GREENWOOD – Gates behind him, turns completed, headwall conquered, Curtis Paradis could only stand at the base of Mt. Abram and watch the remaining skiers to see if any could beat his time.

None did.

A senior at Biddeford High, Paradis draped his left arm around the shoulders of his grandfather, Howard Paradis, a 2013 inductee into the Maine Skiing Hall of Fame after a 35-year coaching career at Madawaska High, as they watched the parade of 86 skiers come skidding to a stop after negotiating the red and blue gates on the steep Boris Badenov trail.

In Tuesday’s slalom competition, “I didn’t have the best day,” said Paradis, who had skied off the course after having hiked and then missing a gate near the bottom. “But I knew if I stayed positive I’d have a good chance of finishing strong.”

Indeed, one year after a frightening crash at the state meet put him in the hospital overnight with a bruised lung, Paradis capped his high school career with the Class A giant slalom state title to go along with the slalom titles he won as a freshman and sophomore.

His combined time in two runs was 1 minute, 26.31 seconds. Runner-up Chris Burns of Oxford Hills was more than a second behind in 1:27.58 and 2014 slalom champion Tom Lesniak of Falmouth was fourth in 1:27.91 after having some troubles in his first run.

Under clear blue skies and hardly a breath of wind, Paradis won the individual title and Mt. Blue successfully defended its boys alpine team title. The Cougars finished with a two-day total of 80 points to 158 for runner-up Edward Little.

The Eddies began the day behind both Greely and Scarborough, but Greely dropped to fourth (204) and Scarborough to third (201).

In the girls’ competition, Greely freshman Nettie Cunningham blew away a field of 80 by more than five seconds. Her two-run time of 1:38.12 easily outdistanced that of runner-up Brooke Lever of Edward Little (1:43.52).

Cunningham had the fastest first run in Tuesday’s slalom before straddling a gate late in her second run and failing to finish. Falmouth junior Krysia Lesniak, the Western Maine Conference champion, won the race but fell at the top of the headwall in Wednesday’s giant slalom and was forced to hike in order to complete her run.

“They set it up so the top part was pretty aggressive,” Lesniak said of the GS course. “As soon as it pitched off, it got pretty turny and you had to readjust your line. I just failed to do so and I took a little digger.”

Cunningham said she nearly spilled on her first run Wednesday but managed to hang on at a particularly challenging gate.

“My teammate’s father was right there and he called it a Bode save,” she said. “I was sliding and then my edges caught and I popped back up.”

After Tuesday’s disappointment, Cunningham was basking in the glow of what was only her second victory of the season.

“Obviously, Krysia’s fall impacted that,” she said. “She’s very good. But this feels pretty great.”

Even though Lysniak’s score didn’t count toward her team’s total, Alex Shapiro (fourth), Maggie Coster (seventh), Caroline Keller (10th) and Audrey Morin (26th) secured the alpine team title for Falmouth, which totaled 85 points. Edward Little held off Greely for second, 135-156.


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