ugg boots plumdale Mansfield claim victories on Giant Slalom course in Berkshire County Alpine opener
PITTSFIELD Week 1 of the Berkshire County Alpine season provided an appetizer of sorts for ski fans. With a preseason full of spin classes, weight training, yoga and team bonding out of the way, the Giant Slalom course at Bousquet Ski Area offered a taste of what is to come this winter as the competition heats up.
At the head of each section, that competition will be plenty hot, indeed, as both team firsts were decided by fewer than 10 total seconds. In the boys race, young newcomer Michael Mansfield of Pittsfield was victorious by a mere .36 seconds and three other racers finished within a second of him.
“I’ve been coming here the last couple years watching my brothers racing,” said Mansfield. “I was pretty excited to go here. I knew it was going to be a fun race. My competition was to beat my brothers, and I guess I did it. It was a fun set, nothing too difficult.”
On the girls side, Lenox’s Abby Kate Caproni took home first prize a bit more comfortably, cruising down the hill to the tune of 49.06 seconds. Monument Mountain’s Carly Terranova was second in 51.26.
“It felt pretty fast, felt like the gates were coming up pretty quick, but for the most part it was a pretty solid run,” said Caproni. “We trained really hard and our coaches have worked to make sure we’re really prepared. My goal tonight was to go out, ski fast, have fun and do my best.”
Mansfield helped the Generals to a Week 1 win, overcoming a fully healthy Wahconah squad that appears to be the dominant juggernaut many predicted seasons ago when a trio of freshmen burst onto the scene. However, the Warriors were handicapped by defending state slalom champion Tanner Hill’s DNF. The junior standout spun out midway through his run. Hill was one of seven DNFs on the evening, as a heavy dusting of fresh snow thickened things just before race time.
Wahconah still possesses more than enough talent to make up for one man going down, and showcased that by still posting a 207.14, led by Kyle Brogan’s fourth place finish.
“It’s going to be really interesting to see how this pans out,” said Brogan. “Course was a little soft out there today, but it was great to hear from everyone, all the coaches helping out. It was unfortunate for Tanner, but he definitely helped the rest of us.”
However, this was never going to be a cake walk for the Warriors, who get junior Drew Dunham (sixth overall) back from a broken leg. Mansfield, a freshman, joins his two older brothers David (second overall, 47.36) and Josh (seventh overall) to headline a Generals squad that means business in 2018.
“I skied a little bit conservatively. I can certainly perform better, but Michael and David did great, we didn’t have to tell Michael anything, he’s good enough already,” said Josh Mansfield. “Wahconah is definitely our competition right now with Tanner and Kyle and Drew back, and there was another kid wearing a Jiminy coat I don’t know who he is. But I think we can beat them.”
Pittsfield posted a combined time of 198.77 to win Week 1, with Owen Gutzmer finishing out the scoring in 13th place.
“Tanner is really good, but so are we,” added David Mansfield. “We’ve both got really strong teams this year.”
Without Hill, Wahconah got solid scoring performances from Dominic Scalise and Tommy Dunham.
“I’m happy about it,” Drew Dunham said of the competition. “It makes it a lot more fun for us. I think if we all finish, we’ll have a good shot at taking Berkshire County. But there is a lot of good competition.”
Dunham said he was just trying to get down in the top 15 for his first high school race back on the mountain after injury ended his sophomore run.
“It’s great. He’s another really great racer for us. It definitely helps our points a lot,” said Brogan of his teammate. “We’ve got the Mansfield brothers to compete with, I’ve raced with them growing up and they’re good competition. I think it’ll be a good matchup this year.”
Individually, Taconic’s Andrew King and Monument Mountain’s Raphael Kummer Landau impressed. King was third to Michael and David Mansfield in 47.71,
while Kummer Landau rounded out the top five with a 48.38.
Competition appears to be just as fierce on the girls side. Though Terranova crossed a full 2.22 seconds after her Lenox foe, she was still the driving force behind a slim Monument team victory.
“That’s absolutely fantastic and it makes me so happy,” said Terranova when informed of the team results.
The Spartans totaled up to 210.91. Caproni’s sub 50 made things tight, but the Millionaires succumbed to the depth of a Monument program boasting over 30 skiers. Lenox’s Molly Knight snuck into third place, .01 second in front of Monument’s Adelaide McFarland. However, McFarland was quickly backed up by teammate Emily Martsen a hair under 53 seconds. Lenox got the next skier in after Wahconah’s Aspen Burke, but Ava Bachman clocked in at 54.66 and Emma McTeigue wrapped up Monument’s scoring at 55.06.
“We have a pretty young team, but the five of us girls all love skiing. We come out here and work hard,” said Caproni. “I think we’ll have a good season ahead of us.”
Wahconah placed third, with Burke leading the way in 54.14 and Danni Orlando landing ninth. Taconic’s Morgan Schnauber rounded out the top 10, while Pittsfield’s Carolyn Guachione was 11th.
Team results 1. Monument Mountain 210.91; 2. Lenox 216.08; 3. Wahconah 232.54; 4. Pittsfield 235.42; 5. Taconic 2105.11.
Top 15 1. Abby Kate Caproni (L) 49.04; 2. Carly Terranova (MM) 51.26; 3. Molly Knight (L) 51.63; 4. Adelaide McFarland (MM) 51.64; 5. Emily Martsen (MM) 52.95; 6. Aspen Burke (W) 54.14; 7. Ava Bachman (L) 54.66; 8. Emma McTeigue (MM) 55.06; 9. Danni Orlando (W) 55.54; 10. Morgan Schnauber (T) 55.91; 11. Carolyn Guachione (P) 56.42; 12. Sydney Ruggiero (MM) 57.03; 13. Dakota Grosz (P) 57.74; 14. CeCe Dunham (W) 57.75; 15. Pittsfield 198.77; 2. Wahconah 207.14; 3. Monument Mountain 213.66; 4. Lenox 216.86; 5. Taconic 234.06.
Top 15 1. Michael Mansfield (P) 47.00; 2. David Mansfield (P) 47.36; 3. Andrew King (T) 47.71; 4. Kyle Brogan (W) 47.73; 5. Raphael Kummer Landau (MM) 48.38; 6. Drew Dunham (W) 49.62; 7. Josh Mansfield (P) 49.97; 8. Max DiGrigoli (L) 50.34; 9. Keegan Leach (MM) 51.90; 10. Zach Suffish (L) 52.60; 11. Anthony Arace (T) 53.03; 12. Dominic Scalise (W) 53.79; 13. Owen Gutzmer (P) 54.44; 14. Tommy Dunham (W) 56.00;
15. Kaylo Maliki (MM) 56.16.