Alec Daigle has had a whole career of success on the slopes for Maranacook High School.
This year, the senior capped off his career in style.
Daigle won the state title in boys slalom at the Class B state championships. Daigle finished with a combined time of 1:13:74, almost a second faster than second-place finisher Lalor Crockett of Camden Hills.
Daigle also placed sixth in the giant slalom, four seconds off from first-place finisher Jay Pier of Freeport. For his accomplishments, Daigle is the Kennebec Journal Boys Alpine Skier of the Year. This is the third year Daigle has won the award. He shared the honor last season with teammate Matt Delmar.
Though Daigle ran away with the slalom title, he was the first one to point out that his runs weren’t the best of his career.
“Both runs weren’t my best, because I was thinking â€˜Don’t fall,'” Daigle said. “The team (title) was on the line. They were really not that good.”
Not only did Daigle win a state title, but the Black Bears took home the Class B boys Alpine title and the overall team title. The boys team went undefeated for the year, and won their fourth consecutive Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship.
“We came into the slalom, we were pumped because slalom is our forte,” Daigle said. “We came out and pretty much wrecked it.”
Wrecked it might be an understatement. Maranacook took five of the top six spots. In the event. Kelby Mace finished third, while Delmar (fourth), Alex Tooth (fifth) and Nathan Delmar (sixth) followed.
It was an excellent send off for the group, most of whom have been skiing together since junior high. It’s a group Maranacook coach Ronn Gifford said is the best boys team he has ever coached.
“Bob Morse at Yarmouth was the first to come up to me to say congratulations to me and the team, and he said â€˜That was a clinic.'” Gifford said. “He said it was one of the most dominating performances he had ever seen. Those were the perfect words to finish off their year. I had a girls teams back in (2005-2006) that was pretty strong, but didn’t have the type of performance as (the boys team) in the state championship. This boys team, I know Maranacook has had a couple of teams that won two or three state championships in a row (1992-1994 and 2000-2002). I can’t comment on what their talent was then, but this is by far the best group I’ve had.”
Daigle admitted there’s a rivalry among the group, but the competition helps each skier individually, making the group better.
“We definitely try to beat each other all the time,” Daigle said. “It’s definitely a competitive spirit that helps us all. It was a good thing that we all skied together. We all skied together starting in sixth grade. Being with all those guys that long, winning our last race together, just throwing down, was amazing. It was awesome.”
Gifford said Daigle made great strides throughout the season to change technical aspects of his game.
“The previous three years, he was a great skier. This year, he was a great racer,” Gifford said. “He has some technical things he’s been working on through the years. He continues to battle those, he did a great job trying to remedy some of those. Getting off the inside ski, making the transition from one turn to the next better than he has in the past. But the big thing he changed this year was his agressiveness. Instead of skiing the course and going gate to gate, he was charging the course and taking control of it.”
Daigle followed that performance with an excellent performacne at the Eastern High School Championships at Attitash Mountain in New Hampshire.
“I really wanted to get a top six in that race,” Daigle said. “I came down after that first run. Everyone was saying how the course was so icy. I didn’t go that hard, just tried to ski it down and ended up in second after that first run. That absolutely blew me away. I had no clue that I could get second place in that race.”
Daigle finished in third place in the slalom, 0.01 seconds away from a second-place finish and just 0.24 seconds away from winner Keaton Quigley of New Hampshire.
Daigle has applied to multiple colleges, but had not picked a school as of press time. He said he plans to participate in club skiing in college.
Dave Dyer — 621-5639