RUMFORD — A year ago, Mt. Abram’s Erin Luce suffered what appeared to be a career ending knee injury in the Class B state Alpine finals at Saddleback Mountain. Luce tore her ACL and nearly ruptured her MCL while crashing into a gate near the finish line.

Luce looked past the injury Wednesday at Black Mountain to win the Mountain Valley Conference girls giant slalom race by more than 2 seconds on a day when Alpine racers were finding the hard packed snow on the Lower Androscoggin course at Black Mountain extremely fast.

Mountain Valley’s Katie Collette was second followed by Luce’s sister, Elise — the defending MVC giant slalom champion — in third.

“I learned a lot last year about skiing for the team and completing your runs,” Luce said. “I really don’t think about my injury, although I don’t really feel like myself on the course.”

Luce’s effort coupled with an outstanding Nordic freestyle race by teammate Sadie James lifted the Roadrunners into first place overall. James cruised the 5K course in 15 minutes, 34 seconds to beat teammate Emma Houston, who finished in 16:20.

“Sadie has been really sick and wanted to ski today,” Mt. Abram coach Sally Bean said. “Sadie and the girls team skied a solid mental race.”

Monmouth’s Becki Bryant and Winthrop’s Rachel Ingram finished third and fourth, respectively, in the freestyle race.

“Rachel has just been sensational for us,” Winthrop coach Jay Lindsey said. “Everyone on our team has been working very hard to get better every day. That’s what it’s about for us, is improving our times and efforts each time we race.”

The Mt. Abram boys placed four skiers in the top eight in the Nordic freestyle race, leaving the Roadrunners just one point behind Telstar in a battle for the overall title. Telstar finished with 84 points and Mt. Abram 85.

Thomas Faraday led the Roadrunners in the freestyle event with a fifth-place finish, Trent Rosenberg was sixth, Nick Carlton seventh and Jay Chenard eighth.

“We were looking for the guys to finish in a tight group and they did,” Bean said. “You never know who is going to be the leader in the group. That is how close they are.”

Telstar’s Adam Mahar won the freestyle race in 12:57, followed in second place by Monmouth’s Dylan Thombs (13:23.0). Aaron St. Pierre of Winthrop was fourth.

Spruce Mountain vaulted into the lead in the boys giant slalom competition, taking two of the top three spots. Mountain Valley’s Nate Nicols won the race with a two-run combined time of 1:31.18. Spruce Mountain’s Cody Jacques (1:31.99) was second and teammate Jake Roy (1:35.10) third.

Day 2 of the MVC ski championships will be Saturday at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington. Skiers will compete in the slalom race starting at 9 a.m., followed in the afternoon by a 5K Nordic classical pursuit race.


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