Alpine skiing: Hampshire Regional’s Edward Przybyla captures victory at PVIAC Race No. 3 (PHOTOS)

  • Hampshire Regional’s Edward Przybyla competes in the slalom with a 1st place finish time of 33.14 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Edward Przybyla competes in the slalom with a 1st place finish time of 33.14 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Zach Ames competes in the slalom with a 3rd place finish time of 35.30 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Summer Duda competes in the giant slalom with a 2nd place finish time of 26.73 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • PVCICS’€™s Juliet Scott competes in the giant slalom with a time of 28.11 for a 9th place finish Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Dawson Kelly competes in the slalom with a 5th place finish time of 35.83 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • PVCICS’ James Scott competes in the slalom with a 14th place finish time of 40.31 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Northampton’s Ellie Mahoney competes in the giant slalom with a 5th place finish time of 27.49 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Northampton’s Thomas Michaelson competes in the slalom with a 10th place finish time of 39.70 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • PVCICS’ SebastianEnglish competes in the slalom with a 9th place finish time of 39.34 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • PVCICS’ Teddy Scott competes in the slalom with a 11th place finish time of 39.73 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst’s Noah Vamosy competes in the slalom with a 29th place finish time of 47.66 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst’s Alden Hinkle competes in the slalom with a 46th place finish time of 53.46 on Thursday night at Berkshire East in Charlemont. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer 
Published: 1/20/2022 9:44:20 PM
Modified: 1/20/2022 9:43:14 PM

CHARLEMONT – It was perfect night for skiing at Berkshire East Resort on Thursday, a welcome respite for many of the competitors after some early weather made a couple earlier races ruddier and more difficult to navigate.

Much of the local talent continued to impress on the course, as Hampshire Regional once again dominated at both the individual and the team level. Summer Duda finished second overall on the girls’ giant slalom course in a time of 26.73 seconds, behind only Mohawk Trail's Addie Loomis. Rounding out the top ten for the girls was Mohawk Trail’s Emily Sisum (3rd, 27.02), Northampton’s Ellie Mahoney (5th, 27.49), Amherst's Sea Kay Leung (8th, 28.10), PVCICS’ Juliet Scott (9th, 28.11) and Mohawk Trail's Ellie Pinkham (10th, 28.24). 

On the boys’ side, the Raiders powered through the slalom course with ease, placing three of their skiers in the top five individually. Edward Przybyla won the event by over a full second, crossing the finish line in a time of 33.14 seconds. Teammate Zach Ames finished third with a time of 35.30, and Dawson Kelly (37.36) rounded out the top five for Hampshire.

Liam Green (37.36) took seventh place for Mohawk Trail, followed closely by PVCICS’ Sebastian English (9th, 39.34), Northampton's Thomas Michaelson (10th, 39.73) and PVCICS’ Teddy Scott (11th, 39.73).

The story of the season so far has been Hampshire’s dominance on the slopes, something noted by both their skiers and opponents alike. The boys team has won all three of their meets this season, and Przybyla’s individual win was his second consecutive victory this season; he lost his first meet by less than two tenths of a second.

But depth has allowed the Raiders to perform at a high level and stay atop the South Division standings. The top four performers of Przybyla, Ames, Kelly and Evan Novak (17th, 41.52) have been the main factor behind Hampshire's success.

“We've won every race so far. I think we're gonna win the championship again, hopefully. But yeah, we have pretty good team, solid boys team,” Kelly said. “I think just experience (is part of our success) — we've all been skiing together for a while, so we have a good connection.”

Meanwhile, just four years into the start of their skiing program, the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School is showing that just because they're newer to the scene as a team doesn't mean they can’t be competitive, too. The Dragons won the girls’ meet in the South Division as a team, with three of their top four skiers – Scott, Sarah Fardal (14th, 28.64), and  Ella Gander (19th, 29.26) finishing in the top 20. 

“I'm so proud of this team. We're still pretty new. It was founded my freshman year, I'm a senior now,” Scott said on her team. “Compared to the rest of these teams, we’re much newer, and just seeing how far we've come – our girls won the South [Division] last race, which was super fun to see. We have a ton of new people and we’re kind of all figuring it out together and having a lot of fun.”

Some teams have had to adjust to a shorter number of practices before they hit the slopes this year. Normally, teams would have more practice time together before they started competing in races, but Northampton had just one practice before the they were thrust into their competitive schedule. 

“I feel like it's just a big mental adjustment — a lot of these kids haven't done a course too much," Northampton's Mahoney said on her team's shorter practice schedule. “Just jumping into a course and going hard is a challenge, but I feel like everybody's doing really good with that, and being brave.”


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