There’s a point in every race, be it horses or humans, where two rivals find themselves neck-and-neck as they approach the finish line. Who crosses first? Usually the one with the most stamina and heart who knows the right moment to turn it loose and pull away for the victory.
In the boys’ relay race at the Marble Valley League Nordic Championships at Brattleboro Country Club on Feb. 20, that moment came on the home stretch of the hilly 3-kilometer course, and Brattleboro sophomore Henry Thurber provided that spine-tingling moment.
Thurber was skiing the anchor leg for the Colonel boys. After Evan Koch, Nathan Holmes, and Galen Fletcher skied their segments, Thurber was trailing Mount Anthony’s anchor skier Jack Drew by 14 seconds — about 100 yards — when he was tagged by Fletcher.
Drew and Thurber finished 1-2 in the MVL skate race at Prospect Mountain, and this was Thurber’s chance for payback.
Thurber steadily closed the gap on Drew and by the time they reached the final descent, Thurber was within 25 yards of Drew and closing fast.
The two were even when they reached the long straightaway before the final turn toward the finish line. Thurber then blew by Drew as if he were jet-propelled to give the Colonel boys the relay win and the overall MVL boys’ championship. Mount Anthony finished second and Burr & Burton was third.
In the girls’ relay, Mount Anthony bested Brattleboro with Burr & Burton finishing third. The relay win gave MAU the overall Marble Valley League girls’ title, with the Colonels second and Burr & Burton third.
MAU tried something different, and had their top skier, Natalie Jelley, ski the first leg. She built up a big lead that her teammates Maggie Payne, Kylee Hall, and Sarah Umphlett maintained to win the event.
Liz Morse led off for the Colonel girls, with Bella Takacs and Angelika Toomey skiing the next two legs. MVL Skate and Classic individual champion Sarah Gallagher had the anchor leg, but had too much ground to make up. MAU would finish nearly a minute ahead of the Colonels.
The Colonels are in top form right now, and will face a stiff challenge from the northern powerhouses — Mount Mansfield and Champlain Valley — in the state nordic championship meet on Feb. 28 at Craftsbury.
The girls’ basketball playoffs start this week, with all of the local teams facing road games in the first round.
• Brattleboro finished strong with a road win over Rutland (40-29 on Feb. 16) and a home win against Burr & Burton (50-45 on Feb. 21) for a 10-10 record and the No. 10 seed in Division I. They were scheduled to head north to face No. 7 Mount Mansfield (12-8) on Feb. 26.
In the regular season finale against Burr & Burton, Rachael Rooney led the Colonels with 23 points and teamed up with Hailey Derosia (16 points) to go a combined 14-for-19 from the free throw line in the final quarter. Alysssa Scherlin (14 rebounds) and Lauren McKinney (eight rebounds) dominated inside.
• Bellows Falls is rounding into postseason form as the Terriers beat visiting Hartford, 54-44, on Feb. 18. Taylor Goodell and Halle Dickerson scored 21 and 16 points, respectively, as BF withstood a second-half rally by the Hurricanes.
BF rolled to another big win at home on Feb. 20, crushing Black River, 60-19. Molly Potter finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, and six assists to lead the Terriers, while Emily Bazin had 10 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists.
On Feb. 21, the Terriers traveled to Whitingham and demolished Twin Valley, 63-22. Abbe Cravinho was BF’s top scorer with 12 points in a balanced scoring attack. Jarrett Niles led the Wildcats with eight points.
BF finished the regular season with a 46-40 loss to visiting Green Mountain. That gave the Terriers a 15-5 record and the No. 10 seed in Division II.
That sets up an intriguing first-round road playoff game on Feb. 27 against the seventh-seeded Springfield Cosmos (15-5) at historic Dressel Gymnasium.
Springfield swept the regular season series with a 58-52 win at home on Jan. 31 and a 58-48 win at BF. Can the Cosmos win for a third time, or will the Terriers find a way to foil their longtime rival?
• Niles led all scorers with 19 points to lead Twin Valley to a 56-49 home win over Mid-Vermont Christian on Feb. 19. Maria Page added 13 points for the Wildcats, and Sadie Boyd and Katelyn Longe each chipped in eight points.
The Wildcats finished with a 5-15 record and the No. 9 seed in Division IV. Twin Valley will head north on Feb. 27 to face No. 8 Twinfield (8-12) in a first-round playoff game.
• Leland & Gray is sitting out the Division III playoffs this season.
• Rutland, the two-time defending Division I champions, avenged an upset win by Brattleboro earlier in the season by beating the Colonels, 68-53, on Feb. 22.
Jamison Evans, who sat out the Raiders’ first game against the Colonels, torched Brattleboro for 29 points in the rematch. Adam Newton led Brattleboro with 16 points, and Hunter Beebe, Tyler Millerick, and Gabe Packard each added 10 points. The Colonels ended the week at 10-8.
• Ninth-grader Julia Miskovich scored a pair of goals to lift the Brattleboro girls to a 2-1 win over Burr & Burton at Withington Rink on Feb. 20.
Miskovich redirected a drive by Juniper DiMatteo-LePape for a power play goal in the first period; Lila Alexander was also credited with an assist. After the Bulldogs tied the game, Miskovich pounced on a rebound of a shot by Tobin Lonergan and jammed the puck into the net for the game-winning goal.
Brattleboro lost 5-0 to North Country/Lyndon Institute on Feb. 23 to give the Colonel girls a 6-11-1 record, good for the fourth spot in Division III.
• Will Taggard scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Brattleboro boys a 5-4 win over Harwood at Withington Rink on Feb. 20.
Taggard also scored in regular time. Jack Pattison, who set up Taggard’s OT goal, scored two goals and had two assists. Gavin Howard scored for the Colonels, and Nathan Powers, Ernie Antonucci, Joe Koes, and Howard were each credited with one assist. Austin Wood made 27 saves in goal.
After a 2-2 tie with Woodstock on Feb. 23, the 6-7-5 Colonel boys are ranked sixth in the Division II standings. Pattison and Taggard scored both goals in the Woodstock game, and Wood made 41 saves in goal.
• Brattleboro’s Ben Diamondstone qualified for the Vermont Individual State Bowling Tournament on Feb. 23 in South Burlington. He lost to Fair Haven’s Nick Snide, 187-173.
Randolph’s Howard Stockwell finished as the boys’ champion.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 4 (29-11) is in first place after Week 8 of the winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl, but Team 10 (28-12) is now just a game behind in second place while Team 7 and Team 3 (both 26-14) are still tied for third. Team 9 (23-17) is now in fourth place, followed by Team 11 (22-18), Team 2 (20-20), Team 5 (19-21), Team 8 (16-24), Team 6 (14-26), Team 12 (9-31), and Team 1 (8-32).
Debbie Kolpa had the women’s high handicap game (290) and series (745), while Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men’s high handicap game (290) and series (712). Team 8 had the high team handicap game (935) and series (2,585).
In scratch scoring, Corriveau rolled a 268 and a 217 as part of his 646 series. Kolpa had a 223 game as part of her 544 series, while Josie Rigby rolled a 211 on her way to a 527 series. For the men, Robert Rigby (582), Fred Ashworth (543) and Jon Peters (5o5) all had 500-plus series.
Robert Rigby (225), and Ashworth (202) also rolled 200-plus games, while Pat Bentrup had a 197.
Registration now open for Girls on the Run Vermont spring program
Girls on the Run Vermont’s registration for its spring program has begun. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that inspires girls in grades 3-8 to be joyful, healthy and confident.
The volunteer-led program brings together groups of girls for a 10-week program that encourages personal development, team building and connection to the community. It has inspired girls in Vermont for 20 seasons and has affected the lives of 44,000 girls.
This season, Girls on the Run will be offered at approximately 36 locations in southern Vermont. Each team will meet twice a week for 90 minutes after school and participate in research-based lessons that use dynamic discussions and fun running games to teach life skills.
The season will culminate in a 5K event at Brattleboro Union High School on May 18 that brings together family, friends, and community members to celebrate the girls’ growth throughout the season.
The program fee for the Spring 2019 season is $100 and financial aid is available to those who qualify. The program fee includes registration for the end-of-season 5K event, a shirt, and water bottle. More information about the program and registration can be found on the Girls on the Run Vermont’s website at www.gotrvt.org.
With trained coaches ready to empower these girls, Girls on the Run (grades 3-5) and Heart & Sole (grades 6-8) is currently set to take place at the following sites in Windham County: Academy School, Dover Elementary, Dummerston School, Flood Brook, Guilford Central School, Grafton Elementary, The Grammar School, Green Street School, Jamaica Village, Marlboro Elementary, NewBrook, Oak Grove, Putney Central School, Saxtons River Elementary, St. Michael’s, Townshend Elementary, Twin Valley Elementary, Vernon Elementary, Wardsboro School, and Westminster Center School.
Girls on the Run Vermont still needs coaches. Coaches do not need to be runners, but are required to be a minimum of 18 years old and must complete a background check and view online training modules. Visit www.gotrvt.org/coach for full details.
Area schools still in need of coaches include Readsboro Elementary, Hilltop Montessori School, Marlboro Elementary, and Putney Central School.