Caribou sophomore ends ski season as a state champion
CARIBOU, Maine — Kayley Bell left Black Mountain a champion after finishing first in both classical and freestyle state championship ski meets.
On Feb. 23 and 24, the Maine state ski championships took place at Black Mountain in Rumford. Athletes participated in Nordic classical and freestyle races, all adding up to their pursuit score, which determines the overall placement at the end of the championship.
For the women’s 5K classical, Bell took first with a time of 22:13. Lauren Lister of Caribou took 23rd place with 26:17, followed by Kate Betchel in 33rd with 29:16 and Mikeala Spooner in 36th with 29:47. For the men, George Ferland was the top racer for Caribou, earning 9th place in the classical with 19:17, followed by Micheal Cyr in 18th at 20:19. Alden Wilcox took 20th place with a time of 20:24, with Andrew Ring placing 36th with 21:36 and Wesley Hitchcock placing 40th at 22:50.
For the women’s freestyle, Bell once again took first place with a time of 14:20, followed by Lister in 22nd with 18:23, then Spooner at 23rd with 18:25. Bechtel took 30th with a time of 20:45. For the men, Ferland took third with a time of 12:10, followed by Wilcox in 16th at 13:32.1 and Cyr in 17th at 13:32.6. Ring finished 34th with a time of 14:56 and Hitchcock came in 39th with 15:48.
For final pursuit scores for the women, Bell was the overall winner and state champion, followed by Lister in 24th and Spooner in 29th, with Bechtel finishing in 34th. For the men, Ferland took 5th place overall, with Cyr in 18th and Wilcox taking 20th. Ring finished 35th and Hitchcock finished in 39th.
“Both the boys and girls fought hard in the state championship events this year,” said Caribou ski Coach Lydia Streinz. “The classical day was very challenging with temperatures in the 50s and very slushy snow, conditions they had not skied on all year! However, they pushed through and put up results that put them in a good place for the following day’s skate pursuit event. The skate day course was very icy but fast and every single one of the Caribou athletes moved up places in this race. It was exciting to have a couple top 20’s, a third place from George Ferland, and a state championship for Kayley Bell.”