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CCHS boys win Nordic MIAA State Championship – girls finish fourth

CCHS Varsity boys Nordic Ski team celebrates its first state championship since 1983.
(Courtesy photo)

It has truly been an historic year for Nordic Skiing at Concord-Carlisle. At Berkshire East Ski Resort in Charlemont on February 27, the Patriots boys team realized their ultimate goal by capturing the MIAA state championship. To secure this victory they defeated a powerful team from Mount Greylock, the seven -time defending champion. CCHS had finished second last year. The CCHS girls team also had a fine day, finishing fourth in a field of the sixteen best teams in the state.

  These outstanding results followed a regular season in which both teams finished undefeated over the course of the year with six consecutive wins in the Mass Bay seasonal competition.  According to Coach Jeff Campbell, who is finishing his fifth year as Head Coach, this is the first year in memory that both teams had finished undefeated and the kids were focused and locked in for the state competition. The last time CCHS had captured the state title was 1983.

The state races were contested under extremely difficult conditions. Given the unusually high February temperatures the snow was old and became quite choppy when groomed for the races.  The courses were altered somewhat in light of the conditions and the races were scheduled to take place in the evening’s lower temperatures. Even so, the racing was tough, particularly for the girls who started earlier. There were multiple falls, and great concentration and technique were required to simply complete the course.

In the team scoring, the top four finishers of each eight person team are totaled to create a score for each school. Incredibly, three CCHS boys (juniors Henry Johnstone, Ayden Nichol and Alex Burt) finished in the top five places. Along with senior William Meehan’s 16th place finish, this gave the Patriots a total score of 26 points, which proved to be extremely difficult to beat.  Mount Greylock finished a surprisingly distant second with 48 points. Acton-Boxborough, Lenox and Dover-Sherborn rounded out the top five teams.

In winning, Johnstone finished 38 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, Jacob Jampel from Newton North. This outstanding athlete who won last year’s race and had consistently finished ahead of Johnstone in the regular season was a formidable force.  Johnstone was ecstatic to beat him and help secure the team’s win. Stuart Johnstone, Henry’s father, commented that his son is quite light on his skis and an accomplished technical skier, both of which gave him an edge in the tough conditions.

It was actually quite a week for Johnstone as he had competed in a junior national competition in Alaska over the weekend and won a national junior combined Nordic title. There will be more on this next week in an article about the Johnstone family.

The CCHS girls fourth place finish was paced by junior Phoebe Meyerson who finished sixth overall. The team’s score of 87 points was earned by Myerson, freshman Ella Nichol—10th place, freshman Ellie Sablak—28th place and senior Liviya Kovacevic—43rd place.  The top five teams consisted of Mt. Greylock (24 points), Lenox, Wellesley, CCHS and Newton North. Their fourth place finish matched the Patriots result from the previous year.

Thus, a season for the ages was completed for CCHS Nordic skiers.  Coach Campbell considered the performance of the team at states to be a total team win, celebrated by everyone on the team, boys and girls, who practice, prepare and celebrate as one team. He also commented on how fortunate the team is to have two really dedicated assistant coaches, Whipp Parker and Cat Johnstone, who have a great rapport with the team and who work incredibly hard. A state championship is a unique event and it will be always something these athletes and coaches can look back on with great pride.

CCHS Individual Results from the MIAA State Championships (Carlisle Students in Bold)

Boys Team

Henry Johnstone, Jr, 13:45:. 4, 1st

Ayden Nichol, Jr,14:40:. 1, 4th

Alex Burt, Jr, 14:40:. 6, 5th

William Meehan, Sr,15:47:. 6, 16th

Julian Henry, Jr, 16:01:. 5, 21st

Miles Kissinger, Sr, 16:51:. 9, 38th

James Grant, Sr, 16:56:. 2, 40th

William Parker, Soph, 16:58:. 6, 41th

Girls Team

Phoebe Meyerson, Jr, 19:29:. 5, 6th

Ella Nichol, Frosh, 10:21:. 2, 10th

Ellie Sablak, Frosh, 21:56:. 9, 28th

Liviya Kovacevic, Sr, 23:23:. 9, 43rd

Sarah Hutchinson, Soph,23:27:. 6, 45th

Jasmine Paris, Frosh, 23:39:. 2, 46th

Hallie Nelson, Sr, 25:18:. 6, 57th

Vera Sablak, Frosh, 26:46:. 1, 74th

Mass Bay League All Stars

Alex Burt, Henry Johnstone, Ayden Nichol, William Meehan, Julian Henry

Phoebe Meyerson, Ella Nichol, Liviya Kovacevic, Ellie Sablak   ∆

Carlisle athletes in BOLD   ∆