Armstrong first once again

Saranac Lake’s Lauchlan Cheney-Seymour takes on a downhill section of the North Creek Ski Bowl course Saturday at the Queensbury Invitational. (Photo — Keith Kogut)

NORTH CREEK — Lake Placid senior Gabby Armstrong raced to a first-place finish against a highly competitive field of 76 of the state’s best cross-country skiers Saturday at the Queensbury Invitational in the North Creek Ski Bowl.

Armstrong, who last week was named to the United States Junior ski jumping team that will compete in the world championships Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, had her hands full Saturday in North Creek. Armstrong covered the 5-kilometer classic course in 18 minutes, 12.7 seconds to edge Eliza Blood, of Queensbury, who crossed the line in 18:21.

Armstrong’s teammate Marli Damp wasn’t far behind with her fifth-place finish in 19:57.3. Emily Greene, of Old Forge, took third place in 19:30.7 and Queensbury’s Emily Atamanchuk was fourth in 19:40.3.

The Blue Bombers placed second in both the boys and girls team scoring behind Queensbury. The Lake Placid girls finished with 18 team points, trailing only Queensbury with 12. Saranac Lake’s girls finished 13th as a team with 132 points.

“A very exciting day, with more than 500 skiers from 25 teams participating,” Saranac Lake coach Keith Kogut wrote.

Saranac Lake’s Jacob Alberga rounds a turn during Saturday’s Queensbury Invitational in North Creek. (Photo — Keith Kogut)

Other Lake Placid finishers in the girls varsity race were Anya Morgan, who took 12th in 21:52.8, Grace McGrew (31st in 24:54.7) and Lily Flanigan (49th, 27:05).

Sylvie Linck was Saranac Lake’s top finisher with her 15th-place showing in 22:14.7. Other Red Storm finishers were Hannah Brogan (57th, 28:00.6), Maria Rothaupt (60th, 28:43), Abbie Wolff (62nd, 30:10.2) and Kaylee McLean (70th, 32:26.5).

Queensbury won the team scoring in the boys’ meet with seven points. Lake Placid was second with 21 team points and Saranac Lake was third with 23.

Queensbury skiers Brian Beyerbach and Nino Manzella occupied the top two positions in the boys race, with Beyerbach finishing in 14:57.6 and Manzella in 15:05.8. Saranac Lake’s Ethan Wood was third with a time of 15:20.9.

Kai Franz finished fifth in 15:40.4 and Lake Placid teammate James Flanigan was sixth in 15:42.4. Lauchlan Cheney-Seymour of Saranac Lake took seventh in 15:49.2 and Lake Placid’s Jessie Izzo was 10th in 16:32.3.

Witter Swanson (13th, 17:23.2), Jacob Alberga (22nd, 18:10.9) and Sawyer Chase (26th, 18:44.5) rounded out the Saranac Lake contingent. Van Ledger (19th, 17:56) and Joseph Wilson (20th, 18:04.2) were finishers for the Blue Bombers.

Saranac Lake took first place as a team in both the modified boys and girls events.

Tuesday, Jan. 10

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake and Lake Placid cross-country skiing teams met for a classic technique dual meet Tuesday at Dewey Mountain.

Saranac Lake’s Ethan Wood won the boys race, beating teammate Lauchlan Cheney-Seymour by once second. Wood covered the 4.75-kilometer course in 15 minutes, 16 seconds.

Lake Placid skiers Jesse Izzo, James Flanigan and Kai Franz rounded out the top five. Izzo and Flanigan clocked times of 15:47 and Franz came in at 15:48.

Gabby Armstrong, of Lake Placid, won the 4.75k girls race in 18:25, with Sylvie Linck, of Saranac Lake, taking second in 18:41. Blue Bombers skiers Marli Damp (20:10) and Anya Morgan (20:29) took third and fourth and Saranac Lake’s Hannah Brogan was fifth in 22:41.