A state GS champ … and a team on the rise

St. Mary ski coach Andy Lussier (left) and Saints' state 2016 Giant Slalom champion Matt Masciadrelli

St. Mary ski coach Andy Lussier (left) and Saints’ state 2016 Giant Slalom champion Matt Masciadrelli

PRINCETON – The hills got larger, and the stakes a bit taller, but several local high school skiers rose to the challenge in Tuesday’s state ski championships at Wachusett Mountain.
St. Mary sophomore Matt Masciadrelli, who went unbeaten on the Giant Slalom all season, including the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships, capped off his season by winning the state GS run.
“It’s quite an accomplishment to sweep an entire season in this event as GS usually levels the field,” St. Mary coach Andy Lussier said.
Masciadrelli became the state champion with a winning time of 54.67 seconds. The sensational sophomore also placed 17th in the slalom.
Lussier also commended fellow Saints’ Jack Masciadrelli and Hayden Lusssier for posting solid slalom runs.
“I am really proud of this team,” coach Lussier said. “They are all really great skiers on top of being really strong athletes. It’s great to watch them push and charge and not hold anything back at each race. They all have great attitudes no matter what the outcome on the scoreboard.”
The Saints coach also noted his seventh-grade girl skier Chloe Lussier’s impressive display, skiing among a field of mature skiers.
For the girls, Westfield celebrated its highest finish in the state since 2010 by claiming fourth place.
Westfield’s Rebecca Stephens placed fifth on the slalom, and Grace O’Connor took seventh on the GS.
“We had the best Western Mass. finish from Worcester to the New York border … between our dynamic trio of Grace O’Connor, Rebecca Stephens, and Lauren O’Connor,” Westfield coach Monique Piotte said, proudly. “It was a great day. I’m very proud, very happy. It was an awesome way to end the season.”
Westfield overcame several hurdles, and posted an unbeaten regular season. The Bombers had not been this good since 2010 when they finished second in the state.
“It was a nice season filled with pleasant surprises all the way along,” coach Piotte said. “This was bittersweet.”
Agawam female skier Jillian Scherpa won the giant slalom championship (57.70), and was fourth on slalom.

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