Since the Harris Hill Ski Jump in Brattleboro was rebuilt and competition resumed in 2009, organizers set a goal making this historic competition a must for any ski jumper with Olympic ambitions.
Looking at the roster of the American Ski Jumping Team that will be competing in next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, you might say that the road to Sochi went through Harris Hill.
Last year’s third-place finisher, Nicholas Fairall of the Andover, N.H., Outing Club, won the U.S. Olympic Trials at Park City, Utah, on Dec. 29 to qualify for his first Olympics.
Anders Johnson of Park City, the 2009 and 2012 winner at Harris Hill, finished second to clinch a spot on the U.S. team in Sochi. It will be his third trip to the Olympics. Peter Frenette of Saranac Lake, N.Y. came in third.
Chris Lamb of the Andover Outing Club, who won the 2010 and 2013 Harris Hill competitions and holds the hill record for the longest jump, 335 feet, finished fifth in the U.S. trials, but still may make the team.
Three spots will be selected by Jan. 20, based on accumulated points in international competition, and Lamb has a good chance of qualifying.
This year’s Harris Hill competition is Feb. 15 and 16. If you want to glimpse who might represent the United States in future Olympic competitions, check it out. For details on this year’s event, visit www.HarrisHillSkiJump.com.
• Chris McAuliffe scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Colonels beat Taconic, 59-53, at the BUHS gym on Dec. 30.
Conner Elliott-Knaggs added eight points, four rebounds, and six steals, and Kyle Patno also scored eight points in a diversified Colonels attack. McAuliffe went 11 for 14 from the free throw line.
• Dal Nesbitt stayed hot for Twin Valley, scoring 30 points — including six three-pointers — and pulling down 10 rebounds as the Wildcats beat Woodstock, 55-41, last Saturday.
This game was close for three quarters, but Twin Valley went on a 15-0 run to seize control. Rebounding played a big part in the win as Eli Park had 12, Cade Nesbitt had 10, and Sam Molner had nine. Molner also scored 10 points as the Wildcats finished the week at 5-0.
• Twin Valley started the week with a 55-25 road loss to undefeated West Rutland on Dec. 30. The Wildcats were outscored 23-4 in the fourth quarter as West Rutland got double-figure scoring from Taylor Raiche (12 points), Mikayla Dambrackas (11), and Brook Raiche (10).
Colton Butler had 10 points to lead the 3-2 Wildcats; Sammy Cunningham-Darrah followed with six.
• Brattleboro struggled to score as the Colonels fell to Rice, 46-28, in the first round of the Springfield Girls Holiday Tournament on Dec. 30. After trailing Rice 10-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Colonels mustered only 19 points the rest of the way. Ari Harrison and Maddy Derosia scored nine and five points, respectively, to lead the Colonels.
In the tourney’s consolation game last Saturday, Taylor Bird and Derosia each scored 11 points to lead the Colonels to a 57-25 win over Springfield. Abbie Lesure and Harrison both finished with eight points, while Megan Siggins and Kayla Savage added seven and six, respectively. The Colonels ended the week at 4-3.
• Emily Dufault got most of her game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds in the second half, as she led Bellows Falls to a 45-21 victory over Black River on Dec. 30 in Ludlow. Chelsea Wilder added seven points for the 2-3 Terriers.
• The Brattleboro boys are trying to get it together. After three losses to start the season, they won three of their next four games.
Their most recent victory: a 1-0 score at Milton on Dec. 29. Evan Perkins got the lone goal with an assist from Declan Lonergan, while goalie Greg DiSilva had 28 saves to earn the shutout.
The Colonels suffered a setback last Saturday as they lost at Middlebury, 4-1. Four players scored for Middlebury: Jordan Stearns had a goal and two assists, and Devin Dwire, James Ploof, and Keenan Bartlett each added a goal. Goalie Doug Delorenzo stopped six shots for the 3-4 Tigers.
Lonergan got the only goal for the Colonels, now 3-5. Goalie Greg DiSilva logged 35 saves in the loss.
• Meanwhile, the Brattleboro girls are still trying to find their groove. At Withington Rink on Dec. 28, they were shut out by Stowe, 5-0. The Colonels were outshot 53-23 and could not convert on their few scoring chances.
The Colonels traveled to Manchester to face Burr & Burton last Saturday, and were blanked again, 5-0. It was the fifth straight game that the 1-6 Colonels have been held scoreless.
Again, Brattleboro got off 25 shots on goal, but goalie Alex Fellows faced 41 shots, stopping 36.
• Brattleboro got its first taste of statewide competition at a 12-team meet on a 5K course at Lake Willoughby.
The BUHS boys finished in seventh place overall as Mount Anthony edged Champlain Valley to win the freestyle meet.
The Colonels were led by Declan King (24th in 19 minutes, 23 seconds), followed by Oliver Pomazi (27th in 19:31), Jonathon Burdo (35th in 20:22), Austin Nichols (40th in 20:33), Spencer Loggia (43rd in 21:13), Colby McGinn (48th in 21:50), Tyler Clement (62nd in 23:19), and Phelan Muller (63rd in 23:21). There were 80 racers in all.
In the girls’ race, freshman Eve Pomazi was the top finisher for the Colonels (42nd in 26:25), followed by Catey Yost (49th in 27:05).
Free ski, snowboard lessons at Living Memorial Park
• Living Memorial Park Snow Sports and Mount Snow’s Ski School offers free ski and snowboard lessons again this year at the park’s hill off Guilford Street in Brattleboro.
Lessons run for three consecutive Thursday evenings: Jan. 16, 23, and 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Participants must have their own equipment and, if planning to ride the T-bar, be prepared to pay $5 for a lift ticket. Register any time the hill is open, but no later than the Sunday prior to that week’s lesson. Registration takes place at the base station.
Skiers must be at least 7 years old, and snowboarders must be at least 9. Registration of anyone younger than 18 requires a parent’s signed release.