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Collette, Klein ski well at Easterns
Katie Collette (left) and Sarah Klein were members of the Maine State Ski Teams that competed recently in the only championship race for high school skiers in the United States.
NEW HAMPSHIRE -- The opportunity to continue on the slopes provided Katie Collette and Sarah Klein a chance to perform on a higher level at the Eastern High School Championships.
The Mountain Valley student-athletes were members of the Maine State Ski Teams that competed in a two-day event at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. There were 11 teams, comprised of 120 girls and 130 boys. Besides all six New England states, competitors represented New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, New York. The EHSC is the only championship race for high school skiers in the United States.
Collette and Klein had both qualified for the Maine State Team by placing in the top 12 at the High School Shootout that was held at Black Mountain earlier in March. Each state that was represented at Cannon Mountain had been required to hold its own qualifier.
The first race day was the slalom and Klein had two solid runs, finishing 50th. Collette took a hard crash on the first run, but regrouped on second run to finish 98th.
"The conditions of the course were great," said Klein. ''It was such a sunny weekend and the snow held up quite well. The only concern I had about racing was of how hard the course was going to be because it was such a big race.''
Klein was referring the gate setters who went by the United States Ski Association rules instead of regular high school skiing, "(but) I was very happy with how the entire Maine ski team did."
The second day was a reversal of fortune in the giant slalom. Collette had two outstanding runs to finish 24th, second for the Maine Team. Klein crashed hard on her last run and was unable to finish.
The Maine boys' and girls' teams finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The Maine Teams all stayed at the same hotel in Lincoln, NH.
"I couldn't have asked for better conditions, and weather,'' said Collette. ''The courses were amazing, and the snow held up great. I'm glad I got the chance to ski on the Maine team it was a great experience and was a lot of fun."
The event had a banquet dinner for all the racers on Saturday night. Each member of the Maine Team earned new North Face jackets with Maine Ski Team embroidered on the back.
The girls had competed on the Falcon alpine ski team, which finished second in the combined event at the Class C state championships held in February.