BY MICHAEL KELLY
CLIFTON PARK — A dynasty reigned, a long-sought championship was won, and Shenendehowa qualified 11 athletes for the state ski championships.
All that happened in two days for the Shenendehowa Alpine and Nordic ski teams between the Feb. 9-10 Section II championships for the sports, with the downhill skiers going first at West Mountain and the cross-country bunch waiting a day before competing at Gore Mountain.
On Feb. 9, the Shenendehowa girls’ Alpine squad won its fourth consecutive title, while Evan Scriven won the individual boys’ title.
“All of us wanted to ski well, and we ended up skiing really well,” said Shenendehowa’s Melissa Taggert, who came in fourth overall in the girls’ competition.
Tea Trifunovic finished a spot ahead of Taggert, while teammate Sara Petro finished in ninth place to lead the Shenendehowa girls. All three qualified for the Feb. 22-23 state championships, along with male Alpine skiers Scriven and Alex Kruk (10th place), whose team finished in fourth place.
While the Plainsmen girls entered the event as three-time defending champions, they were not overwhelming favorites to win the team crown with strong competition coming from Saratoga Springs and Emma Willard.
“We needed to all be on our ‘A’ game,” said Taggert, whose squad topped second-place Emma Willard, 26-46.
Extra pressure was on Trifunovic. The junior had missed last year’s sectionals after breaking her left leg in a skiing mishap midway through the season.
This year, she said, she wanted to make sure she helped her team continue its dominant run.
“I really didn’t want to mess up,” she said.
Trifunovic did not — and neither did the Shenendehowa Nordic boys, which won its team title Feb. 10 after runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015.
“We lost by one point each year,” said Shenendehowa’s Owen Putman, who took top solo honors at this year’s event.
Putman’s teammate Aaron Huneck took second place this year, while the two teammates were reversed atop the field last year. David Benson rounded out the team’s scoring trio for sectionals, coming in seventh place to help give the Plainsmen a 10-12 win against rival Queensbury.
“We were relying on him,” Huneck said of Benson. “We needed him. … The last two years, we’ve had such good chances [to win the team championship] and to finally get it this year is awesome.”
Adam Chrzan also qualified for the state championships from the boys’ team with a ninth-place finish.
Meanwhile, the Shenendehowa Nordic girls’ team finished as a runner-up to Queensbury, and qualified Meghana Caron and Anna Wiedmann for the state championships.
With so many young skiers in the Nordic program, Putman said he hoped the school’s large contingent of Shenendehowa ski athletes heading to this year’s state championships will encourage them to keep pushing in the offseason.
“Hopefully we’re inspiring them, and that by seeing all of us going, they’re going to want to work even harder to get to states, too,” Putman said.
Section II Nordic championships, Feb. 10
Teams: Shenendehowa 10, Queensbury 12, Johnsburg 41, Mayfield 42, Hadley-Luzerne 69, Guilderland 79, Glens Falls 85, Scotia-Glenville 97, Lake George 102, Saratoga Springs 102, Canajoharie 136, Johnstown 151.
Individuals: Owen Putman (Shen), 25:20.2; Aaron Huneck (Shen), 25:45.0; Nino Manzella (Q), 26:05.8; Brian Beyerbach (Q), 26:33.7; Daniel Manzella (Q), 27:15.9; Seamus Tomb (Jburg), 27:40.7; David Benson (Shen), 28:05.1; Josh Febbie (May), 28:30.4; Adam Chrzan (Shen), 28:39.0; Willy Herrmann (GF), 28:44.2.
Teams: Queensbury 7, Shenendehowa 27, Mayfield 29, Saratoga Springs 46, Glens Falls 57, Johnsburg 63, Scotia-Glenville 64, Guilderland 83, Lake George 107, Johnstown 116, Canajoharie 123.
Individuals: Eliza Blood (Q), 23:10.4; Maggie Borgos (Q), 24:00.0; Anna Wiedmann (Shen), 24:08.6; Emily Atamanchuck (Q), 24:33.0; Emily Cromie (May), 24:42.1; Bailey Gengel (Q), 25:03.4; Maggy Lambo (May), 25:03.5; Sarah Burton (GF), 25:24.0; Alexis Bartlett (Q), 25:39.2; Sophie Smith (Sara), 25:52.1.
Section II Alpine championships, Feb. 9
Overall team scores
Queensbury 34, Saratoga Springs 51, Lake George/North Warren 57, Shenendehowa 60, Niskayuna 84.5, Johnstown 143, Glens Falls 171, Stillwater 187, Albany Academy 206, Schuylerville 299.
Evan Scriven (Shen) 42.99, Alex Hohman (Q) 43.89, Lane Feldeisnen (LG/NW) 44.66, Cooper Perkett (LG/NW) 45.72, Hugh Dempsey (Sar) 46.96, Evan Georgia (Sar) 47.62, Mike Guido (Q) 47.63, Michael Pumiglia (CBA) 47.68, Matt Parent (GF) 47.91, Alex Kruk (Shen) 48.03.
Hunter Montgomery (Q) 48.81, PJ Fraterrigo (Nisk) 48.87, Noah Prime (LG.NW) 49.19, James Paolano (Q) 49.49, Chris Rice (Sar) 50.18, Jake Hedges (Sar) 50.22, Andrew Fraterrigo (Nisk) 50,64, Luke Levin (Jtown) 50.79, Andrew Zilka (Sar) 51.67, Mike Simone (Jtown) 52.59.
Scriven (Shen) 48.79, Hohman (Q) 50.32, Perkett LG/NW) 50.52, Feldeisnen (LG.NW) 51.44, Montgomery (Q) 51.74, Dempsey (Sar) 51.81, Guido (Q) 52.27, Rice (Sar) 52.54, N. Fraterrigo (Nisk) 52.92, A. Fraterrigo (Nisk) 52.92.
Peter Hoffman (Sar) 52.97, Patrick Leonard (Shen) 52.68, Ricky Gimbel (Sar) 53.79, PJ Fraterrigo (Nisk) 53.79, Andrew Parent (Shen) 53.98, Matt Parent (GF) 54.23, Georgia (Sar) 54.31, Hedges (Sar) 55.14, Brendan Navarro (AA) 55.54, Paolano (Q) 55.56.
State meet team
Scriven, Hohman, Perkett, Montgomery, Hoffman, Kruk, Feldeisnen, Georgia, Guido, M. Parent, Dempsey (alternate).
Overall team scores
Shenendehowa 26, Emma Willard 46, Saratoga Springs 55, Queensbury 97, Johnstown 108, Albany Academy 113, Lake George/North Warren 174, Niskayuna 180, Glens Falls 189, Stillwater 294, Schuylerville 296.
Sarah Coombs (Sar) 47.07, Tea Trifunovic (Shen) 51.43, Calynn Cerniglia (EW) 53.13, Melissa Taggert (Shen) 54.71, Sammie MacAffer (AA) 55.72, Gabi Gisotti (Shen) 56.22, Lexi Metivier (Q) 56.84, Catharine Griskowitz (Sar) 57.33, Sara Petro (Shen) 57.36, Jozy Korenowski (Still) 58.30.
Annabelle Feist (EW) 59.01, Emma Montesi (Q) 59.79, Chloe Lo Faro (EW) 59.94, Molly Lake (Jtown) 1:00.13, Lara Cunningham (EW) 1:00.86, Madison Redmond (GF) 1:01.28, Emily Fleming (Jtown) 1:01.32, Katie Geruso (Q) 1:01.40, Cameron Parry (Sar) 1:01.65, Lily Perkett (LG/NW) 1:02.26.
Coombs (Sar) 51.89, Feist (EW) 52.81, Trifunovic (Shen) 53.36, Taggert (Shen) 54.29, MacAffer (AA) 54.88, Elizabeth McIntyre (Sar) 54.89, Gisotti (Shen) 55.12, Cerniglia (EW) 55.28, Lo Faro (EW) 56.41, Griskowitz (Sar) 56.51.
Petro (Shen) 56.70, Metivier (Q) 57.52, Shannon Kelly (Sar) 58.24, Kotwasinski (Jtown) 58.26, Lake (Jtown) 58.60, Nicole Nash (Shen) 58.81, Cunningham (EW) 58.89, Lily Abbruzzese (AA) 59.22, Kit Christian (Nisk) 59.89, Parry (Sar) 1:00.07.
State meet team
Coombs, Cerniglia, Trifunovic, Taggert, Feist, Metivier, MacAffer, McIntyre, Petro, Lo Faro, Griskowitz (alternate).