race and the classical race in North Conway’s Whitaker Woods on Feb. 5 are used to name the eastern U16 and high teams for the Granite State.
“A great day for Kennet High School, both individually and as a team,” Steve Vosburgh, Eagles' head coach, said. “The KHS girls won the Laura Sibley trophy as the overall best team, and there were several excellent individual results. While the KHS boys were excellent on the day, the Concord boys were spectacular as a team and they won the boy's overall title. Congratulations to them!”
In terms of team scores for the girls, Kennett bested 15 schools with 48 points while Kearsarge was second with 104 and Concord took third with 108 points.
In North Conway, on Feb. 5, the Kennett girls won that race with 30 points. Kearsarge and Concord were second and third, respectively, with 55 and 81 points.
For the boys, Concord topped a field of 16 schools to take first with 69 points while Kennett was second with 92 points and Moultonborough Academy took third with 220.
Earlier this month, Kennett took the top spot in North Conway with 39 while Concord and Ford Sayre finished tied for second with 50 points.
There were 130 girls in the A race.
Perrin Milliken of Ford Sayre won it in 12:55. She was joined on the podium by Agnes Macy of Dublin, who was second in 12:56, and Kennett’s Eilidh McKinnon, who took third in 13:06.
For the Eagles, Helen Badger was 14th in 14:18; Ellory Kearns, 17th, 14:25; Riley Steward, 24th, 14:46, Hannah Thelemarck, 38th, 15:24; Jordanna Belle-Isle, 46th, 15:36; and Chloe Van Dyne, 72nd, 16:31.
The Kennett girls dominated the B race, placing four skiers in the top six and five in the top seven overall. Kathryn Hawkes led the way for the hometown flock, winning the 96-skier race in 15:22.
Teammate Olivia Curry was third in 16:11, followed by Lia Anzaldi, fourth, 16:30; Madelyn Marcotte, fifth, 16:32; Grace Ruddy, seventh, 18:03; and Amelia Jarell, 44th, 20:45.
In the A race for the boys, which was a 5K skate event, Kennett's Aidan Hagerty topped 142 skiers for the win in 11:18. Cameron Brochu of Concord was second in 11:26, edging Dublin’s Quinn Wilson, who took third in 11:28.
Other Kennett boys in the race were Wilder Byrne, 22nd, 12:17; Garrett Kearns, 34th, 12:47; Kirk Badger, 35th, 12:50; James Krebs, 37th, 12:55; Keith Badger, 45th, 13:13; Daniel Weeder, 47th, 13:18; Andrew Donohoe, 63rd, 13:58; Noah Geary, 71st, 14:05; and Caleb Esmay, 85th, 14:27.
In the B race for the boys, Kennett’s Eric Bormann won the race against 83 other skiers in 13:35.
Other Kennett skiers included Caleb White, 19th, 15:54; Nick Heysler, 39th, 17:20; Garrick Porter, 40th, 17:28; Sam Alkalay, 42nd in 17:39; and Logan Violette, 43rd, 17:40.
Every winter the NHNCA organizes the NH Series races, arguably the country's premier high school Nordic race series. These two races, one classical (on Feb. 5) and one skate technique (Feb. 17), attract over 600 middle and high school racers and their adoring fans.
This race series is used to select the top 24 high school boys and top 24 high school girls to Team NH to compete in the New England Nordic Ski Association's U16 and Eastern High School Championships in March.
In addition to high school racers, the NH Series also offers over 150 middle school racers their first major race experience as they prepare to compete in the annual Middle School Championships in Sandwich later this month.
In the boys middle school 5K, Mitchell Townsend of Gilford won the race in 12:31. He was joined on the podium by Eben Misavage of Inter-Lakes, who was second in 17:04, and Moultonborough’s Seth Rollins, third, 13:45.
Skiers from Josiah Bartlett Elementary School included Willem Badger, 20th, 16:23, and Micah White, 37th, 17:51.
For the middle school girls, Gilford skiers Catherine Stow and Vanessa Genakos, who finished first and second, respectively, in 13:26 and 15:42, were joined on the podium by Rundlett’s Katherine Kennedy, who was third in 15:47.
Skiing for JBES were Jocelyn Anzaldi, 13th, 17:17; Anika Miller, 15th, 17:20; Aida Wheat (a sixth-grader at Jackson Grammar School skiing for Bartlett), 21st, 17:54; Sofia Plourde, 33rd, 18:59; and Mira Kearns, 41st, 19:36.
Skiing for KMS were Grace Perley, 25th, 18:13; Jordan Meier, 26th, 18:17; Bryana Sanphy, 28th, 18:35; and Maya Gove, 54th, 20:33.
There were 85 girls in the middle school race.
The high school Eagles made the trek to Garipay Field in Lebanon on Feb. 14 and came home with the boys and girls getting top honors.
The KHS boys scored 386 points to top Hanover, 379; Lebanon, 363; Derryfield, 333; Souhegan, 328; Kingswood, 321; and ConVal, 312.
For the girls, Kennett took first with 386 points followed by Hanover, 378; Lebanon, 352; Kingswood, 331; ConVal, 328; Souhegan, 312; and Derryfield, 262.
“We had beautiful weather and snow conditions at Garipay Field on Wednesday for a skate race with seven schools in attendance,” Vosburgh said. “Good execution for the Kennett girls and boys. Lots of sickness in the ranks, but we still were able to have a strong day.”
For the boys, Hagerty won the race by almost 30 seconds in 11:53. He was followed by Krebs, fourth, 12:47; Kirk Badger, fifth, 13:08; Kearns, seventh, 13;12; Keith Badger, 10th, 13:39; Weeder, 12th, 13:49; Geary, 16th, 14:18; Esmay, 19th, 14:41; White, 23rd, 15;01; Heysler, 37th, 16:51; and Violette, 40th, 17:23.
For the girls, McKinnon won the race by six seconds in 13:33, followed by fellow Eagles, Kearns in fourth, 15:05; Steward, sixth, 15:27; Thelemarck, seventh, 15:43; Hawkes, 14th, 16:29; Curry, 21st, 18:00; Marcotte, 22nd, 18:05; Celia Lynn, 23rd, 18:16; Kaitlyn Fay, 24th, 18:38; Ruddy, 32nd, 19:54; Van Dyne, 41st, 21:09; and Jarell, 42nd, 23:09.