PINKHAM NOTCH — The streak is over.
After winning the last six state championships, the Kennett High girls’ cross-country ski team came up just short in its bid for a seventh straight last Wednesday at Great Glen Trails. The girls from Hanover clicked at the right time and were able to secure their first championship since 2015.
The Marauders won both the classic and freestyle races, which were combined into a pursuit race, scoring 756.5 points overall to 731.5 for Kennett.
The Kennett boys finished fourth overall being Hanover, which successfully repeated as champions for the second year in a row, and Bow was second with Keene rounding out the top 3 in third.
Kennett’s Theo Castonguay, who will graduate a year early this spring, skied to a pair of podium finishes, placing second in both the classic and sprint events.
Steve Vosburgh, Eagles’ head coach, called it a “great day of racing,” and praised each of 12 schools for participating in this COVID-19 pandemic season.
For the girls, Concord garnered third place with 717 points, followed by Bedford, 636; Kingwood, 628; ConVal, 622; Keene, 616; Bow, 596.5; Manchester Memorial, 550; Winnacunnet, 527; Souhegan, 524.5 and Manchester Central, which only had one skier, 113.
For the boys, Hanover scored 761 points, followed by Bow, 713; Keene, 702; Kennett, 698; Concord, 688; Winnacunnet, 653; Bedford, 613; Souhegan, 555.5; Kingswood, 535.5; Manchester Central, 498; and Manchester Memorial, also only one skier, 132.
Racers started out in the classic technique and upon finishing the course, they immediately transition into the freestyle (skate) leg of the race and the transition from classic to freestyle skis is also part of the overall time for each athlete.
In the classic for the girls, Concord’s Kaitlyn Watt, daughter of former Kennett High state skimeister Jim Watt, won the race in 12:11. She was joined on the podium by Morgan Nault of Manchester Memorial, who was second in 12:22, and Hanover’s Britt Arnold, who took third in 12:50.
Hanover placed five skiers in the top 10 to secure the classic title with 379 points. Kennett was second with 365, while Concord was third with 358.
Junior Grace Perley was Kennett’s top skier, placing sixth in 13:13.
Fellow Eagle, Lia Anzaldi was 11th in 13:36, followed by Shannon Derby, 12th, 13:36; Carli Krebs, 13th, 13:37; Kathryn Hawkes, 16th, 13:54; and Dylan Derby, 18th, 14:17 in the 64-racer field.
In the freestyle plus transition time, Watt made it a true daily double with the win in 14:37.
Nault and Arnold were once again second and third, respectively in 14:42 and 15:18.
Hanover took team honors for the freestyle with 377.5 points, while KHS was second with 366.5, and Concord finished in third with 359 points.
Krebs was Kennett’s fastest freestyle racer, finishing fourth overall in 15:28.
Perley came in seventh in 15:36, followed by Shannon Derby, 12th, 16:27; Hawkes, 15th, 16:33; Anzaldi, 16th, 16:37; and Dylan Derby, 22nd, 17:39.
For the boys, individually, there were 57 skiers in the classical race which was won by Simon Phipps of Hanover in 10:03.4.
Castonguay was second, less than the blink of an eye behind, in 10:04.1, while Hanover’s Noah Pipps was third in 10:07.
Senior Dominick Perry was the next Eagle to finish, placing 19th in 12:03. Teammate Gabriel Freedman was next in 20th, 12:23, followed by Caleb White, 25th, 13:15; and Micah White, 26th, 13:19.
Sadly, senior Sam Alkalay was unable to race after being sidelined because he was in a positive-tested cohort at school.
Hanover garnered team honors in classical with 379 points, while Bow, 359; Keene, 351; Kennett, 345; and Concord, 339 rounds out the top 5.
In the skate race, Hanover took team honors with 382 points to top Bow, 354; Kennett, 353; Keene, 351; and Concord, 349 in a close top 5.
Individually, Simon Pipps won his second race of the day in 12:18. Castonguay was second in 12:31.5, while Concord’s Tyler Watt (son of Jim Watt) was third in 12:32.1.
Perry was 16th in 14:27, followed by Freedman, 19th, 14:53; Micah White, 21st, 15:05; and Caleb White, 22nd, 15:11.
By virtue of their finishes last Wednesday, Castonguay, Perry and Freedman of the boys, along with Perley, Krebs, Shannon Derby, Anzaldi, Hawkes and Dylan Derby qualified for girls for the prestigious Meet of Champions this Tuesday at Proctor Academy. The athletes will race a 7.5K freestyle course.