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Warrior frosh LaCross leads pack

  • Above, girls’ champion Mohawk’s Ashley LaCross competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort Tuesday in Charlemont. Below, Frontier’s third-place overall finisher Corriann Delaney competes in the slalom. Recorder Staff photos/Dan Little

  • Frontier’s Corriann Delaney competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort Tuesday in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mohawk’s Bennett Boucias competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort Tuesday in Charlemont. Boucias’ 12th-place overall finish was tops among local competitors. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mohawk’s Dan White competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort Tuesday in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mohawk’s Taylor Loomis competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort Tuesday in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier’s Ben Martino competes in the giant slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort Tuesday in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CHARLEMONT — Mohawk Trail Regional High School skier Ashley LaCross has been working hard to improve her slalom time in recent weeks.

The slalom had been the weaker of the two downhill skiing events for LaCross, a freshman, who had excelled in the giant slalom throughout the PVIAC regular season.

On Tuesday, all the hard work paid handsome dividends.

LaCross bested the rest of the field by more than a second in the slalom and finished fifth in the giant slalom. Her combined time of 1 minute, 1.51 seconds gave her the title at the PVIAC Individual Championships at Berkshire East Ski Resort.

The freshman was joined in the top 10 by two of her teammates, including classmate Taylor Loomis, who finished fifth overall, while junior Erin Laffond placed ninth. Frontier Regional School sophomore Corriann Delaney also had a strong day, placing third.

The day was LaCross’ after the morning session, when she cruised down the slalom course in 35 seconds to beat Westfield’s Grace O’Connor, who finished second at 1.03.

“Usually, the giant slalom is my stronger event, but I’ve been practicing and training slalom constantly for the past couple of weeks, so I’ve been getting into a nice rhythm in the slalom,” LaCross said.

When LaCross stepped to the starting line for her one run in the giant slalom, she said she felt good to be in position to win the title, but was also nervous to be in the top spot.

“I was a little cautious,” she admitted. “I wanted to have a clean run.”

While the giant-slalom time was not her season’s best, her lead after the slalom and her time of 26.51 (fifth best among the competitors) was enough for her to win the title. O’Connor finished second in 1:01.79.

“It’s exciting, especially winning this as a freshman,” LaCross said. “I just wanted to come out and have fun on this day.”

LaCross and others said that what makes the PVIAC race such fun is that they don’t have to worry about how their run might effect the team, since there are no team scores. Each competitor gets one run in each event, so there is no room for error.

Delaney finished third. The Frontier sophomore said she was not all that pleased with her runs, as she took third in both the slalom (36.34) and the giant slalom (25.84) for a combined time of 1:02.18. Delaney said that given her strong finishes during recent PVIAC regular-season meets, she was looking to compete for the title.

“I’m happy but definitely think I could have done better in both events,” she said. “It’s not that it wasn’t my day, but I think I could have done better overall.”

Loomis is another Mohawk freshman who left her mark on the mountain, finishing fourth in the slalom (37.15) and the giant slalom (26.16). Her combined time placed her fifth overall at 1:03.31.

“I’m excited,” Loomis began. “I wish I had done a little better on the slalom, but my GS time was a personal best. It was a lot of fun.”

Laffond made it four local girls in the top 10, placing 11th in the slalom (40.73) and seventh in the giant slalom (27.16).

“It was such a positive day,” Laffond said. “Energy-wise, it was so great. I fell at the top of the slalom, but picked it up at the bottom. In the giant slalom, I was a little conservative, but I went for it the best I could.”

Frontier’s Anna Zera placed 14th overall at 1:13.03. Mohawk’s Lizzie Herzig was 15th in 1:13.93, and teammate Amalie Rowehl was 17th in 1:16.86.

With five finishers inside the top 20, Mohawk is also set up to finish well at the MIAA State Meet, which takes place on March 6 at Berkshire East.

The regular-season awards were also presented at the end of the day and the Mohawk girls had a big day. LaCross placed second in the North Division, Loomis took fifth, Laffond finished sixth, and Herzig placed 10th. Mohawk ran away with the team title.

On the boys’ side, Mohawk’s Bennett Boucias was the top local finisher with his 12th-place finish. Boucias finished 10th in the giant slalom (25.51) and 13th in the slalom (42.13) to place 12th with a combined time of 1:07.64. Boucias said that having to run through the slalom in the afternoon was difficult because conditions got very icy, which led to several crashes.

“I definitely wanted to do better,” Boucias said. “My slalom run was lacking, but it was pretty icy.”

Teammate Dan White finished 14th in 1:09.11, taking 17th in the giant slalom (26.67) and 14th in the slalom (42.44). Ben Martino was the top finisher for Frontier with a 20th-place finish in 1:18.79.

Mohawk’s White (seventh) and Boucias (eighth) were also honored for their regular season standing.