Winter sports preview: Snow, numbers give Amherst nordic skiing a boost

Staff Writer
Published: 12/13/2019 8:00:26 AM
Modified: 12/13/2019 8:00:15 AM

The early snow certainly gave Amherst Regional nordic skiers a boost, but so did the participation increase.

The program has its biggest roster ever with over 60 skiers between the boys and girls team. Thinking the program might be low on numbers, the coaches applied for a middle school waiver. It was granted and the team grew.

“That’s not something that is normal and nor did I expect the explosion of the middle schoolers,” co-coach Steve Bruner said. “I thought we weren’t going to be able to field a full varsity and JV, but plenty of kids, even kids who haven’t competed before, came out.”

Bruner thought word of mouth and a strong reputation might have led to the growth of the team.

“I think frankly it’s one of the best options for those who want to spend time outside in a sport in the winter time,” Bruner said. “They can be alpine skiers or nordic skiers. ... We also have a good rep for keeping kids very fit for the their spring sport.”

Anna Burns (77th), Jana Murphy (87th), Zada Forde (88th) and Rebecca Marshall (90th) competed at the girls state championship for the Hurricanes.

“We have some newer skiers and great athletes,” Bruner said. “We have some good potential but it’s hard to see right now.”

Nor Young (46th), Jesse Barker Plotkin (51st), Henry Geffert (68th) and Geir Hartl (88th) competed at the boys state championship.

Amherst lost top finisher Walter Tebbetts (28th) to indoor track.

“I think the boys team should do better than last year,” Bruner said.

Former Lenox standout and current UMass student Herkus Rudzinskas is an assistant with the program.

The Berkshire Ski League will have seven races: four skate style and three classic. the first race is Dec. 31 at Prospect Mountain. The freestyle state championship is Feb. 25 at Notchview.

BOYS NORDIC

Amherst Regional

CO-COACHES: Steve Bruner, third year; Nat Woodruff, 12th year

LEAGUE: Berkshire

LAST YEAR’S RECORD: n/a

2019 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: 11th

RETURNING SKIERS: Seniors — Jesse Barker Plotkin, Alexander Fruean, Henry Geffert, Ian Montgomery-Gehrt, Sean O’Neil, Shane O’Neil, Nor Young; Sophomores — Timothy Barker Plotkin, Geir Hartl; Eighth grade — Cyrus Bouton Donovan, Soren Heim, Rutesh Jaswal, Miguel Pinero-Jacome, David Pinero-Jacome, Emil Schein;

NEWCOMERS: Sophomores — Ryan Schneider, Rohan Shenoy, Ryan Yanko; Freshmen — Andrew Kwan, William Platt, Max Rogowski; Eighth grade — Julian Bellak, Owen Candito, Inigo de los Reyes, Ben Feeney, Ari Ginsberg, Drew Leutz, Rabi Mednicoff-Misra, Niko RIngkauf, Declan Sullivan-Flynn, Tychon Tkachenko Coggeshall-Burr, Kyle Yanko; Seventh grade — Micah Bruner.

Mohawk Trail Regional

CO-OP: Hampshire Regional

COACH: Mark Pollard, fourth year

LEAGUE: Berkshire

LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 2-11

2019 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: 15th

RETURNING STARTERS: Freshman — Daniel Tetreault; Eighth grade — Vincent Gauthier

NEWCOMERS: Sophomore — West Williams; Freshman — Seth Healy

OUTLOOK: A cooperative with Hampshire Regional will look to add numbers to the Warriors’ program. Team is young.

GIRLS NORDIC

Amherst Regional

CO-COACHES: Steve Bruner, third year; Nat Woodruff, 12th year

LEAGUE: Berkshire

LAST YEAR’S RECORD: n/a

2019 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: 15th

RETURNING SKIERS: Seniors — Zora Dallmann, Zada Forde, Violeta Foster; Junior — Jana Murphy; Sophomores — Caitlin MacDougall, Rebecca Marshall, Francesca Polino; Freshmen — Bevin Montgomery-Gehrt, Sophia Pope, Sadie Rogowski; Eighth grade — Anna Burns, Ava Zimmermann.

NEWCOMERS: Seniors — Casey Flueckiger, Fiona McHale; Juniors — Emily Wang, Grace Wilkinson; Sophomore — Elena Humbeck; Freshman — Karin Zeng; Eighth grade — Julia Edgerly, Cara Kingston, Maddy Parker, Sophia Rau; Seventh grade — Zoey Candito, Indigo Halasz, Ella McDermott, Elizabeth Sawicki, Maya Tkachenko Coggeshall-Burr, River Wolaver

Mohawk Trail Regional

CO-OP: Hampshire Regional

COACH: Mark Pollard, fourth year

LEAGUE: Berkshire

LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 11-2

2019 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: eighth

RETURNING SKIERS:

Senior — Erika Looman; Junior — Zyna Wisnauckas; Sophomores — Liliana Manley, Brooke Looman, Kala Garrido.

RETURNING SKIERS: Sophomore — Alex Lilly; Freshman — Clare Wasileski

NEWCOMERS: Sophomores — Sylvie Mahon-Moore, Ellie Meunier.

OUTLOOK: Mahon-Moore and Meunier are Hampshire Regional students. Mahon-Moore was a strong cross country runner in the fall. Looman finished fourth in the Berkshire League and was 16th at states.




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