Sparta's Varsity Girls Ski Team won the Dual Slalom Race and took 2nd place on the podium at the first slalom conference race of the season.
Second place podium finish at Slalom Race #1
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, after a week of training in the deeply rutted and soft snow, the Sparta Ski racers were well prepared and anxious to take on their first slalom race of the season. Prior to entering the start hut, the Sparta Ski racers went through pre-race rituals, and teammates sent each other off with fist bumps and words of encouragement.
“The girls' team is on fire," said Coach Calafati. "Everyone exploded onto the course determined to make a difference.”
Racing minus one team member, with only five racers in the lineup, the girls team pulled off another podium placement. This marked the third time in a row, the girls team won second place with a team time of 6:13.22. Winning first place was the undefeated Ridgewood 5:56.04 and taking 3rd place was Mountain Lakes 6:14.33. Once the race was over the Girls Varsity celebrated with 3 wins and 1 loss. Senior Jillian Stote (8th overall) led the way with two consistent fast runs, trailed by Olivia Finkeldie (10th overall), Cora Moriarty (13th overall) and Claudia Calafati (14th overall). The Sparta Girls are focused on making it to State Championships.
The Sparta Varsity Boys Ski Team just fell short of the podium, finishing 4th overall with a team time of 5:45.76. Undefeated Ridgewood finished in first place, Vernon in second and Morristown Beard finished third. Once again, team captain Connor McAndris (8th overall) led the Sparta Boys Ski Team carving out two quick slalom runs, followed closely by teammate Tucker Sears (12th overall) with a superb second run, Kanna Pasunuri (17th overall) and Colin Kowalski (21st overall).
Girls Varsity wins the Dual Slalom Race
On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Sparta Ski Team came up victorious at the annual NJISRA Dual Slalom Race. The Sparta racers went head-to-head with racers from ten New Jersey high schools on two side-by-side identical slalom courses at Mountain Creek. Parallel slalom ski racing is more challenging than racing alone on a single slalom course and requires a higher level of concentration and strategy. The Sparta Girls Team dominated the race course and won 1st place. With a team time of 4:00.23 the Sparta girls varsity team finished a solid 25 seconds faster than the second place Ridge team with a team time of 4:25.16. West Milford finished in third place with a team time of 4:27.55.
Seniors Jillian Stote and Olivia Finkeldie podium placed in 2nd and 3rd place respectively; Martina Brich of Vernon won 1st place. All four Sparta girls contributing to the winning team time finished among the top nine of the 33 girls that raced : Jillian Stote (2nd place), Olivia Finkeldie (3rd place), Claudia Calafati (6th place) and Rachel Young (9th place). The Boys team placement is under review. Stay Tuned.