The winter high school season in Vermont officially begins on Dec. 7 with the first varsity girls’ basketball games.
That night, Brattleboro will take on Burr & Burton in the Leland & Gray Booster Club tournament in Townshend at 6 p.m. Host team Leland & Gray will play at 8 p.m against Arlington.
Twin Valley also opens on Dec. 7 with a 6 p.m. game against the Poultney girls, while the Bellows Falls girls open at West Rutland on Dec. 8 for a 1:30 p.m. matinee.
Boys’ basketball gets going on Dec. 10. Brattleboro hosts Amherst, Mass., at the BUHS gym. Bellows Falls opens on Dec. 12 when they host Long Trail, while Leland & Gray is at Poultney that night. Twin Valley travels to Proctor on Dec. 13. All these games start at 7 p.m.
Ice hockey begins with a doubleheader on Dec. 12 at Withington Rink. At 4 p.m., the Brattleboro girls take on Middlebury, followed by the Brattleboro boys at 6 p.m. playing Burr & Burton.
Weather permitting, the Brattleboro nordic teams will open their seasons with a tournament at Prospect Mountain in Woodford on Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.
The Brattleboro co-ed varsity bowling team opens with a tournament at Rutland Bowl on Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.
Twin Valley will have a boys’ and girls’ varsity snowboarding team this season. Their first event is a rail jam at Stratton Mountain on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m.
Terrier Harriers do well at New England meet
• By winning the Division III state cross-country title, the Bellows Falls girls’ team qualified for the New England High School Championships, which were held Nov. 10 at Derryfield Park in Manchester, N.H.
Individual state champion Abby Broadley finished 61st, covering the muddy 5-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 20 seconds, an impressive performance for a ninth-grader running against some of the best athletes in New England.
The other Terrier Harriers acquitted themselves well as the team finished 24th. Stephanie Ager, who is also a ninth-grader, finished 101st in 20:47, followed by Lia Clark (162nd, 21:31), Jasmine Boucher (252nd, 24:08), Molly Hodsden (257th, 24:50), and Haley Covillion (260th, 25:38).
Champlain Valley won the girls’ team championship, and the individual winner was sophomore Kate Wiser of Pomperaug High School in Southbury, Conn., whose time was 18:04.
Shiffrin wins again at Killington
Despite fog, mist, and rain, more than 15,000 fans jammed into Killington Resort on Nov. 25 to watch Mikaela Shiffrin win her 45th Women’s World Cup skiing event.
For the 23-year-old Shiffrin, a three-time Olympic medalist and currently one of the top female slalom racers in the world, the sloppy conditions did not catch her off guard.
As someone who learned to ski at the Dartmouth Skiway in New Hampshire and Burke Mountain Academy in the Northeast Kingdom, she is used to skiing on less than perfect snow.
And the conditions were definitely not perfect on the 25th, the final day of competition. However, according to a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team news release, Shiffrin was buoyed by the large and raucous Killington crowd.
“I could hear them [the fans] from the start. It was deafening,” said Shiffrin. “The crowd really carried me down the hill and it’s just amazing to race here in front of everybody. The atmosphere is just so incredible and it’s really, really a special race.”
It was Shiffrin’s second consecutive World Cup slalom win of the 2018-19 season, and her third-straight Killington Cup slalom victory. Slovakia’s Petra Vhlova was second and Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter came in third.
“I knew it was going to be a fight because of the tough conditions today. It was pretty sloppy snow, but I figured, ‘well, everybody has to fight, and if I fight harder, we’ll see what happens,’” Shiffrin said. “There were a couple points on the course where I wasn’t actually sure if I was still on the course, but I kept my skis moving and then I was like: ‘I’m in the finish!’ It worked!”
Shiffrin wasn’t the only racer with Vermont ties for the Killington fans to root for. Paula Moltzan of the University of Vermont came in 17th in the slalom, her best-ever finish in a World Cup event. This is Moltzan’s first year on the U.S. Ski Team.
Another Vermonter, Abi Jewett of Ripton, made her World Cup debut at Killington. She didn’t make the time cut for a second run on the 25th, but had the thrill of becoming the first native Vermonter to race in a World Cup event at Killington.
This is the final year of Killington’s three-year contract to host a Women’s World Cup event. Whether the pro circuit will continue to stop at Killington is a decision that will be made by the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association and the International Ski Federation.
Total attendance for the two days of racing on Nov. 24 and 25 was 33,500, with another 5,500 coming for the pre-race festivities on Nov. 23. This makes Killington one of the best-drawing Women’s World Cup venues in the world.
Given Vermont’s long and proud ski history, and the support this event has generated over the last three years at Killington, it is an absolute no-brainer for the World Cup to make Vermont a regular stop on the circuit.
SMS athletes fill U.S. Ski & Snowboard teams
• Fourteen Stratton Mountain School (SMS) athletes have been named to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team for the 2018-19 season — more than any other ski academy in the United States.
In fact, since SMS was founded in 1972, more than 100 of its students have been selected to the national team and 46 earned placements on U.S. Olympic teams.
According to a news release from the school, U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced their alpine, freeski, cross country, and snowboard teams last month, with a number of past and current SMS athletes named to each.
Olympic silver medalist Lindsey Jacobellis returns to the Snowboardcross A-team alongside Alex Deibold, who won the bronze in Snowboardcross during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
“I’m excited to see SMS alumni Lindsey and Alex back on the U.S. Snowboard Team,” said SMS snowboarding director Ross Powers, a two-time Olympic medalist and USSA’s 2015 Domestic Snowboard Coach of the Year. “Both have been on the team for a long time and are still on top of their game.”
Recent graduate Caroline Claire, who became the first actively-enrolled Stratton Mountain School student to compete in the Olympics during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, has been named to the U.S. Freeski Team’s Pro Slopestyle contingent.
Current student Mac Forehand has also been named to the U.S. Rookie Slopestyle team.
“I am super proud of both Caroline and Mac, and I am so excited to see them compete in the World Cup Slopestyle and Big Air events this season,” said SMS Freeskiing director Jesse Mallis, who was recognized as the 2018 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year last spring.
Also announced Nov. 12 was the official U.S. Cross Country Team, led by Olympic gold medalist and Stratton Mountain School Elite T2 team member Jessie Diggins.
During the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Diggins made history by winning the first gold medal in U.S. Cross Country Skiing in the Team Sprint alongside teammate Kikkan Randall.
Diggins is joined on the U.S. Cross Country A-Team by SMS alum and two-time Olympian Sophie Caldwell, as well as three-time Olympian Simi Hamilton. Patrick “Paddy” Caldwell, who also competed for the U.S. in Pyeongchang, has been named to the Cross-Country B-Team.
Three members of the SMS T2 team have also been named to the U.S. Cross Country Development Team including Katharine Ogden, Ben Ogden, and Julia Kern.
“We are proud to have such a strong group on the U.S. Ski Team,” said SMS Nordic director Sverre Caldwell, USSA’s 2015 Domestic Coach of the Year and a member of the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame. “Everyone is looking strong and we are excited to start the race season.”
U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced their official selections for their Alpine team Nov. 15, including athletes Alice Merryweather, who competed in her first Olympic Games in PyeongChang last year, Nicholas Krause, and George Steffey.
“We are very proud of our SMS alums being named to the U.S. Ski Team,” said SMS Alpine director Mike Morin, who was recognized by the Vermont Alpine Racing Association as the 2018 Development Coach of the year, and by U.S. Ski and Snowboard as the 2017 Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 5 (46-19) maintained its hold on first place and Team 2 (45-20) remained just one game back in second place after Week 13 of the fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl.
Team 7 and Team 4 (both 37-28) are still tied for third place. Team 10, Team 11, and Team 8 (all 34-31) are in a three-way tie for fourth, followed by Team 1 (33-32), Team 3 (32-33), Team 9 (28-37), and Team 6 (22-43).
Rosealie Howe again had the women’s high handicap game (242), while Bunny Fogg had the high handicap series (667). Al Dascomb had the men’s high handicap game (271) and series (705). Team 11 had the high team handicap game (884) and series (2,539).
In scratch scoring, Warren Corriveau Sr. (606) had the men’s high series, while Fogg (535) had the women’s high series.
Marty Adams (570), Gary Montgomery (541), and Wayne Randall (529) each had a 500-plus series.
Corriveau (226), Montgomery (212), and Dascomb (207) were the male bowlers to top 200 for a single game, while Fogg rolled a 197 to lead the women.