Freeman leads local skiers in latest PVIAC race

CHARLEMONT – In some ways, the latest Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference ski race was more of the same old, same old, but in a couple other instances there was some new.
St. Mary’s boys’ skier Colin Freeman enjoyed the best outing, locally, leading the way for the Saints again in the slalom during last Thursday’s PVIAC race at Berkshire East in Charlemont. Freeman finished with a time of 35.52, good for ninth overall (7th, division).
“Colin has been super consistent in both Giant Slalom and Slalom and really skiing well this season,” St. Mary’s ski coach Andy Lussier said.
St. Mary’s Manny Umana Kimura (35.76) finished 11th overall and eighth in the division.
With Westfield High skiers sidelined due to a recent school shutdown for Covid-related cases, the Bombers boys team was represented by their three members from Westfield Technical Academy (Connor Carrier, Rudy Charland, and Pacey Gauthier).
Charland placed seventh in the North Division (17th overall) with a time of 37.99. Carrier finished just outside the top 10 again with a North Division 11th place standing (42.94). Gauthier crossed the finish line in 57.57.
Southwick, which also recently returned to the classroom, paving the way for the return of sports at the school, were led by Rams’ Christian Bach. Bach logged a 43.37 finish, earning a 27th place standing.
On the girls’ side, St. Mary’s Chloe Lussier (27.69) shook off an issue in the upper section of the course to still manage a solid run in the Giant Slalom, cracking the top 20 and leading the Lady Saints with a 16th overall (9th division) standing.
“It’s great that these athletes get to race in these Covid times,” coach Lussier said. “In the whole scheme of things, this is the most ‘normal’ sport our athletes are participating in with respect to very minor changes due to Covid. No matter what sport is being played, a huge hats off should go out to all the league coordinators and the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) for trying to make high school sports happen in any capacity. Kids need an outlet no matter their ability level or level of experience. To be able to participate in sports even with all the guidelines and, in some sports, rule changes should be cherished especially this season.”
Southwick’s Grace Brockbank was 33rd (30.32).
The next PVIAC race – – the final one of the 2021 high school ski season – – will be held Feb. 25.

Brownies, Hurricanes topple Bombers
Agawam 46, Westfield 38

Brian Strange led Westfield with 10 points. The Bombers entered Thursday’s game, having lost to the Amherst Hurricanes on Wednesday, 43-36.

Mon., Feb. 15
Rae stops 23 shots in loss
Algonquin 3, Longmeadow Co-Op 1

Jane O’Connor scored Longmeadow’s lone goal on a pass from Kayla Russ. Lancers goalie Mackenzie Rae collected 23 saves.

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