×

PVIAC alpine season wraps up with celebration, individual championships

  • Hampshire's Rebekah Pierce takes a spill at a particularly icy gate on the slalom course during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, on Tuesday, Feb.13, 2018 in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Gateway's Dakota Whitaker takes a spill at a particularly icy gate on the slalom course during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, on Tuesday, Feb.13, 2018 in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Amherst’s Nico Christakos competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East, Tuesday. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Gateway’s Zachary Ames competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain, Tuesday in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Amherst Regional’s Margaret O’Connell competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East, Tuesday. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Amherst's Nico Christakos competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, on Tuesday, Feb.13, 2018 in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Gateway's Jessica Garriepy competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, on Tuesday, Feb.13, 2018 in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier Regional’s Corriann Delaney competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Alpine Ski Individuals at Berkshire East, Tuesday in Charlemont. Delaney finished third in slalom, third in giant slalom and third in the combined. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos and video. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Corriann Delaney competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, on Tuesday, Feb.13, 2018 in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Corriann Delaney competes in the slalom during the PVIAC Individuals at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, on Tuesday, Feb.13, 2018 in Charlemont. Recorder Staff/Dan Little



@kylegrbwsk
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

CHARLEMONT — Margaret O’Connell and Sora Green basked in the sunlight at Berkshire East, tiaras sparkling in the sun atop their helmets on the chairlift.

Silver, glittery makeup dotted their eyes under their goggles, and they wore flowery leis.

The Amherst Regional alpine ski team went for a “Hawaiian, princess, glitter” vibe at the PVIAC individual skiing championships Tuesday.

The event annually resembles a celebration more than a competition. The PVIAC’s state championship participants are determined by season-long results rather than performance at the championship meet, unless there is a tie after the regular season.

“Individuals is really a fun day,” Gateway coach John Garriepy said.

Teams grill and ring cowbells at the base of the mountain, cheering every racer through the finishing chute.

It’s still a race, though, and medals are awarded at the end.

Frontier Regional’s Coriann Delaney placed third in the slalom in 36.34 seconds and third in the giant slalom in 25.84. Those results added to a third-place finished in the combined (1:02.18).

“I thought I could have done better, but overall it was a good day,” she said. “Since I was an earlier bib, it was better than some of the later bibs.”

The top 15 fastest skiers are sent down the course first followed by the next 15 skiers and so on. The conditions were better for the earlier racers before the top layers of snow were scraped off and revealed a slick surface.

“After course inspection it looked wicked icy, and it was that,” Gateway’s Zachary Ames said.

Many racers fell, particularly on a hairpin turn halfway through the slalom course. Those who stayed upright finished higher up the leaderboard.

Amherst’s Niko Christakos finished fourth in the combined (1:00.59) after taking fourth in the slalom (35.2) and sixth in the GS (25.27).

“Didn’t push it, didn’t have to,” Christakos said. “I’m a better skier when I’m relaxed.”

Northampton’s Nate Jones was seventh in the boys combined (1:01.85) after finishing ninth in the GS (25.45) and sixth in the slalom (36.4).

Gateway’s Jessica Garriepy cracked the top 10 in the girls combined. She was seventh in the slalom (38.27) and 15th in the GS (29.7), good for 10th (1:07.97).

“You’ve got to put all your pressure on your downhill ski,” she said.

Ames was 11th for the Gators in the combined (1:05.05) after he took 11th in the slalom (38.63) and 16th in the GS (24.62).

“It was grippy ice, it was fast,” he said.

O’Connell took 11th for the Hurricanes in the girls combined (1:08.01). She was eighth in the slalom (39.05) and 14th in the GS (28.96).

Ben Martino was 20th for Frontier in the boys combined (1:18.79), 36th in the GS (29.12) and 21st in the slalom (49.67).

Talia Gilman-Solomon finished 23rd for Hampshire Regional in the girls combined (1:23.81) thanks to a 24th-place finish in the slalom (51.24) and a 26th-place finish in the giant slalom (32.39).

Edward Przybyla had the Raiders best boys combined finish placing 15th (1:09.71). He was 15th in the slalom (42.51) and 22nd in the GS (27.2).

Northampton didn’t have any finishers in the girls slalom. Aislyn Jewett finished 17th in the GS (30.37).

After the individual medals were awarded for Tuesday’s races, the PVIAC honored its season-long champions.

Delaney was third in the girls North League, while Garriepy took seventh. O’Connell finished third in the South, while Green was fourth. Katelyn Dunn of Hampshire was fifth, and Amherst’s Alexia Dassatti took seventh.

Those results helped Amherst win the girls South team championship.

“We’re finally getting something out of this. No one sees how much work we put into this, and it’s finally paying off,” Green said. “Our team has come so far in the past few years. We’ve finally proven ourselves.”

Hampshire took second in the girls South League.

On the boys side, Northampton was second in the North. Jack Denhart was fifth individually, though he didn’t race Tuesday. Christakos took 10th for Amherst.

Przybyla was fifth in the South.

The top 30 boys and girls in the PVIAC standings will compete at the state meet March 6 at Berkshire East. It’s the first time the state meet has been held at Berkshire East since 2013.

“It’s really nice having it at your home mountain,” O’Connell said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com.