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Nordic teams fare well at states

February 27, 2019
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

NORTH CREEK - The Saranac Lake and Lake Placid Nordic ski teams competed at the Gore Mountain Ski Bowl on Monday and Tuesday, and for the first time in a half-decade, one of the local teams was not atop the podium.

But local skiers still fared well, with the Saranac Lake boys relay team placing third in the state overall and two Lake Placid skiers taking two of the four top spots in the individual race on Monday.

In Tuesday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association 7.5-kilometer team relay, Honeoye Falls-Lima claimed the state title with a combined time of 18 minutes, 41.7 seconds. Saranac Lake, skiing as the Section VII team, placed third, with Jacob Alberga (6:23.8), Adrian Hayden (6:08) and Nick Kelting (6:15.5) combining to finish less than six seconds behind HFL. The Section II-A team placed second in 18:46.4.

Article Photos

Lake Placid skier James Flanigan, right, tags off to brother and teammate Max Flanigan during Tuesday’s NYSPHSAA relay race in North Creek.

(News photo — Justin A. Levine)

The Lake Placid trio of Kai Frantz (5:59.9), James Flanigan (6:09.3) and Max Flanigan (6:50.7) placed fourth, and the second Section VII team, made up of Red Storm skiers Colter Cheney-Seymour (6:28.8), Brennan Nobles (7:11) and Reuben Bernstein (7:03.3), placed eighth in the field of 16 teams.

Alberga - the Red Storm's captain and the only senior for Saranac Lake at the state meet - said he was forced to miss part of the season due to illness, but that he was pleased with the team's performance. He said the future looks bright.

"It's a lot of fun, it's a really great group of kids," he said. "It's fun going from one sport to another and having the support of such a great community follow you. These guys are just getting faster, and they're so tight.

"I'm just really happy, really proud. Everybody worked good and just had a lot of fun and I don't think we could have done much different, so I'm just kind of happy with everything."

In Monday's 10k individual race, Alberga placed 10th overall, while Frantz placed second behind HFL's Teddy Warfle. James Flanigan took fourth in that race.

Frantz said he was disappointed he didn't win the individual race, but added that he's already looking forward to next season, when he and both Flanigans will still be in high school.

"I felt like I was having a good race (on Monday)," Frantz said. "I was hoping to win, because who doesn't want to win, but Teddy had a great race, he deserved it.

"We all raced really well. Even though we didn't win, I'm still super proud - especially of Max because he's out here as a freshman, just killing it; just like we were when we were his age. Next year, we can come back strong. It's going to be fun."

The relay race portion of the championships consisted of a roughly 2.5k loop skied once by each person on the team. The skiers then tag off with each other for a total of 7.5k.

In the girls race, Saranac Lake missed the podium by less than a minute, taking fourth overall. Sylvie Linck (7:39.1), Evelyn Eller (8:28.8) and Sophia Kelting (8:05.5) combined for a 24:13.5 while Brighton won the race with a 22:39.6. Lake Placid's contingent placed seventh overall, with Annie Rose-McCandlish (8:23.2), Lynn Palen (8:41) and Lura Johnson (8:12.6) combining for a total time of 25:17.

The Saranac Lake girls squad also has no freshmen, and coach Keith Kogut said the girls over-achieved during the two days of competition.

"I'm really proud of how the kids did," he said. "The girls came in fourth, and for a young team that's awesome. And the guys today, they laid it all out there, so I couldn't be more proud of them.

"You never know if everyone is going to come back, but we only have one senior here today and so theoretically, we should come back as strong or stronger."

Lake Placid is also built on the backs of a young crop of skiers.

"We were the underdogs, but they fought really hard," Lake Placid coach Bill Frazer said. "HFL was just a really strong team this year and they're well coached. I can't complain about our kids at all; they were fighters every day. To put two in the top 10 and still finish second against everyone else, you can't be mad about that.

"I'm really proud of them because they still fought even though we knew it would be a tough one. We had to make them (HFL) work for it."

Alberga also earned the Section VII sportsmanship award for Saranac Lake, and Johnson won the honor for Lake Placid.



The NYSPHSAA also held the Alpine ski championships at Gore Mountain on Monday and Tuesday, and Section VII placed three boys in the top 20 of Tuesday's giant slalom race.

Saranac Lake's Andrew Fogarty was the top local finisher with a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 22.94 seconds, which put him in 10th place. Peter Fogarty (2:23.27) placed 12th and Lake Placid's Gunnar Anthony (2:25.65) finished 19th in the field of 62. Parker Anthony (2:32.71) placed 37th for Lake Placid while teammate Dan Kelleher (2:47.79) finished in 46th. Saranac Lake's Sully Fogarty did not finish the race. Queensbury's Hunter Montgomery won the race with a time of 2:18.98.

In the girls contest, Saranac Lake's Ryley Fischer (2:34.93) placed 28th and teammate Erica Swirsky (2:37.39) finished in 34th. The Red Storm's Audrey Bartlett (2:56.89) finished 53rd, and Mayah Land was listed as a DNF. Lake Placid's lone female, Ellie Bousquet did not start the race. Ellicottville's Logan Frederickson earned the state title with a time of 2:20.41.



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