Alpine skiing: Mountain Valley’s Jaden Boulanger puts the finishing touches to the MVC giant slalom title

RUMFORD — The alpine ski season has sometimes been a disappointment for Mountain Valley Jaden Boulanger.

The runner-up struggled to finish races, but she put her past on hold in the KVAC/MVC Championships giant slalom competition

Boulanger not only won a Mountain Valley Conference title, but she also topped all female KVAC competitors with a combined time of 1:56.29 at Black Mountain of Maine on Wednesday.

“I finished one race this year,” said Boulanger, who was also the MVC giant slalom champion last winter. “And I just thought I would make it (in the race). I’m all fired up. I’m glad I came back and finished it.

“I’m surprised I was first. I knew I could do it, like, finish, but I just had to (will) myself to do it.

The KVAC/MVC Championships continue Saturday with a slalom competition at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington.

The top five team scores in the KVAC boys after giant slalom include: Maranacook, Mt. Blue, Edward Little, Skowhegan and Oxford Hills. In the women’s KVAC competition, the top five are: Mt. Blue, Camden Hills, Oxford Hills, Maranacook and Hampden.

In the MVC boys, the teams are Mt. Abram, Mountain Valley, Rangeley and Winthrop. In MVC girls, Rangeley leads the pack, followed by Telstar, Mountain Valley, Spruce Mountain and Mt. Abram.

Mountain Valley Alpine coach Todd Papianou was thrilled and proud of how Boulanger bounced back to the front of the pack.

“The kid has courage,” said Papianou. “She had a difficult season. She hasn’t finished all of her errands, so to take that kind of stuff in perspective, and put it behind her and get out… and put it online, shows she’s got some, like – call it Mountain Valley-Rumford tough. Rumford-hard, man! It’s a gritty mill town, and it’s a kid who knows how to fight for what she wants, and she did today. She knows what she wants and she works in second grade to get it. We just help guide her because she has natural abilities and skills and that will to win. She really has it.

“It doesn’t happen every day, and she’s had results that haven’t made her happy this year, but today she should be pretty proud.”

Camden’s Zola Roberts won the KVAC women’s title with a winning time of 1:59.78.

Mt. Blue’s Josh Smith finished first in the KVAC men’s competition with a winning time of 1:55.64, and Mt. Abram’s Charlie Pye won the MVC Boys GS title with his time of 2:00.09.

“I like this course; it’s faster,” Smith said. The conditions were better than in the first round. I wasn’t pushing because it’s a big, big race, so get up.

Mt. Blue coach Mark Cyr said Smith put in a great performance.

“I thought Josh did well,” Cyr said. “He has been struggling with some technical issues. Not to get really technical, but his outside skiing, he just couldn’t control it, so we worked on that and he seemed to get it.

Nick Bancroft of Oxford Hills was sixth with his time of 1:59.67 and Sam Goodspeed of Mt. Blue (2:00.1) was seventh.

“I was more comfortable on my skis and up top I was able to push harder,” Bancroft said.

“He skied well today,” Oxford Hills coach Tim Hutchisen said of Bancroft. “He had two good runs. For a kid who hasn’t done a ton of practice because he’s skimeistering. He’s spent a lot of time on Nordic skis, but the balance on those Nordic skis pays off here on the slope. I think he skied very well.

Maranacook’s Sam McKee (1:55.72) took second place in the KVACs. In the MVC, Mountain Valley’s Joel Tardiff (2:00.39) was second and Rangeley’s Daxxtyn Williams (2:09.54) was third.

On the girls’ side, Rangeley’s Amelia Stokes (1:59.78) and Breezy Quimby (2:01.93) finished second and third respectively in the MVC portion.

Sophie Simard of Leavitt (1:59.80) finished second in KVAC, followed by Sadie McDonough of Mt. Blue (2:00.18) and Katie Yeaton (2:02.61). Elizabeth Dietrich of Oxford Hills finished sixth with a time of 2:03.10.

“Sophie Simard was great today,” said Leavitt coach Scott Berube. “She was in second place after the first run. She kept her head up and attacked the second run and didn’t hold back and found herself in a good position.

The KVAC/MVC Nordic Championships begin Thursday in Sugarloaf and end Saturday in Titcomb.

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