FARMINGTON — The McCourt twins, Henri and Nora, each snagged a Class A classical state title for Mt. Blue on the first day of the Nordic skiing championships at Titcomb Mountain on Monday.

Teo Steverlynck-Horne of Freeport won the Class B boys title and and Sylvia Harvey of Greeley landed the girls title. Orono’s Clara White is the girls champion and Fort Kent’s Alden Reardon the boys champ in Class C.

The Maine Principals’ Association’s Nordic championships conclude Tuesday at Titcomb with the freestyle pursuit races.

“It’s super exciting, (the big crowd) adds a level of excitement,” Nora McCourt said of Monday’s race. “It’s really fun, and it’s so fun to see so many people at Titcomb, where I ski every day. The community aspect is really awesome.”

First-place finishes are familiar for the state champion twins, who are juniors. Nora and Henri won KVAC titles earlier this month and took top spots at the Smells Like Ski Spirit race in December. Additionally, Nora placed first at the Roy Varney Hornet Classic and the Sassi Memorial.

Henri is now a three-time state champion, having also won last year’s Class A classical and freestyle pursuit state titles.


“They’re really fun to coach. I’m very proud of them and how they’ve each progressed as humans and athletes,” Mt. Blue coach Emmy Held said. “They’re both great leaders on the team and are having some really stellar seasons.”

Nora McCourt finished Monday’s Class A girls 5-kilometer classical race in 17 minutes, 33.4 seconds, nearly 19 seconds ahead of runner-up and teammate Maya Kellett (17:52.2).

“I felt pretty good. Definitely still have some technique things to work on, but I felt like my double-pole was really strong and I persevered,” Nora McCourt said. “It was really fast out there.”

Mt. Blue skiers claimed four of the top six spots in the girls race, which puts the Cougars in a good position to win their third straight team title. Natalie McCarthy placed fourth for Mt. Blue, and Lucinda Carroll came in sixth. Two others, Abby Dorr (11th) and Addie Colello (15th) placed in the top 15 for the Cougars.

Brunswick’s Maeve Woodruff took third, while Edward Little’s Kate Garcia finished fifth. Nora Condit placed gave the Red Eddies two top-10 finishes with a seventh-place showing.

Henri McCourt’s finishing time of 14:52.4 in the Class A boys race was more than 13 seconds faster than runner-up Henry Harrison of Portland High School. Mt. Blue’s Elias Bartlett (15:27.0) was third, and three others placed in the top 15 for the Cougars — Damian Wynn (sixth), Luke Doscinski (eighth) and Nick Demarco (14th) — who, like the girls team, are vying for their third consecutive team championship.


Henri McCourt said that the modified racecourse for Monday’s meet was fun to ski because it incorporated more downhills than usual, allowing skiers to pick up speed in crucial areas.

“You feel like you’re always just trying to get to the top as fast as possible, and then just come down,” Henri McCourt said. “Because of that first modification, it was even more the case today, and that’s kind of a hard thing to do. You’re trying to have gone all out like three-quarters of the way through the race.”

Steverlynck-Horne, the boys Class B champion, said that the fast conditions posed an extra challenge: he said that he fell on one of the downhill portions because he was going too fast.

Despite the tumble, his time of 14:27.9 was the fastest of the day and almost 50 seconds faster than second-place Wyatt Stevenson of Maranacook.

“I think I held my own on uphills pretty well, like, I wasn’t slipping too much and I trusted the wax,” Steverlynck-Horne said. “I wasn’t super happy with my downhills; I took a tumble at one point and I hurt myself a little bit, but it happens.”

A  trio of Leavitt skiers placed in the top 10 of the boys Class B race, with Jacob Dening finishing eighth, Gabe Durazo 10th and Damon Rucci 14th.


Steverlynck-Horne added that Monday’s crowd was the biggest he had seen at a state meet during his four years skiing for Freeport. The senior said he was thankful for the energy that spectators brought to the stadium because it helped fuel his race.

He also gave credit to his coaches for the solid kicks and coaching how best to approach the icy conditions at Titcomb.

Steverlynck-Horne’s senior season has been a success, as he won the WMC freestyle and classical races, Smells Like Ski Spirit race and Roy Varney Hornet Classic race. He placed third at the Sassi Memorial race. Last year, he was the runner-up to Leavitt’s Logan Ouellette in both state races.

Sylvia Harvey finished the Class B girls race in 18:46.3, which was about 20 seconds ahead of teammate Rowan Barry (18:48.8), the second-place finisher.

Leavitt’s Jade Haylock placed third with a time of 19:07.5. Her teammate, Abby Marston came in eighth. Heather Mousseau added a 15th-place finish for the Hornets.

Harvey said she had a tough early morning pre-race, but was able to bounce back in time to win the state title.


“I pulled it together, and the race was really great,” Harvey said. “All the way up the back, there was like no kick, but you know, you’ve got to keep it going, no matter what happens. It was a bit more of a mind battle today than at Fort Kent (last year’s state meet location).”

Harvey, a sophomore, said she’s more proud of the effort she’s put in this season than the state title.

“I want to prove myself with my hard work, to show everyone that I did it and everyone can do it,” Harvey said.

Clara White said her only goal for the Class C state races was to come out and have fun. She achieved that, along with her state title.

“Ski people are really nice, which I really like about the sport,” White said. “Everyone’s so supportive and cheering on everyone, which I really like, and it makes it a really fun atmosphere.”

When asked about her proudest moment of her sophomore season, she answered that it was racing with her sister, senior Ruth White, who swept the classical and freestyle pursuit titles and the previous two Nordic state championships and is a multi-time cross country state champion.


On Monday, Clara White (18:02.3) finished about 24 seconds ahead of Ruth White (18:26.2).

“I’m most proud of my sister, to be honest, because it’s her last year,” White said. “She’s a senior, and I think she’s really helped to push me a lot in both running and skiing. She’s always so supportive, and I’m really proud of that.”

A pair of area skiers placed just outside the top 10. Telstar’s Ella Akers was 12th and Spruce Mountain’s Hannah Perkins took 13th.

The boys Class C classical champion, Reardon, is no stranger to winning, taking the top spot seven times this season.

He said Monday’s meet conditions were “really fast with a good kick,” which made for a fun ride. He enjoyed the spectator and racer support at Titcomb and said skiers were high-fiving and congratulating each other as they finished.

Reardon, a sophomore, said he this year’s state meet was better than last year’s when it came to double poles and striding up the hills. He won the 2023 classical title and placed sixth in the freestyle pursuit.

Spruce Mountain’s Samuel Giessinger earned a 10th-place finish in the Class C boys race, while Mt. Abram’s Carter Butterfield cam in 13th.

Comments are no longer available on this story