SARANAC LAKE - Sean Madden earned an Empire State Winter Games alpine sweep in his own backyard on Friday, and at the same time, Alexis Kane gained some redemption from a rough opening day of skiing in the games.
Madden, a sophomore at Saranac Lake High School, and Kane, also a sophomore from Cicero North Syracuse, claimed Empire State Games gold medals with victories in the slalom race at Mount Pisgah. The win was the second in as many days for Madden after he topped the boys field Thursday at Whiteface Mountain in the giant slalom.
Kane's victory marked a rebound from Thursday's race at Whiteface, where she fell during both her runs in the giant slalom, an alpine discipline she described as the better of her two events.
Saranac Lake’s Sean Madden works his way through the gates over a flatter section of the course at Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake during his winning performance in Friday’s Empire State Winter Games slalom.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
In addition to being included in the Empire State Winter Games schedule, Friday's slalom also counted as a public high school race and featured athletes from across Northern New York, as well as a few Northwood School skiers.
Madden won by a close margin as he turned in the fastest time in the first heat and the next-quickest second run down the course. His times of 34.40 and 34.60 seconds added up to a winning total of 1:09.00. The two golds Madden captured were his first victories in the Empire State Games.
"It's just nice to be able to win both races. That was my goal," Madden said. "Every racer has their bobbles out there, and it was exciting to have four good runs and take them both. I had two good days."
Madden edged out runner-up Nico Petrocci of Manlius Pebble Hill, who had runs of 34.88 and 34.48 for a 1:09.36 total. Petrocci's second run was the fastest of the heat. West Tickner of Old Forge skied to the bronze for his second third-place finish in as many days.
Saranac Lake's Max Calderone had the next-best showing among area skiers in the boys race, finishing 15th in 1:32.09. Jimmy Gearsbeck of Saranac Lake placed 18th, Northwood's Chris Roy finished 19th, Saranac Lake's Blake Gregory was 23rd, Nick Querci of the Northwood School finished 24th and Forrest Ledger of Lake Placid skied to a 27th-place result.
Competing in her first Empire State Winter Games, Kane won by a larger margin than Madden, triumphing by a little more than a second over runner-up Alex Miller of Holland Patent. Kane had the two fastest runs in the girls race, turning in times of 39.59 and 40.24 for a winning 1:19.83 total. Miller took the silver in 1:20.86 and Mckenzie Liddle of Old Forge grabbed the bronze with a 1:21.86 combined time.
"I was expecting to win the giant slalom, I'm better at that, but I fell in both runs," Kane said. "Today, I just skied it clean. This was my first Empire State Games, and my first medal. It's pretty exciting."
Zoe Tyler of Saranac Lake was the top finisher among the area skiers in the girls race, placing 14th in 1:35.90. Lake Placid's Emily Eaton was two positions back in 16th with a 1:36.80 combined time.