RUMFORD — It look, in the preseason, like this would be a rebuilding year for the Mt. Blue boys Nordic ski team. Sophomore Dustin Staples took exception to those predictions and proved his team was for real Wednesday.

Staples finished second in the classical race to help Mt. Blue take a lead in the Nordic competition at the Class A state skiing championships at Black Mountain.

“It’s turned out to be better than a rebuilding year,” Staples said. “I’m really psyched about this, we really hit the wax and we are ready to continue in the freestyle.”

Staples teammate Zach Veayo finished fifth to help Mt. Blue take a 40-42 lead over second-place Falmouth. Silas Eastman of Fryeburg won the race in 13 minutes, 51.0 seconds. Staples finished in 14:18.4 and Ben Allen of Pland was third at 14:50.8.

“At the beginning of the season, I was going all out on everything,” Staples said. “A couple of weeks ago, I changed my strategy and started to pace myself more, that way I wasn’t exhausted win it came to the finish.”

Ike Doiron and North Kay finished off the Mt. Blue scoring effort, finishing 16th and 17th, respectively.

Falmouth, the defending Class B boys champions, moved to Class A this season, placed their four scoring skiers in the top 19. Jay Lesser led the Yachtsmen with a fourth place finish in 14:59.4.

Leavitt produced an impressive team effort in the girls classical race to take a 24-63 lead over Falmouth,. Mt. Blue is third with 66 points and Portland fourth at 69.

“Today, all came down to laying a great foundation in December,” Leavitt Nordic coach Dustin Williamson said. “We build a lot of strength, worked hard during the season, and you could see the girls getting better and better as the season went along. They did really well, we are right where we want to be.”

Leavitt had three skiers in the top four, led by Maddie Wiegman, who finished first in 18:07.7. Emma Wood of Mt. Ararat was second, followed by Leavitt’s Taren McGray (3rd) and Lucy Knowlton (4th).

Sarah Wade finished seventh for Mt. Blue i 19:09.0.

“I feel I did really well and am very happy with where I finished,” Wade said. “I am hoping we can do as well as a team tomorrow, in the freestyle.”

Mt. Blue’s Emily Ramsey, who has been sick for the past two week, finished 13th in the classical race. Ramsey finished second last year in the classical and is the defending freestyle championship.


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