What is better than a back-to-back? A three-peat! On Wednesday, February 10, Deerfield’s boys varsity alpine ski team won The New England Prep School Class A Alpine Ski Championships for the third time in a row, and Deerfield’s girls team finished in a tie with Kimball Union Academy for ninth place.
“The coaches are extremely proud of the team’s effort, grit, and resilience,” said Coach Marc Dancer. He added that the juniors and seniors on the team are experiencing their third championship in a row, and the boys ski team overall is experiencing its fifth in six years.
Coach Dancer believes that the road to winning the New England Championship all started with the dry land training in December and the leadership of the senior captains Hunter Quigg ’16, Jean-Pierre Torras ’16, Nicole Piispanen ’16, and Mark DesLauriers ’16 that kept the team focused on capturing another New England title. The first race of the year was canceled, so the team only had three races to help them prepare for New England’s.
The boys started New England’s off on a positive note with a seven-point win in the morning Slalom Race. Jack Cobb ’19, the top Deerfield finisher, came in third place, and Sevrin Sarachek ’17 and Griffin Sarachek ’17 finished close behind in eighth and 12th place respectively. In the afternoon, the boys battled to a third place finish in the Giant Slalom Race (GS), “The closest finish in recent memory,” Coach Dancer said. Coming in fourth place, Cobb was again the best Deerfield finisher, and Sevrin Sarachek and Garrett Alexander ’19 also earned points. After giving away only two points in the GS Race, the boys team won the overall crown by five points.
The girls earned ninth place at New England’s, with captain Nicole Piispanen ’16 finishing in 11th place in the Slalom Race, and Carolyn Melvin ’18 finishing in 24th in the GS Race.
Aside from the championship, both the boys and the girls have “grown as a team in general and have gotten a lot closer,” Melvin explained. Looking forward, the coaches are extremely optimistic, because many of the younger racers contributed the most points at the championships. The whole team is hoping to push this momentum of winning into the next ski season helping them to continue the boys’ winning streak and improve the girls’ record even further.