Rothermel skis to silver

Westfield skier Jenna Rothermel digs deep into the turn during her run in the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference Individual Championships Tuesday at Berkshire East in Charlemont. (Photo by chief photographer Frederick Gore)

CHARLEMONT – The slopes at Berkshire East were relatively kind to the Westfield girls’ ski team, and a young budding superstar boys’ skier for the Bombers impressed in the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference individual ski championships on Tuesday.
Two Westfield girls’ skiers – junior Jenna Rothermel (3rd overall) and senior Lauren Sheehan (12th) – cracked the top 15. Bombers’ senior Grace Giffune finished 27th overall.
Rothermel won the giant slalom with a time of 27.01, edging out second-place finishers, Agawam’s Jillian Scherpa (27.19) and Chloe Scherpa (27.78). Mary Clare Crochiere, of Minnechaug placed fourth (28.16), and Gateway’s Gianna Alberici was fifth (28.41).
On the slalom, Rothermel finished in eighth place (41.17). Longmeadow’s Camille Burger won the event in 36.26.
In the overall race for the top spot, Burger finished first (65.76 combined), followed by Crochiere (67.73). Rothermel’s combined time was 68.18, tied with Jessica Dee (Longmeadow).
It was a much different showing for the girls as the top spots were shuffled a bit. The final regular season top 10 standings in the North Division featured Scherpa, the #1 skier, followed by Rothermel, Burger, and Crochiere.
“There were a lot of different racers that came up to the plate and won today,” Westfield coach Monique Piotte said. “It makes it interesting.”
Westfield’s top three skiers during the regular season – Rothermel, Sheehan (who claimed 8th on the GS on Tuesday), and, junior Jen Moller (who struggled somewhat at PVIAC) – will next compete in the state competition on Tuesday, February 26 back again at Berkshire East.
SHEEHAN SHOWS PROMISE: Westfield freshman boys’ skier Neil Sheehan just missed out getting a medal in the top 10 by less than a second, with an 11th place finish (65.3) in the overall standings. Amherst’s Jon Simonds placed 10th (64.9).
Sean Doyle, of Frontier won the gold in 61.07. Gateway’s Austin Herman was sixth (63.84).
Sheehan managed a 10th place finish on the slalom (36.85), 12th on the GS (28.45).
“By sophomore or junior year, he’ll come full circle and have a chance of dominating the league,” coach Piotte said. “As a freshman, he’s done quite well this year, really setting a mark for himself.”
Sheehan’s eight-place finish in the North Division’s regular standings ensures the freshman of a spot in states.

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