BUHS boys edge Nordic rival

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PERU — Declyn Tourville is quite literally hitting his stride at just the right time in the season.

Heading into Wednesday's Southern Vermont Classic Championship at Wild Wings Ski Touring Center, Tourville had set a goal for himself to finish in the top three. The Wild Wing's 5k course puts athletes on their anaerobic limit within the first kilometer as it climbs up, up, up into the steeply wooded hillside behind the touring center.

Brattleboro's Henry Thurber had the unenviable position of being the first skier to take off in the boys interval start race. He was hunted down by MAU's Jack Drew, who started 30 seconds later, closed the gap quickly, and then cruised to a clear victory.

Next up for Brattleboro was Tourville. With Drew starting just 10 seconds ahead, Tourville could be the hunter, powering through the toughest sections of the course with a purposeful and smooth classic stride that propelled him to a second place finish, 32 seconds behind Drew. Thurber finished a respectable 4th, just one second behind BBA's Logan Sands.

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Nolan Holmes, always a smooth classic skier, kicked his way to 7th place, with Sam Freitas-Eagan securing the win by tying for 8th with Rutland's Brady Geisler. These four scoring skiers squeaked out a win by one point (BUHS 21, MAU 22).

Magnus von Krusenstiern finished in 13th, Tenzin Mathes 15th, Rowan Chamberlin 27th, Logan Makay 37th, and Cullen O'Hern 38th.

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Sometimes wins come at the back of the pack too. It is tradition that as the league racing season comes to an end all skiers are challenged to go the distance on a varsity length course. Having raced 2.5 - 3 kilometer length courses, a 5k can feel like a shock to the system, but completing it can feel akin to crossing the finish line of a marathon.

German exchange student Bennet Oetken put Nordic skis on his feet for the first time on Dec. 3, and has been doggedly plodding along at the tail end of JV races all season. While Tourville set his sights on a podium finish in the championship races, Oetken set his on not finishing last. Wednesday was his day! Not only did he not finish last, he bested his rival by a whopping 27 seconds to finish 46th!

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The girls race was the second event of the day. With smiles, cheers, and good vibes all around, the Brattleboro girls took their places in the starting lineup. Bella Takacs led the Colonels with a strong 4th place finish, followed by rising star Ava Whitney in 7th, Sylvie Normandeau in 8th, and Lily "The Hammer" Tessitore in 12th. Hot on Hammer's heels were Hazel Wagner in 13th, and Alina Secrest in 14th. Alexandra Miscovich was next in 16th, followed closely by CC Allembert in 17th.

In the Colonel's wax cabin there hangs a banner with the phrase "Deep Purple." It's not a reference to the rock band, it's a reminder to have results like these. Even though out on the course each skier is racing their own race, when the places are tallied together the team that finishes in a block can earn the win. The final score put Brattleboro in third place, but not far out of second, (MAU 20, BBA 27, BUHS 31).

It's possible for the ladies in purple to take 1st or 2nd in Monday's relay race, on their home course at the BOC. Monday promises to provide a superb finale to this hotly contested season.

Monday's action will begin at 3 p.m.


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