This past Monday and Tuesday, the Oyster River High School Alpine Ski Team had their states at Cranmore Mountain. All of the state qualifiers raced well and two racers placed top ten and will advance to the Meet of Champions.
Monday, the boys raced against eleven D11 schools, placing 9th for giant slalom (GS) and 6th for slalom. The boys started their morning doing GS, followed by an icy slalom course in the afternoon.
The six boys state qualifiers from the ORHS Alpine Ski Team were, Nico Colarusso (‘22), Tate Sullivan (‘22), Conner Perreault (‘22), Josh Nicols (‘22), Finn Henderson (‘24), and John Newick (‘24). The biggest goal for the team was to ski fast and earn as many points as they could. Going into the race on Monday, each racer had a goal of making the Meet of Champions, however only Colarusso was able to secure a spot, with 10th in GS and 6th in slalom.
For the boys, “there was a lot of competition there and we all had to ski fast and keep a high line, especially with the course and combinations getting icy.” Nico Colaurosso (‘22) mentioned this as well as talked about how proud he was of the entire team and how far they’ve come. “Everyone has improved a lot this year. We have some strong skiers, and I’m excited to see what they can do next year.”
Josh Nicols (‘22) talked about the highlights of the race, saying, “my favorite part of the day was just being there with the rest of the team and racing for the final hurrah, sorta finishing it off.” The whole ORHS Alpine Ski Team would agree with Nicols on this one, especially the seniors. Maddie Merrill (‘22) expanded on this saying, “my favorite part of the day was the team gathering at the finish and starting to cheer people on and how a lot of the team showed up to support.” The team has a really strong bond and is always trying to hype each other up, looking forward to seeing what their teammates can accomplish.
Moving into Tuesday, the girls raced against thirteen D11 schools, placing 7th for GS and 6th for slalom. The girls also raced GS in the morning, with slalom in the afternoon. Merrill explained that “the course conditions were not ideal, especially during slalom which made it difficult, but I think everyone persevered and made the best of the situation.” The tough course with slick spots made it challenging, but the girls were still able to have great runs and place well.
The six girls state qualifiers from the ORHS Alpine Ski Team were Jen Newick (‘22), Maddie Merrill (‘22), Olivia Mueller (‘24), Emily Macpherson (‘23), Livi Gass (‘22), and Mia Weglarz (‘25). Emily Macpherson (‘23) placed 10th in slalom and will advance to the Meet of Champions. All the girls had an awesome time racing, and repeatedly mentioned how fun the day was and how they really enjoyed being with the team and hanging out with each other.
Macpherson talks about her races, saying, “after my first slalom run, I was like ‘wow, that was weird’ I felt super out of control. It was a fast course, so going into my second run I was hoping to decrease my time and to just finish.” The course was tough for a lot of girls racing Tuesday, as many didn’t finish. Macpherson is thrilled to have skied well and looks forward to joining Colarusso at the Meet of Champions on Thursday, February 24th. The race will be at Mittersill, Cannon Mountain.
Nicols reminisces and says the team “is like a family. Don’t be afraid of people, make friends with [your teammates], have fun, and know you’ll get better if you try hard and always push yourself.” The ORHS Alpine Ski Team is very supportive of each other, and even though ski racing is an individual sport that can be very competitive and tough, the entire team always sticks together and cheers everyone on. You can join the ski team next year, if you are interested in learning how to race, improving your racing skills, and/or racing for fun!
Photos by Alyson Mueller and Jeff Perreault