Lady Trojan skiers take 4th at Open, boys place 7th
Published 4:35 pm, Thursday, March 10, 2011
Call it a reversal of expectations for the Weston boys and girls ski teams at State Open.
Going into the March 3 State Open championships, the Weston boys were 14-3 and hoped to finish no lower than fourth at State Open and the Lady Trojans were 9-5 and were expected to place sixth.
Surprise, surprise, the Lady Trojans placed fourth in the nine-team girls field with combined times of 317.24 and the boys were seventh (306.48) out of 14 teams. Fairfield won the boys (293.77) and girls (310.02) races.
"It was fun and we tried our best," Trojans senior co-captain Ryan Vogel said. "It was a tough field of competitors but things happen the way they happen. It was a good season."
Weston boys and girls Coach Rich Fanning said, "The boys were favored to do better. All the boys did well and there's no reason why it didn't show in the results other than the other teams did well. The boys may have been tired but so were the girls but so were the girls."
It's plausible that the pressure to do well hurt the boys while the girls thrived under a `nothing to lose' mentality.
"It's no one's fault and everyone skied well," Fanning said. "Everyone had off nights and unfortunately for the boys, it happened at States. The girls may have not realized how good they were earlier in the season. I told them to give 110 percent and try their hardest and they did."
Both teams had two races earlier in the week to make up for postponed meets, which may have contributed to the wear the tear. Moreover, the boys thought they beat Wilton two days earlier but suffered an emotional let down when they found out otherwise. The unique winter we've experienced played a role in many things, especially having two races shortly before State Open.
"Believe it or not, it was the worst season for skiing," Fanning said. "Usually, snow helps the ski season but the opposite was true because of so many cancelled practices and postponed races."
Freshman Shelby Merberg led the Lady Trojans and placed ninth overall with combined runs of 49.75.
"The seniors got us psyched for the last race and we wanted to leave everything on the slopes," Merberg said.
Senior tri-captain Bonnie Guthrie (52.51) was second for Weston and 22nd overall.
"Knowing it was my last race, I gave it my all," Guthrie said. "I could have done better but overall, I did well."
Also figuring in the scoring for the Lady Trojans were juniors Ava Van Daalen (53:07, 24th); and Kelly Quinn (53.29, 26th); senior Caroline Quinn (53.72, 30th) and sophomore Anna Dickstein (54.90, 40th).
Also skiing for Weston but not counting toward the team score were senior tri-captain Katherine Disston (55.08, 42nd); sophomore Katherine Marra (58.17, 65th), senior Halle Lucas (58.67, 68th); and senior tri-captain Tilly Story fell but can't be faulted since many other skiers fell in these less-than-optimal conditions.
Vogel (49.23, 17th); led the Trojan boys.
"It wasn't my best race," Vogel said. "The conditions were different. It was the coldest race of the year and it made a difference [with the surface]."
Senior co-captain Alex Merberg (50.19, 23rd); was second for the Weston boys.
"I was really focused to perform well in my last few races," Alex Merberg said. "I didn't want to let my team down and I'm glad I came through."
Junior Peter Robbins (50.45) was one place behind Merberg. Also figuring in the scoring for the Trojans were sophomores Kieran Wrynn (51.69, 43rd); and David Gardell (51.99, 48th); and junior Eric Schanzer (52.93, 57th).
"I was disappointed because we thought we'd finish third or fourth, but overall, it was a good season," Alex Merberg said. "Our depth wasn't like it was in years past, which made a difference."
On the flipside, the Lady Trojans were very happy with State Open.
"At states, we surprised ourselves and did very well," Guthrie said. "We were excited going in, which helped us perform better than we did in the past. We brought our `A' game and it paid off."