Weston boys and girls skiers have high hopes
Published 3:17 pm, Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The Weston boys and girls ski teams have made a major snowprint within the Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League (CISL) for the past 11 years. The 2010 ski season was a good year for the Weston boys in particular, finishing 17-4 during the regular season and sixth overall in the State Open. The Weston girls were 6-6 overall. What's more, both junior varsity squads were undefeated and won the JV State Open championship.
Despite losing standout seniors Michelle Smith and Pat Fontaine, early signs point to the squads further improving on these records, particularly with the junior and senior-stacked Weston boys who will again be coached by Rich Fanning, a noted local photographer. Now serving his 22nd year, Fanning is joined by returning Coach Doug Hoffman who brings his extensive soccer coaching experience and unique perspective to the squad. "We probably have more than 50 years skiing andracing experience among us," Fanning said. Weston graduate Emily Hariton, a 2005 Team Connecticut Representative, will be an added asset this year as an assistant coach. Look, too, for the Weston girls to improve on last season's record because of a more balanced girls team.
Weston is noted for developing new racers. "Skier development is particularly important as we have no USSA racers," Fanning said. "Weston squads have historically been balanced between experienced and new racers who learn how to compete and succeed. I again expect to our new racers to gain confidence and rapidly improve."
The team took its annual trek to Smuggler's Notch, Vt. in early December for race training with a record number of 16 alumni coaches representing every graduating class dating back to 2004. The team also had practice sessions at nearby Mohawk Mountain, for invaluable time trials results. Based on these sessions the two squads expect improve on last season's records.
There are 26 boys skiing for the Trojans with five seniors leading the way. Senior co-captain Ryan Vogel anchors the team. Vogel was the only Weston representative to All State and Team Connecticut last season and 2010 Most Valuable Skier. Senior co-captain senior Alex Merberg was the Coach's Award recipient and also leads the team along with seniors Lucas Lee, Jacob Aviner and Alex Nimkoff.
Among the nine juniors, look for Peter Robbins and Eric Schanzer (Most Improved) to contribute solid varsity qualifying times along with Brian Chestler, Andrew Gardell, Cam Hagen, Josh Hyatt, Jake Knopping, Mike Silvestri and Nico Zirn. The seven sophomores are led by Kienan Wrynn, Most Valuable JV racer and second overall at the time trials and David Gardell, Rookie of the Year.
The 23-girl Lady Trojan squad has six highly-experienced seniors headlined with three tri-captains including Bonnie Guthrie, who was third at time trials, Coaches Award winner Katie Disston, Caroline Quinn, Most Improved Tilly Story, Emma Gantz and Halle Lucas are also ocmpeting. The five juniors include Leigh Cannon, Annie Glasser, Kelly Quinn, Lizzy Rosenberg (Outstanding Commitment), and Ava van Daalen.
Among the seven sophomores, look for strong finishes from Anna Dickstein, Rookie of the Year and second overall at time trials, Katherine Marra and Alex Fontaine. Also competing are Claire Cook, Lily Cook Dani Narins and Emily Robbins. The freshmen include Shelby Merberg, first overall at the time trials, Caroline Cannon, Tierney Gilroy, Greta Guthrie and Natalie Oakes. Team managers this year are Nicole Lauria and Janey Schachte.