Mt. Blue’s Henri McCourt skates down the final hill during the Nordic freestyle state championship race on Feb. 20 at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington. McCourt won the Class A boys freestyle title and Monday’s classical race. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

It’s a dynasty that, for some time now, has stood on the mountaintop of a sport it has dominated. 

In 2024, Mt. Blue Nordic skiing did it again — and this time, it was a dominant brother-sister duo that propelled both the boys and girls teams to conference and state championships.

Powered by Henri and Nora McCourt, the Cougars cruised to conference and state championships in the sport this winter. It was the sixth state championship in the past eight seasons for both the Mt. Blue boys and girls teams.

“I think a lot of (our success) is just that our team vibe is really strong,” Nora McCourt said following the Feb. 10 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships. “There’s a lot of positivity. Our coaches do an incredible job, and we’ve always had a positive attitude.”

The Mt. Blue girls had a dominant duo in Nora McCourt and Mia Kellett. McCourt won the Class A state classical pursuit title in 17:33.4, while Kellett was close behind in 17:52.2. The two also went 1-2 in the state freestyle with McCourt finishing in 14:06.3 and Kellett posting a 15:24.4.

On the boys side, Henri McCourt won the state classical pursuit title in 14:52.4 and the state freestyle title in 12:28.6. Mt. Blue also got third-place finishes from Elias Bartlett in both events (classical pursuit, 15:27.0; freestyle. 13:00.5) en route to yet another team title.


In Alpine, Mt. Blue senior Katie Yeaton had a solid last hurrah, winning the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference slalom race with a time of 1:25.58 and took fourth at Class A states in 1:45.39.  

Mt. Blue head coach Mark Cyr said the team had a “somewhat disappointing” season as it lacked the depth of past squads and experienced some falls in championship meets. Yet there were still bright spots, such as Yeaton on the girls side and Trent Beaudoin (slalom, fourth at KVACs) and Finn Morton (slalom, fifth at states) for the boys.

“Finn was a freshman who got better and better as the year went on and did a great job,” Cyr said. “He’s actually up at Saddleback right now doing some training and working to get better. He’s a promising young skier, he turned in some great results for us this season.”

For Maranacook, Wyatt Stevenson had a strong Nordic season as he won both the Mountain Valley Conference freestyle (13:46.0) and classical pursuit (14:41.8) championships. He was also runner-up in the Class B classical pursuit with a time of 15:17.2.

Elsa Bergdahl of Maranacook High approaches the finish line during the Roy Varney Hornet Classic on Jan. 15 at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Maranacook’s Silas Bartol was MVC runner-up to Stevenson in both the classical pursuit (14:18.0) and freestyle (14:52.5). He continued to stay close behind his teammate in the state championships, placing third in the classical pursuit with a time of 15:40.2. 

On the girls side, Maranacook won the MVC Nordic title behind third-place finishes from Elsa Bergdahl (freestyle, 16:42.6) and Olympia Farrell (classical pursuit, 18:20.6). Bergdahl would also excel at states for the Black Bears, placing second in the freestyle (15:48.2).


In Alpine, Maranacook swept to a pair of MVC titles. Thatcher Riley won both the slalom (1:20.59) and giant slalom (1:50.26) titles for the boys and took second at states in the former, while Tristin Riley took second in the MVC slalom (1:26.47). Phoebe Bell took second in the girls slalom in 1:29.56.

Elsewhere in the MVC, Rangeley’s Breezy Quimby won the girls slalom (1:28.29) and took second in the giant slalom (1:49.54), while Monmouth Academy’s Annabelle Carlton placed fourth in the slalom (1:32.59). Will Grant was second in giant slalom (1:52.17) for Winthrop, and Jaxon August was third in slalom (1:26.61).

In the KVAC, Skowhegan had a solid year on the alpine circuit with Kaden Salsbury (fifth place, 1:21.90), Drake Tracy (sixth place, 1:23.39) and Asa Stroman (eighth, 1:24.46) all finishing in the top 10 of the slalom race. Lucia Siren (1:31.50) placed eighth for the River Hawks in the girls slalom.

Yet again, the weather had an adverse effect on skiers in the 2023-24 season. A warm Maine winter meant many skiers couldn’t do anything of substance on the trails until at least early January with one coach saying his team did a record amount of training away from the slopes.

“We did more dry-land training this year than I’ve ever done,” Cyr said. “We’ve gotten to the point nowadays where we don’t rely on natural snow anymore; we just need cold weather so the mountains can make snow. I think most coaches and racers prefer the manmade snow anyways.”

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