RUMFORD — Moments after Yarmouth junior Matthew Woodbury skidded to a stop at the bottom of Black Mountain’s Lower Androscoggin trail, teammate Matt Highland embraced him.
“You are the MVP!” Highland shouted. “Both days you were ‘The Guy Who Was Not Allowed To Fall.’ “
Indeed, the Clippers survived a second Alpine day of two fallen skiers and held off a determined effort by Maranacook to win both the Alpine and overall Class B boys skiing state championships Friday afternoon at sun-splashed Black Mountain.
The Yarmouth girls also came away with hardware, sharing the Alpine title with Mt. Abram and easily outdistancing the field to win their seventh straight Class B overall state title.
Elise Luce of Mt. Abram and Matt Delmar of Maranacook each won individual slalom titles, the first for Delmar and second in a row for Luce, who is also a three-time giant slalom champion.
“It feels good, but it’s a team sport,” said Luce, whose margin of victory was a whopping five seconds over runner-up Lydia Morin of Camden Hills. “It feels really good to win as a team.”
Mt. Abram, which entered the day with a six-point lead over Yarmouth in Alpine after Thursday’s giant slalom, left the slopes with an apparent one-point victory. Not until skiers had entered the lodge did they see a leaderboard projected on the wall change.
Emma Bartlett of Presque Isle, the apparent third-place finisher, had been disqualified for straddling a gate on the upper section of the course, dropping all four Yarmouth scorers by one point. Because Luce won, only three Mt. Abram scores were affected, resulting in tie at 86-all.
“Going from losing by one point to being co-champions is the best feeling,” said Yarmouth junior Julia Primeau, who finished sixth in slalom. “We knew we had work to make up. We came out strong (Friday) to make up the points.”
Junior Chapin Dorsett (fourth) and freshmen Anna Bouton (ninth) and Campbell Dorsett (21st) completed Yarmouth’s scoring.
Joining Luce in Mt. Abram’s top four were Emily Listowich (11th), Spanish exchange student Anna Pelegay (16th) and Bailey DeBiase (18th).
Overall, Yarmouth racked up 138 points to 259 for runner-up Maranacook. Mt. Abram was third at 271.
Gray-New Gloucester swept the skimeister awards, with freshman Kaelyn Woods finishing no lower than 12th in all four disciplines to win by 50 points over runner-up Ginger Kieffer of Caribou, and sophomore Eric Wilcox holding off Cole Ellison of Camden Hills by nine points, 83-92.
“My mom is the Nordic coach at Bates College and my dad, Alpine runs in his family,” Woods said. “So I’ve grown up with it.”
Friday’s weather — in a marked contrast to Thursday’s frigid blizzard — was warm and sunny. Several skiers peeled down to T-shirts after completing their races.
“(Thursday) it was freezing,” Luce said. “It was hard snow. (Friday) it was soft-ish.”
Even so, both Alpine competitions remained heated. After Friday’s first run of boys slalom, Maranacook had erased Yarmouth’s nine-point lead from giant slalom. Highland, a senior, and freshman Tucker Grout had turned in solid runs, but Ethan Masse and Rhys Eddy each fell. Luke Lockwood stood in 16th and Woodbury 18th despite losing his pole coming out of the starting gate.
“I just skied how I usually do, without one pole, I guess,” Woodbury said. “The exact same thing happened to me at WMCs.”
Maranacook’s top four boys — even without giant slalom champ Alec Daigle, who fell in his first run and failed to finish his second — posted times among the top 12, so in theory the Black Bears now led Yarmouth by four in Alpine.
Between runs, Highland gathered Grout, Lockwood and Woodbury in the lodge for a pep talk.
“We talked about how we needed a finish,” Highland said. “We needed a good team run, and we needed to bring it home.”
Each of the four moved up at least one place in the standings, with Grout taking second, Highland third, Lockwood 15th and Woodbury 17th. Maranacook placed three skiers — Delmar, Kelby Mace and Alex Tooth — among the top 10, but its remaining three either fell, straddled or missed a gate, allowing Cape Elizabeth to swoop in for second place in slalom, 37-38, behind Yarmouth.
“It was really scary,” Woodbury said. “Both (injured teammate) Drew (Grout) and Coach (Bob) Grout were up there saying, ‘Don’t fall. Take a speed check if you have to around the turns. Just don’t fall.’ So I’m up there just super scared.”
Yarmouth won the Alpine title 37-57 over Maranacook and extended is margin of victory in the overall chase, finishing with 114 points across four disciplines to 185 for runner-up Maranacook. Nine schools competed for the overall title.
“We talked about team skiing, what it means to win a championship as a team compared to winning as a singleton,” said Yarmouth alpine coach Bob Grout. “I’m really proud of these kids. They did the right thing. We talked a lot about the course. We talked a lot about speed management, because these were really well-set, tough courses.”