BRIDGTON — Morning snow, afternoon rain, a bit of sleet mixed in – none of it mattered a whit to Annesley Black or Sean Maguire.

Black, a Cheverus senior, cruised to her sixth straight individual Alpine title Friday by winning the Class A slalom state championship in dominant fashion amid ever-changing conditions on the East Slope of Shawnee Peak.

Maguire, a Marshwood sophomore, won the boys’ slalom a day after becoming the giant slalom champion.

“I was nervous about this last one but I just kept going,” Black said. “It feels really good.”

Among teams, the Falmouth boys overcome a disputed disqualification of their top skier to earn both slalom and overall Alpine state championships, the Alpine for the third straight season.

Edward Little was the runner-up among girls for the second straight day, and that consistency was enough to earn the Red Eddies the overall Alpine title by seven points over the defending champion, Fryeburg Academy, with Mt. Blue – in first after Thursday’s giant slalom competition – another 10 points back in third.

Weather played a factor all day as a dry morning evolved into a snow squall that transitioned to a post-lunch downpour. Mother Nature spent the rest of the afternoon seemingly unsure of whether to stick with droplets or return to flakes and often tossed out both at the same time, in varying degrees of intensity.

Abby Novia of Fryeburg Academy looked out from the starting gate before her second run and said, “I could literally see it turn from snow into rain. So I was like, ‘Great, just as I’m about to go.’ ”

Novia handled it with aplomb, reaching the finish line in a time faster than all but two girls. Black had a pair of 50-and-change runs to achieve a combined time of 1 minute, 40.60 seconds. Brooke Juneau of Fryeburg, who slid out of turn in the morning, roared back with a 48.40 second run but was able to move up only to sixth from 12th.

Jenna Hanrahan of Mt. Blue placed third, two seconds behind Novia, who was 31/2 seconds behind Black.

“It was icy in the morning, really slick,” Black said. “Then it got really powdery, kind of like a moguls run. I was just trying to finish.”

Edward Little finished the two-day event with a total of 1,448 points to Fryeburg’s 1,441. Mt. Blue was third at 1,431 followed by Falmouth (1,387), Greely (1,383) and then Marshwood (1,370).

With two of its six skiers disqualified, the Red Eddies relied on Sarah Lachance (ninth), Courtney Larson (11th), Jordan Cummings (20th) and Mallory Ouellette (54th).

“Slalom is generally the day people blow up,” Edward Little Coach Jodd Bowles said. “There’s a lot more mistakes that can happen. We kind of kept it together better than anyone else.”

As for Maguire, his margin of victory in the boys’ slalom turned out to be more than 2 seconds over the runner-up, Eli Yeaton of Mt. Blue, in 1:30.96.

The most challenging aspect of Friday had nothing to do with the weather, according to Maguire. It was maintaining his stamina through 53 gates.

“I don’t really breathe when I ski,” he said, “so when I get to the bottom I can feel it in my legs. When I come across the finish, I’m just happy to be down there and able to breathe again.”

The Falmouth boys finally can exhale. After not losing an Alpine race all season, they entered Friday’s concluding slalom with a 17-point cushion over Mt. Blue.

Still, Falmouth was missing one skier (Nick Shapiro) on a school trip to Guatemala, another became ill Thursday night and notified Coach Tip Kimball early Friday morning of his inability to compete in slalom, and Gibson Scott sported a cast over a broken thumb that was sustained the previous weekend.

“We came limping in,” Scott said. “As the season went on, Mt. Blue was always at our heels.”

Four top-12 finishes seemed to have secured another state title, but A.J. Noyes, who turned in the fastest opening slalom run and finished an apparent second to Maguire overall, was on the disqualification list for alleged on-course profanity.

Kimball formally protested but without success. Noyes appeared flummoxed by the decision.

“I’ve never sworn on a course in my life, never been DQ’d from anything,” he said. “But we still won, so in the end I’m not all that worried about it. The team comes first.”

With Noyes eliminated, Scott wound up fourth, Ben Adey ninth, Andrew Christie 11th and Caleb Labbe 17th. Falmouth still beat Mt. Blue by four points in slalom and by 21 in the overall race, 1,546 to 1,525. Freeport was third at 1,478 followed by Marshwood (1,439), Edward Little (1,424) and Oxford Hills (1,411).

“Fortunately we still won,” Kimball said. “I’m sorry but I’m still a little upset with this. If the team result changed, that would have been really disappointing, really petty and unfair, in my opinion. It’s definitely not in his nature.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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