Maranacook’s Carter McPhedran, Gabe Fein and Luke Bartol started the second day of the Class B state Nordic meet first, second and third with only 27 seconds separating them at Titcomb Mountain.
As they exited the woods and entered the final stretch and turn before the finish line, Bartol led with Fein and McPhedran following close behind, and only two seconds separated the three.
Bartol skied the fastest time Tuesday in the freestyle race but Fein won the pursuit. All three of the Maranacook skiers were on cloud nine.
“I could not have imagined a better way to end the season, there are no words to describe it,” Bartol said.
“It was magical,” McPhedran added.
The Maranacook trio worked together, somewhat accidentally, throughout the course. It wasn’t on purpose, but it worked out for all of them.
“When Luke caught up to me, we would work together,” McPhedran said. “I would lead him up a hill, then he would pass me again. It was happening but it wasn’t planned, it was on the spot. It’s always the best to be competing with your teammates because you’ll push each other but you know that at the end of the day you’re there to support each other and that’s honestly the best feeling.”
“We didn’t really plan on anything,” Bartol said. “We knew we were in front and we wanted to hold our places and see what happened. It was a super-fun way to end the season, all three of us, it was the best way to do it.”
Maranacook took the Class B boys’ team title on Tuesday in large part because of the one-through-three sweep.
On the girls’ side, Lily Horne of Freeport started with a 39-second head start on the rest of the B field. In order to pace herself, Horne broke the course into sections.
“I split the course up into three major climbs, generally, to make it easier for myself,” Horne said. “The first climb I tried to keep it steady, then the second climb I tried to pick it up and then the third climb was whatever I had left. The downhill was in pretty good shape, it’s definitely not my strong suit but I’ve been working on it this season, but it was a really fun race.”
Eliza Skillings of Maine Coast Waldorf raced to a time of 17:46 to beat Horne by five seconds in the freestyle race Tuesday, but the pursuit title went to the Freeport senior.
“It felt really good to win,” Horne said. “I really just love the community in Nordic, that’s my favorite part of this sport. Just to get to ski with everyone, especially being a senior.”
While Horne and Skillings were the individual winners, the Yarmouth girls’ team added to its strong Monday showing with an equally fast Tuesday to take the Class B title.
Yarmouth’s first four finishers Tuesday were in the top 11. Freeport had three in the top-seven, but the fourth and final scoring finisher finished in 26th.
“We lost a couple of girls so we had some girls really step up and ski together as a team,” Yarmouth coach Jay Jones said. “They skied together and pushed each other and you can see in yesterday’s results they were all close together. That made for a great experience and having them ski together really helped them improve from last year.”
The Class C boys’ race went to Miguel Sanclemente of Fort Kent. Sanclemente had just a five-second lead on Harrison Walters of the Maine School of Science and Math and the lead was in jeopardy quickly when Sanclemente stumbled out of the gates.
“That’s one of those things you can’t work yourself up about,” Sanclemente said. “I got a little nervous with the kid right on my tale and he was catching up to me on all the up-hills. He must’ve lost it, though.”
Sanclemente won the freestyle race by 24 seconds over Nicholas Werner of Waynflete to take the pursuit title. He did so on brand new skis.
“They’re a little longer than they’re supposed to be but they work pretty well,” Sanclemente said.
Madawaska ran-away with the Class C boys’ title on Tuesday with four finishers in the top eight.
Isabell Jandreau of Madawaska won the Class C girls’ title. Jandreau entered the day with a 54-second lead for the pursuit race so she skied alone throughout. She’s pretty used to it by now.
“It gets easier once you do it a few times but we had a lot of people on the course today, which was awesome,” Jandreau said. “I felt pretty good. We went pretty hard yesterday so I was definitely still feeling that. It was a good race and the conditions were awesome.”
Jandreau finished the freestyle race in 16:33, winning by 51 seconds over runner-up Dolcie Tanguay of Maine School of Science and Math.
Ashland won the Class C girls’ team title with its top-four skiers within the top-18.
Winthrop’s Maya Deming finished in 12th place with a time of 20:15.