The two best Alpine skiers in the area didn’t see each other on a random basis.

They saw each other every day. In the hallways at school. Every day on the practice course. Throughout the season.

Those two skiers were Matt Delmar and Alec Daigle for the Maranacook boys Alpine team. And while both captured individual state championships (Delmar in the slalom, Daigle in giant slalom) and were neck and neck throughout the season, Delmar was a tad more consistent in his performance this season than his teammate.

For his performance throughout the season, Delmar is the Kennebec Journal Boys Alpine Skier of the Year. Daigle was also considered.

Maranacook Alpine coach Ronn Gifford said a similar debate arose when figuring out the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference awards.

“Statistically, they’re practically in a dead heat,” Gifford said. “Matt won four races, Alec won three. Matt had three additional top five finishes, Alec had two.”

While Gifford acknowledged Delmar showed a bit more consistency than Daigle, he said figuring out who is the better skier for the year between two athletes on his own team is a great problem to have.

“You could probably talk to every coach who watched them ski during the year, and out of every two you talk to, one would take Matt to put on their team and one would take Alec,” Gifford said. “They both had outstanding years, there’s not doubt they’re my two top guys and they were practically interchangeable throughout the year.”

In another example of how close the two skiers were, after the first run in the giant slalom race at the KVACs, Daigle held a 0.25 second lead over Delmar before Daigle fell in his second run. Delmar won the giant slalom title.

While the two compete with each other, Delmar said he and Daigle are far from rivals.

“Me and Alec are both really good friends,” Delmar said. “We’ve grown up going to the same school, skiing together. There’s not really a rivalry, we joke around with each other before each race, see what happens pretty much.”

Delmar credits his success throughout the season by working different preseason programs at Kents Hill and Black Mountain.

“I became a lot more in control and I could go faster,” Delmar said. “As I figured that out throughout the year, it kind of showed as I went along. I was a lot more consistent in that regard.”

Gifford has been impressed with Delmar’s continuous rise in skill each season.

“Matt really didn’t start skiing until seventh or eighth grade,” Gifford said. “His learning curve and his technical improvement curve have been practically vertical.”

What’s great for Delmar, Daigle and Gifford is that both skiers are juniors and will be back next season, making Maranacook a favorite to beat Yarmouth for the Class B championship.

“Our group is pretty deep,” Delmar said. “We have six guys that can finish top 15 almost any race. Having those extra two guys after our top four, if one guy falls or has a bad day, we have that other guy to come in and fill in for them. It gives us high hopes for next year. I think it will work out pretty well.”

Dave Dyer — 621-5639

[email protected]

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