Locals ready to challenge on slopes

Ski teams from across the Granite State will converge on some of its most popular slopes this week to determine the top team in each division.

Division I girls alpine teams will compete Monday at Mount Sunapee while the boys will visit the mountain Tuesday. The Division II boys championship is set for Tuesday at Waterville Valley and the girls will compete Thursday at Crotched Mountain.

On Wednesday, the Division I Nordic championships will take place at Waterville Valley, while Division II will be held at Great Glen Trails.

The Bedford boys and Exeter girls won the Division I alpine crown last season and have each had a strong regular season. Pinkerton Academy, Keene and Concord figure to be in the mix to dethrone the champions.

Bishop Guertin had a potential darkhorse competitor in Andrew McCrossan, but the
senior broke his arm in late January and will be unable to compete in the championship.

“He could have won the whole thing,” Bishop Guertin coach Wendy Gettel said. “We have kids who are rising, though, and are filing in the gaps.”

Bailey Ruhm has had an excellent season for the Nashua North girls team, holding her own against some of the top skiers in the state. Zach Peterson and Evan Lowe have led the Nashua South boys.

“We’re hoping to be good competition,” Panthers head coach Matt Denaro said. “We aren’t worried about one specific team. We’re just worried about qualifying and getting good times.”

The Souhegan girls have been practically unbeatable all season, winning four straight meets. The Sabers are led by Rhiannon Allison, who has had a pair of first-place finishes this season. Trevor Brown leads a strong Sabers boys team. The Hollis Brookline boys have won two races this season and the Cavaliers’ depth should make them one of the favorites.

Defending champion Concord is figured to run away with the Nordic titles, but Bishop Guertin coach John Edwards believes his team will be in the thick of it.

“They are going to win, I’m confident in that,” said Edwards of Concord. “So everyone else is going to be battling to see if they can get that second spot and I think we’ll be a part of that.”

Jane Edwards and Chloe Conway lead the way for the Cardinals girls, while Chris Fisher and Andrew Dahl anchor the boys.