Sparta Ski at States

Sports. Sparta Girls Ski Team had a 6th place finish at the NJ State Championships on Friday, Feb. 21 and Sunday, Feb. 23. The top seven Sparta skiiers competed at the Race of Champions on Monday, Feb. 24.

02 Mar 2020 | 01:46

There was intense competition at the 2020 New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association (NJISRA) State Championships. With the field narrowed down from 20 high school teams to the top 12, the Sparta Varsity Girls' Ski Team battled it out. They skied fast and finished strong taking 6th place overall. The State Championships was a two day event at Mountain Creek South on the Kamikaze ski trail. Each high school team made up of six racers competed in two disciplines, Giant Slalom and Slalom. Each racer skied two runs in each discipline.

The first day of the state championship was the giant slalom competition. The Sparta varsity girls team finished in fifth place. Contributing to the team time of 6:36.85 were; Olivia Finkeldie who finished in 12th place, Jillian Stote in 25th place, Rachel Young in 31st place and Claudia Calafati in 35th place. Pingry won the giant slalom championship with a team time of 6:12.56. Ridgewood took second place and Blair third place.

The second day of the state championship was the slalom competition. The Sparta varsity girls team finished in sixth place in this event. The four top Sparta racers contributing to the team time of 5:45.62 were; Jillian Stote who finished in 15th place, Claudia Calafati in 23rd place, Olivia Finkeldie in 25th place and Olivia Calandrillo in 36th place. Ridgewood High School won the slalom championship with a team time of 5:08.88. Pingry took second place and Tenafly third place.

The overall first place winner for the 2020 Girls State Championships was Ridgewood High School. Taking second place was Pingry, followed by Mountain lakes in third place.

The Race Of Champions (ROC) was held one day earlier at Mountain Creek (South) in Vernon to avoid the inevitable rainy forecast. Although it was a warm, sunny day and the snow was soft, our top seven Sparta alpine racers were all in high spirits as they carved up the race course. The ROC's is a NJISRA individual championship race. Only the top 40% of high school ski racers qualify to race, based on league points accrued during the regular season conference races. Competing in the event for Sparta as All League (Top 33%) were Connor McAndris, Jillian Stote, Olivia Finkeldie, Claudia Calafati and Cora Moriarty. And competing as Honorable Mention were Tucker Sears and Rachel Young. While most NJ high schools only sent a handful of racers, if any, Sparta was fortunate and had seven top-notch ski racers qualify for the Race of Champions; only Ridgewood and Ridge were represented with more racers. Roughly 40 racers competed in each the boys and girls races. With five of our six varsity girls racing, the Sparta girls ski team were essentially competing in full force.

The first race started with slalom at 10 a.m. and the last giant slalom race did not end until late in the afternoon. It was a long and rigorous race day, four races in all (2 slalom races followed by 2 giant slalom races). The Sparta Ski Team captains led the charts out of the seven Sparta ski racers. Of our five girls racing, Olivia Finkeldie had an outstanding day and finished in 11th place overall, followed by Claudia Calafati taking 22nd place, Jillian Stote 24th place, Cora Moriarty 26th place and Rachel Young 29th place. And for the boys, team captain Connor McAndris sent it and finished in 18th place; Tucker Sears finished in 25th place. All seven Sparta ski racers gave it their all and made us proud to be Spartans!

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