HUNTER, N.Y.— The snow was coming down as the top 53 boys and top 50 girls skiers from Section 1 gathered on the slopes at Hunter Mountain to compete in the Section 1 ski championships.
Among them were eight skiers from Yorktown, four boys and four girls. Each skier would have four runs, two each in slalom and giant slalom.
By the end of the day, the Yorktown girls would emerge in fourth place overall in the team score, while the Husker boys were fifth.
“It was very challenging. A lot of competition this year especially in the boys races, and they had a good day,” Yorktown coach Wendy Nufer said of her team. “I couldn’t be prouder of these kids. The weather took such a big toll. This year we had three weeks with no gate training because of the weather and our kids don’t race USA so the only racing they get is with Yorktown. The fact we could pull off such a good season with good performances and send eight kids to sectionals despite it all, they really did well and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Leading the way for Yorktown all year has been senior boys captain Matt Ryan, and he shined once again on the slopes at Hunter Mountain.
Ryan finished second in the boys slalom competition and sixth overall in the skimeister standings as he earned one of the 11 spots on the Section 1 ski team that will compete in the New York State Championships at Bristol Mountain, Feb. 27-28.
The boys started the day on the giant slalom course where Ryan was a bit disappointed as he finished 14th overall. His first run he crossed the line with a time of 28.81 and the second was 29.61.
Next up was the slalom and Ryan rebounded with some of the best runs of the day among the boys. On his first run he blazed through the course with a time of 28.13, the second best time overall. His second run was 29.47 for a combined 57.6 to finish second in the slalom.
“He’s had a phenomenal year—a real smooth skier,” Nufer said of Ryan. “He’s so level-headed that he’s able to handle adversity and keep a cool head and maintain his game. He’s been a fantastic captain for two years, an incredible leader for the team.”
In addition to Ryan, senior captains Sam Arno and Matt Concialdi also made it to sectionals, along with Ryan’s younger brother, sophomore Mike Ryan. Mike Ryan finished 28th overall in both the slalom and giant slalom competitions. Arno was 25th in the slalom. He was 21st in the giant slalom after completing the course in 29.69 on his first run, but suffered a fall on his second run and finished 48th. Concialdi finished one run in slalom with a time of 33.59 and one run in giant slalom at 32.3, but finished 51st overall in both events.
For the Yorktown girls, junior captains Marlee Georger, her sister Emma Georger and Olivia Cicinelli all qualified to compete at sectionals along with sophomore Vanessa VanTongeren.
The girls started the day on the slalom course, and it was rough going early on as the racers encountered a difficult gate near the end that caused a number of falls.
“For the girls course, they had a very tight section after a very open gate,” Nufer said. “It was really taking its toll on the faster skiers who were carrying a lot of speed, but they did OK.”
Marlee Georger made it through both her slalom runs with times of 39.97 and 41.89 to finish 21st overall. Her sister Emma was next in 27th place as she finished both runs. VanTongeren and Cicinelli, however, both missed the gate on their first run and finished in 43rd and 46th place overall.
In the giant slalom, Marlee Georger once again led the way as she completed both runs with times of 34.31 and 33.97 to finish 28th overall. She led a trio of Huskers finishing in a row with VanTongeren right behind in 29th and Cicinelli next in 30th place. Emma Georger was 45th in giant slalom.