Area skiers ready for state meet

The area will be well represented today and Tuesday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Alpine and Nordic Skiing Championships.

Johnstown’s Robin Kruggel and Colin Cotter will compete in the state alpine meet at Bristol Mountain in Canandaigua, while the Mayfield will send its girls team and Braydon Jourden from its boys squad to the state nordic meet at Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area in Springwater.

Alpine Skiing

Cotter will be making his second straight trip to the state meet after qualifying at the Section II Alpine Skiing Championships at West Mountain, while Kruggel will be making her first trip.

“I obviously would like Robin and Colin to enjoy the two days at Bristol, but knowing both athletes this will be all business,” Johnstown coach Jeff Krempa said. “We are there to ski fast and do our best.  In the past few seasons, we’ve had several Johnstown athletes compete at the state level and I believe in the years to come there will be more. We have a very young team with a bright future.”

At sectionals, Cotter finished second in the slalom with a time of 49.30 seconds and fourth in the giant slalom with a time of 53.24 seconds.

Last year, Cotter placed 36th in the boys giant slalom at the state meet at Gore Mountain with a two-run total time of 2:30.25. Cotter posted the 42nd-fastest time in the first run with a 1:16.49 and the 36th-fastest time in the second run with a time of 2:30.25.

Cotter finished 50th in the slalom event at states last year with a total time of 1:56.37. Cotter posted the 39th-fastest time in the first run with a 51.82 seconds and the 52nd-fastest time in the second run with a a 1:04.55.

“Yes, absolutely I believe Colin now knows what to expect and will no doubt ski his best,” Krempa said. “Colin is skiing very well right now, the excitement of the state meet will only make him want to go faster.” 

Kruggel was seventh in the giant slalom with a time of 56.79 seconds and 10th in the slalom with a time of 1:03.66.

“I’m sure Robin is a bit nervous and that’s totally understandable.  Once she sees the mountain, and inspects the course she’ll be totally fine,” Krempa said. “We race on differing terrain all season, Bristol will not make her anymore nervous.”

The rest of the Section II boys alpine ski team includes Hunter Montgomery (Queensbury), Evan Toman (CBA), Mike Wright (Schuylerville), Braden Kruk (Shenendehowa), Tyler Munter (Saratoga Springs), Matthew Moeckel (Saratoga Springs), Ethan Huff (Ballston Spa), Nathan Rodriguez (Saratoga Springs) and Marc Casabonne (Lake George). Ballston Spa’s Evan Phelps is the team’s alternate.

Rounding out the Section II girls team at states will be Hannah Klingebiel (Schuylerville), Claire Felton (Ballston Spa), Micaela Leonard (Shenendehowa), Sara Phelps (Ballston Spa), Meredith Montgomery (Queensbury), Mallory Czimbal (Ballston Spa), Allison Bach (Shenendehowa), Claire Howard (Taconic Hills), Lucy Daly (Saratoga Springs) and Nikki Buhac (Emma Willard). Saratoga Springs’ Vera-Mae Kraev is the team’s alternate.

“Section II always proves that we produce the strongest skiers in the state,” Krempa said. “Our state team is strong in both disciplines and will no doubt compete to win.”

Nordic Skiing

After finishing second at last year’s state meet, Mayfield’s Madison Relyea finished second.

She is looking to improve that finish in her fourth straight trip to states this year.

Relyea will be accompanied for the second straight year by her teammates as Mayfield defended its Section II title Feb. 12 at Lapland Lake.

“The team and I have every reason to believe that they will be very competitive at the state meet,” Mayfield coach Ryan Bornt said. “Madison has a chance to be an individual State Champion and the team has an opportunity for a state title.”

Relyea posted a time 28:07.4 on the 7K course at states last year to place second. Relyea was ninth in 2018 and 23rd in 2017.

Fianna Halloran also posted a top-10 finish at last year’s state meet for Mayfield, placing ninth with a time of 31:49.8. Kira Williams (33:36.2) was 23rd for the Lady Panthers, Delaney LaFontaine (34:52.5) was 31st and Tatjana Bjelica did not start the race. All but Williams return for this year’s state meet.

The Lady Panthers finished second in the team standings at last year’s state meet behind Section V’s Brighton.

“Having the opportunity to compete in a state championship last year will hopefully reduce or eliminate some of the stressors associated with traveling to and competing in an exciting three-day event. Knowing what to expect regarding trip itinerary and race format will likely alleviate some the girls distress,” Bornt said.

At sectionals, Relyea won with a time of 22:56.3 in the 7.5K race. Halloran was third with a time of 24:16.8, while Bjelica was fifth in 25:47.5 and LaFontaine placed eighth in 26:38.5.

Jourden earned a trip to the state championships with his ninth-place finish in the 10K boys’ race with a time of 27:53.8.

“Braydon is making his first trip to the state meet and is excited to have such and opportunity as a second-year skier,” Bornt said.

Bornt said his athletes are excited for the opportunity to compete at states.

“A successful meet is enjoying the experience to the fullest, engaging with and competing with the best skiers in the state, both on an off the course,” Bornt said. “Knowing this group, they’ll be plenty of good hearted laughs, a few surprise fashion statements, and a great showing of their athleticism.”