This week the Sparta High School Ski Team had two races this past week. A Slalom Race and a Giant Slalom Race.
It was another first place win at the Slalom Race on Tuesday, Feb and the unseasonably warm temperatures and soft snow could not slow down the Sparta alpine racers. Both the Girls and Boys Ski Teams skied with strength and heart, and finished on the podium. With a team time of 5:42.39, the girls ski team won 1st place and the boys team took 3rd place.
Celebrating back to back first place victories, the girls are in a groove. Tenafly finished in second place with a team time of 5:50.92 and Vernon finished in third with a time of 6:29.25. The four Sparta racers contributing to the team victory finished one after the other, and all in the top 7: Jillian Stote in 4th place, Claudia Calafati in 5th place, Olivia Finkeldie in 6th place and Cora Moriarty in 7th place.
For the Varsity Boys Ski Team, winning was imperative to keep their hopes alive to make it to the State Championships. The only way for the boys to increase their standings from 34% would be, to out race 3 of the 4 opposing conference teams. And that is exactly what they did. The Sparta Varsity Boys Ski Team took podium third place with a team time of 5:31.30. Vernon finished in first place with a time of 5:03.42 and Delbarton second place with a time of 5:13.60. Connor McAndris (6th overall) and Tucker Sears (10th overall) led the way and finished among the top ten racers. Also contributing to the boys time were Charlie Flint (12th overall) and Kanna Pasunuri (17th overall). The boys performance gave them 3 wins and 1 loss and put them exactly at the .500 mark. With only two conference races left, the boys team will now focus on moving above 500.
The Boys Ski Team took third at the podium at in the final Giant Slalom Race of the season on Feb. 7. Due to weather, the race had been re-scheduled twice and set to happen on the day of the Sparta High School Snowball Winter Formal, a dinner cruise on the Hudson which half the team was attending. The scheduling conflict posed a major challenge to all the hard work the Sparta ski team had put in to this season, negatively affecting their girls standings as well as their racers points to qualify for the Race of Champions. Luckily, two other teams had similar issues and were not present in full force either. This certainly helped to reduce their losses for the race.
While the boys team did not appear to be too affected, they put on a great show and skied into podium 3rd place with a team time of 6:32.43. Vernon finished in first place with a time of 5:50.63 and Don Bosco second place with a time of 6:04.61. Captain Connor McAndris had a strong night and finished in 5th place overall. The three other Sparta racers contributing to the team time finished one after the other as follows: Charlie Flint 18th place, Colin Kowalski 19th place and Kanna Pasunuri 20th place. The Boys Ski Team will now focus all their attention on picking up a minimum of 3 wins at their final conference slalom race in order to qualify for State Championships.
Even though the Sparta girls took a hit and fell in the standings with three losses, they only needed one more win to qualify for State Championships. With a skeleton crew of just three racers and one ghost time, the Girls Varsity Ski Team managed to finish in 4th place and collect the win. Finishing in first place was Immaculate Heart, followed by Pope John in second and Vernon in third place. Leading the Girls Varsity Ski Team with a most outstanding performance was Jillian Stote who sacrificed attending the winter formal and placed 3rd overall. Contributing to the girls team time were Cora Moriarty who finished in 7th place overall and Emma Dyrsten who finished in 13th place overall. All three girls finished among the top 15 for the event and earned NJISRA points.
The team standings after the fifth conference race: Varsity Girls: 13 Wins 6 Loss | Varsity Boys: 10 Wins 9 Loss.
For more information visit SpartaSki.com