Blue Bombers extend dynasty to four
NORTH CREEK — If the third was sweet, then the fourth was even sweeter.
The Lake Placid boys nordic ski team cruised to its fourth straight state title Tuesday, while one senior also captured his third straight individual title.
The NYSPHSAA nordic ski team relay took place at the Gore Mountain Snow Bowl Tuesday under bright blue skies and spring-like temperatures. Senior Scott Schulz — for the second day in a row — utterly destroyed the competition, posting a 6 minute, 25.8 second time on his leg of the team relay. Schulz’s time was the fastest of the day on the roughly 3-kilometer course.
Fellow Blue Bombers Kai Frantz (7:05.8) and Mike Skutt (7:28.6) also put up fast times in the team relay, where three skiers each tackle a lap and then tag off. The combined times of all three skiers determined the winner after a mass start.
With the win — which came more than 45 seconds ahead of runner-up Section II — Lake Placid captured its fourth straight team title. Schulz, who won the 10K individual skate ski race on Monday by a minute and 40 seconds, earned his third straight individual combined state championship as well.
Saranac Lake had two teams in the relay. The A team of Lauchlan Cheney-Seymour (7:11.5), Jacob Alberga (7:19.2) and Nick Kelting (7:28.8) came in fourth out of 16 teams, and missed the podium by just 7.1 seconds.
The second Red Storm team of Taylor Samburgh (8:46.4), Colter Cheney-Seymour (8:33.7) and Adrian Hayden (8:29.8) placed 13th.
On the girls’ side, the Queensbury team of Bailey Gengel, Maggie Borgos and Emily Atamanchuk earned the win, while the Rose-McCandlish sisters, Sara (10:10.2) and Annie (10:20.4), joined forces with Lily Flanigan (9:19.8) to finish 10th.
The Saranac Lake team of Sylvie Linck (9:36.1), Evelyn Eller (9:57.8) and Helena Dramm (12:02.1) finished 16th.
Lake Placid coach Bill Frazer was walking on clouds after the boys’ win.
“That was so much sweeter because we had to come from behind to win it,” Frazer said as he smiled from ear to ear. “It definitely means more than in other years.
“We were down in points to HF-L (Honeoye Falls-Lima), so we had to beat them today. They came out of nowhere yesterday. They are a really well-coached team and you never know what they’re going to throw down.
“All the boys skied above and beyond. Four years in a row is a dynasty.”
Although the Blue Bombers will lose Schulz to graduation this year, Frazer said Skutt — who is in his first year of cross-country ski racing — and Frantz, along with a couple of middle school kids, should provide the school with plenty of talent in the years to come.
Saranac Lake coach Keith Kogut was disappointed his boys barely missed the podium, but said that a young team getting experience at the state meet is invaluable.
“It was a good week for us,” he said. “Our boys are in fourth, which is fantastic. They all threw down a great effort.
“And for the girls, Sylvie (Linck) was 0.4 seconds away from a top-10 (finish), so we’ll take it. We’re feeling really good with this year’s results and next year we’ll be even better.”
The Red Storm girls’ team is young. Linck took part in her second state championship meet this year as a sophomore, while Dramm is a freshman and Eller is still in eighth-grade.
“They’re racing against a lot of seniors who are three, four, five years older,” Kogut said. “(The seniors) have a lot more musculature, aerobic ability and just more experience. So just to be out here competing at that age, it’s going to benefit them so much.
“We’re excited. It was a great season.”
Linck, who finished 11th on Monday in the individual race, and Skutt, who placed ninth Monday, were each awarded the NYSPHSAA Sportsmanship Awards.