March 12, 2009
By Mal Boright
The two-run slalom proved a couple of tight turns too many for the Champlain Valley Union High boys alpine ski team last Thursday, as it took third place in the Vermont State Championships at Pico Mountain in Mendon.
Cody Putre, a freshman on the Champlain Valley Union High alpine ski team, races at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl earlier this winter. Putre was one of five CVU skiers named to the NVAC district team. The girls and boys teams finished their seasons last week, placing fourth and third, respectively, in state meets.
“We were second, just 17 points out of first after the giant slalom,” coach Mike Minnerly said this week.
Then came the slalom runs and difficulty.
Senior Sam Darling, who zipped to a second place finish in the giant slalom, just nine-tenths of a second behind winner Brandon Ogilvie of eventual champion Burr and Burton of Manchester, fell on his first slalom run.
Dan Caffry, after a nifty third in the giant slalom, had problems on his first slalom go, according to the coach.
While others had various problems in the slalom, freshman Cody Putre skied to an eighth place finish and Warren Colomb took 20th, the same finish he had in the GS.
“Warren skied well,” Minnerly said. “He was consistent all day.”
Minnerly noted that it was difficult to put two solid runs together.
“Tucker Spillane had a nice first run, but then a tough second run,” the coach said.
Recalling the highlights of the season, Minnerly looked to the boys’ victory in the Northern District meet and the naming of Darling, Caffry, Putre and Colomb to the NVAC district team. Darling is the lone senior.
Minnerly also considered a season highlight the Essex Invitational meet in which the combined boys and girls team earned a victory.
With some 40 skiers on the practice slopes, Minnerly believes the future is bright for one of the largest high school alpine teams in the state.
As for the girls, who were fourth in their state meet at Stowe, senior Cassie Smith led the way with an 11th in GS and 14th in slalom. Smith was also named all-NVAC.
“Cassie had a great year,” Minnerly said. “She was solid all year long.”
Minnerly also praised the skiing of Allie Maynes and was upbeat about the return next year of juniors Lucy Halverson and Erika Gobeille, sophomore Meg Wallace and a quartet of freshmen, Mikaela “Miki” Gobeille, Abby Owen, Mariah Hill and Anna-Claire Smith, plus others.
An update of the CVU Nordic ski season will appear in next week’s issue of the Observer.