Nikollaj, McClellan, Akowicz qualify for states

BENSON – Three area skiers punched their ticket to the state championship meet with strong showing at Wednesday’s Section II Nordic Skiing Championships at Lapland Lake.

Mayfield’s Tom McClellan, Lidija Nikollaj and Mitch Akowicz qualified for the state championship meet by finishing among the top 12 at Wednesday’s event.

Nikollaj will head to the state meet for the fourth time for the Lady Panthers, while McClellan will be making his second trip to states for Mayfield. Akowicz will be competing for the first time at states.

Nikollaj finished sixth in the girls race with a time of 35:54. McClellan was seventh in the boys race with a time of 37:04, while Akowicz was 11th with a time of 39:45.

Lake George’s Emma Underwood won the girls race with a time of 33:26, while Queensbury’s Megan Kellogg (35:22) was second. Scotia-Glenville’s Becca Kraines (35:36) was third, Shenendehowa’s Sarah Duclos (35:48) was fourth and Queensbury’s Tyra Wynn (35:53) was fifth.

Also qualifying for the girls state meet were Guilderland’s Laurie Knapp, Scotia-Glenville’s Gabby Rodbell, Queensbury’s Celine Dreitlein, Queensbury’s Coleen Rice, Queensbury’s Kim Hanchett (12th, 39:48) and Scotia-Glenville’s Mikayla Thomas. Queensbury’s Stephanie Gengle was named to the team as an alternate.

Also competing for the Mayfield girls were Sarah Montgomery (15th, 40:57), Hanna Cromie (24th, 42:48), Emily Cromie (27th, 43:51), Allysa Davis (43rd, 47:15), Allie Miner (46th, 47:50) and Lauren Ellis (47th, 47:57).

Morgan Swedick led Johnstown, placing 20th with a time of 42:07.

Also competing for the Lady Bills were Kayla Groesbeck (36th, 46:24), Madison Smrtic (37th, 46:33), Quincey Brabant (38th, 46:35) and Hannah Chamberlain (57th, 50:46).

Catie Corrigan paced Canajoharie, placing 18th with a time of 41:26. Rosemary Trahan (46:36) was 39th for the Lady Cougars, Quinn Li O’Shea (48:20) was 49th and Paige Shovelton (50:07) was 54th.

Saratoga Springs’ Brian Halligan won the boys race with a time of 33:34. Shenendehowa’s Austin Huneck (34:38) was second, Queensbury’s Ben Anderson (35:59) was third, Saratoga Springs’ Seth Mares (36:12) was fourth and Queensbury’s Liam Mulshine (36:52) was fifth.

Also qualifying for the boys state meet were Scotia-Glenville’s Matt Forshey, Lake George’s Torey Sweet, Queensbury’s Zane Belden, Johnsburg’s Ethan Cooper and Queensbury’s James DeCunzo. Saratoga Springs’ Patrick Broderick was named to the team as an alternate.

Queensbury swept the boys and girls team titles.

The Queensbury boys edged Saratoga Springs by a 17-18 margin for the boys title. Shenendehowa (32 points) was third, Scotia-Glenville (42) was fourth and Mayfield (59) was fifth. Johnstown was ninth with a total of 93 points.

Queensbury won the girls title by a 17-25 margin over Scotia-Glenville. Shenendehowa (37) was third, Lake George (43) was fourth and Mayfield (45) was fifth. Johnstown was eighth with 93 points and Canajoarie was ninth with 106 points.

Queensbury also won the boys combined team titles with a total of 71.5 points. The combined total included the points from Wednesday’s nordic event with Tuesday’s alpine championships at Gore Mountain in North Creek.

Saratoga Springs (87 points) was second in the boys combined standings, Shenendehowa (163) was third and Johnstown (219) was fourth.

Shenendehowa won the girls combined title with 64 points, while Queensbury was second with 68 points. Saratoga Springs (213) was third, Glens Falls (249) was fourth and Johnstown (289) was fifth.

The top 12 individual finishers for both the boys and girls and one alternate from each qualified for the state nordic meet, scheduled for Feb. 25-26 at Harriet Hollister Spencer Park near Canandaigua.

The nordic relay is set for Bristol Mountain, also near Canandaigua.

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