Sports

Ryan Races to Top-10 Finish at State Ski Championships

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Matt Ryan competes at the state skiing championships. Credits: Chris Reinke
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SOUTH BRISTOL, N.Y.— Yorktown senior Matt Ryan was determined to make the most of his final chance to compete at the New York State skiing championships.

The two-day competition started with the slalom on Monday, Feb. 27, at Bristol Mountain. Ryan came out flying and attacked the course as he finished his first run with one of the fastest times at 49.07. His second run he finished in 51.26 for a combined total of 1:40.33 and a tie for eighth-place in the slalom.

“This was an incredible accomplishment given the stiff competition Matt faced at states,” Yorktown coach Wendy Nufer said. “It’s rare for any athletes from Section 1 to medal at states, and only a few skiers in Yorktown High School’s history have achieved top 10 finishes at these championships. Matt has done a fantastic job during his time on the varsity team. He has kept very focused, constantly working hard to improve his racing technique and to push himself to ski faster than his competitors.”

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On the second day of the state finals, Ryan competed in the giant slalom races. It was a warm day as temperatures rose above 60 degrees and most of the snow melted, leaving behind a tough course.

Ryan finished his first giant slalom run with a time of 1:07.33, but he did not finish his second run in the giant slalom.

However, his eighth-place finish in the slalom earned him an alternate spot for the 12-person New York State team that will compete in the Eastern Regional High School championships at Attitash Mountain in New Hampshire on March 11-12. The New York team will compete against 300 of the top skiers from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and other Midwestern states out to Wisconsin.

Ryan’s performance at the state meet capped off an impressive career for him and another impressive season for the Yorktown ski team overall.

For the past two seasons on the slopes Ryan has led the way for Yorktown and the Husker boys team enjoyed another big year as they finished 10-2 overall.

A five-year member of the team, Ryan has earned all-league honors four-straight years and all-section honors the last two as he earned a spot to compete in the state tournament his junior and senior year.

In addition to Ryan, the Yorktown boys team was led by senior captains Sam Arno and Matt Concialdi. Arno has been on the team four years and earned all-league honors the last two seasons, while Concialdi has been on the team five years and earned all-league honors this year. Other seniors on the roster for the Yorktown boys team were Chris Rabasco and Jarrett Schwartz.

The Yorktown girls team finished 7-5 overall, featuring a young roster with three juniors leading the way as captains. The Georger twins are two of them as Marlee and Emma Georger have both earned all-league honors the past two seasons. Olivia Cicinelli is the third junior captain and she also earned all-league honors the past two years. Sophomore Vanessa VanTongeren has also been all-league the past two seasons as all four of them should return to the team next year to provide a strong nucleus for the Yorktown girls program.

“This was the first year that we were moved to the more competitive Northern Division of Section 1 skiing,” Nufer said.  “It was a very challenging season of racing, between the stiffer competition, as well as the weather-related cancellations and mountain closings, which led to our not being able to do any gate training for three weeks of our six week on-snow portion of the season. Considering these challenges that we faced, along with having a smaller and younger team this year with half of our team consisting of eighth and ninth graders new to ski racing, I’m really proud of how all of our athletes performed.”

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