Boys' Alpine Skiing Earns Shot at States

Published in the February 20, 2008 issue of Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster


To earn a trip to the state championship, all the Nashoba Regional boys' alpine ski team had to do was beat every other team in the Mass Bay West Omega league for a second week in a row. Now the Chieftains are taking their Cinderella story to Wachusett.

Seemingly entrenched in the middle of the league standings three weeks ago, the Chieftains outscored all comers in the last two races of the regular season to improve their season record to 21-7-2 and earn themselves an invite to the state competition on Tuesday at Wachusett Mountain.

The first improbable team win, in the giant slalom competition on Jan. 31 at Nashoba Valley, put the Chieftains in position to earn a berth in the postseason. But for that dream to be realized, everything had to go right in the Feb. 7 slalom race, the last one of the season.

“Going in, I told the guys, 'You have a chance, but you're going to have to ski the best race of your life. You have to be focused,'” said head coach Mike Gormley. “That message stuck.”

Ironically, the team victory came on a day when Nashoba's top skier, Travis Johnson of Stow, was not the fastest man down the hill for the first time all season; Lunenberg's Erik Osvold was .03 seconds better. But Johnson's second-place finish was backed by a seventh from John Malley and solid runs from Reed Tucker, Nick Bateman, and Stow residents Nick Sirois and Jesse Way. Nashoba finished with 433 points on the day, seven points ahead of second-place Lincoln-Sudbury.

“They really pulled it all together, which they were capable of doing all along,” Gormley said.

Typically, the top two teams from each league compete in the state competition. Rather than using a points-based tiebreaker to determine whether Nashoba or Lincoln-Sudbury (22-8) would join league leader Concord-Carlisle (24-6) in Wachusett, the tournament committee ruled that all three teams would go. Megan Powell will be the sole representative from the Nashoba girls' team, which finished the season in fourth place with a record of 17-13.

Tuesday's races are scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.


Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239