University of Maine at Farmington skiing coach Harry Ricker thinks his men’s alpine team can be one of 22 teams to qualify for the national championships.

No. 1 skier Alex Rose graduated from Livermore Falls but grew up in Fayette. Rose finished first in the slalom Jan. 29 as the Beavers won a race at Shawnee Peak.

“He’s a hard-working kid,” Ricker said. “He’s a good student. He studies hard. He’s part of the work ethic that I like about this team.”

Sam Ricker, Harry’s youngest son, is in the No. 2 position, while Josh Cooley of Vassalboro is third and David Berthiaume is fourth. In fifth is freshman Sebastien Dumont of Skowhegan.

“Sebastien is going to the conference championships with our team as the No. 5 skier — and he’s earned it,” Coach Ricker said. “He’s cut down the difference in time from the fastest kids to him quite a bit.”

On the women’s side, Maranacook graduate Emily Harriman is the top Nordic skier, but won’t be at the conference championships. Harriman coaches at Maranacook in addition to being a student at UMF, and Ricker said she hasn’t been in enough races to qualify.

“She’s still been an asset to have on the team,” Ricker said. “She is the best skier that we have, and she helps out the other kids on the team. I don’t have a cross country coach. I have the money in our budget, but I can’t find anybody who wants the job.”

Senior Katie Keough of Cumberland, who won the women’s giant slalom at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national championships, is hoping to compete at nationals again this year.

This year’s nationals are March 5-10 at Sunday River, although Keough had a bizarre accident with her knee recently.

“She had a knee bothering her because a skier at Sunday River ran into her while she was judging a snowboard contest,” Ricker said. “She is still dominating the Eastern circuit in the slalom and GS races. Right now, our biggest concern is rehabbing her knee so she can participate again.”

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The UMaine-Farmington women’s basketball team will host a Play 4Kay event at Tuesday’s game (5:30 p.m.) against Husson. Play 4Kay raises awareness about cancer and money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Yow, who coached at North Carolina State, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and had three recurrences before dying in 2009.

At the game, the UMF players and staff will be dressed in pink. Items for sale include UMF long-sleeve pink dri-fit shirts, tie-dyed pink T-shirts, and pink bracelets. Raffle prizes will include pink ribbon earrings, and a pink basketball, autographed by the UMF women’s team.

Admission is free for the game, but donations will be taken at the door. At UMF’s regular season home finale, against Thomas on Feb. 18, admission is free in lieu of donations. Fans are also encouraged to wear pink to the games.

This is the sixth consecutive year the Beavers have participated in the Play 4Kay program. People wishing to donate can do so at

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Maranacook graduate Ryan Martin, now at Keene St., is leading all of Division III men’s basketball in free-throw percentage. Through games of Feb. 5, Martin had made 74 of 80 free throws, or 92.5 percent.

Martin has gone 4 for 4 from the line since then, so he’s now at 92.9 percent. He’s also shooting 57.8 percent on 2-pointers and 47.5 percent on 3-pointers. The Owls have won nine in a row and are 18-4.

Keene St. has an enrollment of about 6,000 students, yet is still averaging nearly 1,500 fans per home game over the last four games. To put that in perspective, the University of Maine (where Martin began his career) is averaging a little over 1,300 fans per game over its last four home dates.

In Waterville, Thomas College senior Karin Bird is still leading the nation in scoring, at 25.3 points per game. The Terriers are 3-17 and have four games left in the season.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243
[email protected]

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