Mt. Blue’s Henri McCourt heads into the final stretch of the boys 5K Nordic classical pursuit during the KVAC championships Saturday in Farmington. McCourt and his sister, Nora, swept the boys and girls individual Nordic titles Saturday. Mike Mandell/Morning Sentinel

FARMINGTON — From grassy cross country courses to snowy or Nordic ski tracks, Nora and Henri McCourt have claimed accolade after accolade over the last few years.

Their latest exploits? Sweeping the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference 5K classical pursuit titles in Saturday’s conference championship meet at Titcomb Mountain.

“Coming into today, it was definitely something we knew was possible,” Henri McCourt said of the junior siblings’ feat. “It’s really cool to have someone in the family who’s doing it with you and is right alongside you. We both work hard; we push each other.”

Nora McCourt claimed her crown first, winning the girls classical pursuit title in 20:43.5. Teammate Maya Kellett (20:59.2) finished as runner-up. The Cougars had four of the top-six finishers with Lucinda Carroll (21:17.0) placing fifth and Natalie McCarthy (21:22.3) coming in sixth.

Henri McCourt then won the boys race with a time of 17:38.2, beating out teammate Elias Bartlett (18:32.1) by nearly a minute in a race that ended under heavy rain, booming thunder and several flashes of lightning. Damian Wynn finished third in 19:10.0 to give Mt. Blue a sweep of the top three.

The McCourt siblings previously won KVAC Nordic 5K freestyle titles earlier in the week at Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford. Henri McCourt also won the 5K freestyle boys race at last year’s state championships, while Nora was runner-up in the girls race. 


Members of the Mt. Blue girls Nordic skiing team pose on the podium after winning the KVAC team title at Saturday’s conference championship meet in Farmington. Mike Mandell/Morning Sentinel

“Today went really well, and it’s exciting when you can do really well in your race, cheer on your teammates, then watch the boys race and see (your brother) win,” Nora McCourt said. “We had a great day as a team, and it was a beautiful day out until all the rain and lightning happened.”

Mt. Blue defended its boys and girls Nordic team titles, winning both for the fifth consecutive year. Leavitt took second in the girls race, while Camden Hills came in third. Brunswick was runner-up on the boys side with Leavitt rounding out the podium.

In alpine, Katie Yeaton added another individual win for Mt. Blue as she won slalom with a time of 1:25.58. That win felt vindicating for the senior, who said she brought it upon herself to take some of the pressure off after a fall in the giant slalom event earlier in the week.

“I just wanted to come out here and have fun,” Yeaton said. “After I fell in (giant slalom) KVACs, I just told myself, ‘You know, I’m gonna go back out there (Saturday), and I’m just going to do my best, have fun with it and see what happens.’ I feel really good about how I did today.”

Leavitt’s Sophia Simard claimed second place in the girls slalom with a time of 1:16.68. Mt. Blue’s Abbey Goodspeed placed fourth with a time of 1:29.36, and Skowhegan’s Lucia Siren (1:31.50) placed eighth to give central Maine a third top-10 finisher.

Camden Hills’ Landon Marquis defended his KVAC boys slalom championship with a combined time of 1:16.85. Edward Little’s Evan O’Donnell took second in 1:18.42, and fellow Red Eddie Ethan Levesque placed third with a time of 1:20.75.


Trent Beaudoin of Mt. Blue placed fourth with a time of 1:21:24, and Finn Morton (1:25.60) and Leif Isenhour (1:27.05) finished a respective ninth and 10th for the Cougars. For Skowhegan, Kaden Salisbury (1:21.90) placed fifth, Drake Tracy (1:23.39) took sixth and Asa Stroman (1:24.46) finished eighth.

Edward Little won a tight battle for the alpine boys team championship, racking up 776 points to second-place Skowhegan’s 771. On the girls’ side, Camden Hills scored 764 points to best the runner-up Red Eddies’ 745. The Mt. Blue girls scored 734 points to place third.

With the temperature in the low 40s, there was some slush present throughout the course. Yeaton said the alpine course was tough at the top but improved toward the finish, while Henri McCourt noted that, although there were some challenges, the warmer conditions were better than near-freezing ones would’ve been.

“The wax for warm temperatures is harder to work with, so it’s stressful in a lot of ways, but it’s not quite as complicated as it is in temperatures that are closer to freezing,” McCourt said. “When it’s closer to freezing, it’s harder to find the right wax, but when it’s this warm, the more straightforward it is.”

Comments are not available on this story.