QUEENSBURY — Queensbury downhill skier Hudson Montgomery got the best of Broadalbin-Perth junior Colin Cotter just once Tuesday at West Mountain during the Section II boys’ Alpine skiing championships.
The two raced to a rare tie in the morning’s giant slalom race, both covering the ski course in 55.18 seconds
“It’s never happened to me before,” Cotter said. “When I came down and heard it, it was actually really cool to hear that. You know, we both had great runs and it happened to be the same [time].”
Races are held in a staggered starting format and Cotter was sent down the Express Trail four places behind Montgomery, unaware of Montgomery’s finish time at the top of the West Express trail.
“You’re just racing against yourself,” Cotter said. “When you come down, you’re like, alright, I did the best I can do, he did the best he can do, that’s pretty awesome to see.”
Ballston Spa’s Cole Evans was third overall at 55.82 followed by Saratoga Springs’ Will Fraser at 56.30 and Shenendehowa’s Brady Miller fifth at 57.53.
In the afternoon, Cotter was second to Montgomery on the slalom course, finishing at 47.05.
Johnstown’s Jakob Hanna finished third at 49.65, followed by teammate Carter Cheney at 49.84.
Saratoga’s Cooper Villiere was fifth at 50.75, followed by his teammate, James Parobeck at 51.02.
The Saratoga boys’ squad captured its sixth-straight overall title with 39 points, combining the finish results of the morning’s top three finishers in the giant slalom and top-three in the afternoon slalom course.
“I think it gets more fun every year,” Fraser said, racing as part of his fifth-team title. “It’s new people every year. So that makes it exciting.”
Fraser took a spill in the afternoon, putting pressure on the Saratoga lineup still remaining at the top of the hill.
“I didn’t even know that Will didn’t finish, so it’s kind of just the same thing every time,” Villiere said. “I think about the key things about going down, outside pressure, hips, separation, just to have the best run I could.”
Villiere led the squad with his fifth-place finish at 50.57 and Parobeck followed with a 51.02. It was Alex Landau’s ninth-place run at 53.60 that sealed the sixth title for Saratoga.
The veteran Fraser didn’t let the afternoon spill affect his mood post-race and celebration.
“Every time it’s like, shoot, that happened,” Fraser said. “You are hoping that the other guys can get it done.”
Johnstown propelled themselves to a second-place finish overall — sparked by a 19-point afternoon. Queensbury was third overall followed by Schuylerville and Stillwater.
“They all have worked hard this season skiing in the NYSSRA travel circuit, high school, they’ve got a lot of passion for skiing,” first-year Johnstown alpine ski coach Eric Cheney said. “I’ve got some really strong skiers, and we’re young, so everyone’s going to return. They just have the love and the passion for the sport and they push each other.”
Shenendehowa’s Micaela Leonard ended her senior season by capturing the girls’ giant slalom title in 55.21 seconds and finishing second in the slalom at 52.18 behind Queensbury’s Riley Ward at 51.96.
In the afternoon run, Leonard was followed by Schuylerville’s Taylor Dennis at 53.87, teammate Allison Bach at 55.25 and Glen Falls’ Muirenn Talbot at 58.52.
Shenendehowa captured its third Section II girls’ alpine skiing title during Leonard’s tenure.
“Winning never gets old. It’s always so exciting and it’s always a nail-biter, too, because we were really close with Queensbury this morning,” Leonard said. “But, it never gets old.”
Tuesday continued to bring unseasonably warm weather to the Capital Region, an ideal day for spectators, but a challenge on the slopes for the skiers.
Veteran racers like Leonard were ready for race day.
“I would just say trust your skis and yourself because the course is going to be whatever it is, we can’t change it no matter how much we want it to,” Leonard said. “Trust yourself, trust your skis. and all of them know how to do that, they know how to race insanely well. They believe in themselves and they had it.”
Ninth-grader Marissa Bach got a second chance to race down the Express Trail in the afternoon, forced to stop towards the finish line after Schuylerville’s Sylvie Farbaniec fell on the course and was assisted off by the First Aid team via a snow sled.
“I feel like since I got a rerun, I saw the course so I think I could have done better,” Marissa Bach said. “But the course was [chewed up] after I got back. It [second run] was good, but I feel like if I didn’t get stopped I would have done way better.”
The sisters hope to carry on Leonard’s winning legacy and tradition of skiing for both their high school and ski mountain teams.
“I really, really liked racing in high school because I feel that the team aspect is so cool,” Allison Bach said. “Everybody on the team can contribute to the team score and I think it’s really rewarding when everybody comes together and puts runs together.”
The top 11 point finishers during the season and sectionals from the boys’ and girls’ squads advance to state competition Feb. 27 and 28 at Bristol Mountain in Canandaigua.
Section II Alpine championships
at West Mountain, Queensbury
Boys’ team results
Saratoga Springs 39, Johnstown 60, Queensbury 107.5, Schuylerville 112, Stillwater 120.5, Glen Falls 129, CBA 192, Ballston Spa 193, Shenendehowa 194, Broadalbin-Perth 194.5, Niskayuna 215, South Glens Falls 256, Albany Academy 293.
Boys’ individual giant slalom results
Hudson Montgomery (Q), 55.18; Colin Cotter (BP), 55.18; Cole Evans (BSPA), 55.82; Will Fraser (SAR), 56.30; Brady Miller (SHEN), 57.23; Cooper Villiere (SAR), 57.26; Carson Cheney (JST), 57.27; Alastair Sperry (GF), 57.43; James Parobeck (SAR), 57.86; Jakob Hanna (JST), 57.97.
Boys’ individual slalom results
Hudson Montgomery (Q), 46.49; Colin Cotter (BP), 47.05; Jakob Hanna (JST), 49.65; Carter Cheney (JST), 49.54; Cooper Villiere (SAR), 50.57; James Parobeck (SAR), 51.02; Anthony Mastropietro (SW), 51.37; Esa Connelly (SHY), 53.08; Alex Landau (SAR), 53.60; Peter Tomko (NIS), 53.85.
Girls’ team results
Shenendehowa 31, Schuylerville 55, Glens Falls 69, Queensbury 75, Broadalbin-Perth 101.5, Lake George 150, Emma Willard 151, Saratoga Springs 173, Ballston Spa 182, Niskayuna 193.
Girls’ individual giant slalom results
Micaela Leonoard (SHEN), 55.21; Shayla Byrne (SGF), 55.84; RIley Ward (Q), 56.28; Piper Dock (GF), 56.54; Ava Bachta (SHK), 56.98; Allison Bach (SHEN), 57.14; Taylor Dennis (SHY), 57.83; Makenna Morehouse (Q), 58.61; Sara MacFarlane (SHEN), 59.01; Molly Cook (BP), 59.06.
Girls’ individual slalom results
Riley Ward (Q), 51.96; Micaela Leonard (SHEN), 52.18; Taylor Dennis (SHY), 53,87; Allison Bach (SHEN), 55.25; Muirenn Talbot (GF), 58.52; Sarah MacFarlane (SHEN), 58.84; Molly COOK (BP), 59.06; Pilar Garnage (SHY), 1:00.33; Lyla Curtis (SHY) 1:01.18; Amanda Maurer (GF), 1:01.44.
Reach sportswriter Stan Hudy at [email protected] and follow him @StanHudy on Twitter.