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LHS ski team takes PVIAC title

Date: 2/16/2009

By Laura Christiansen

Staff Intern

LONGMEADOW -- On Feb. 10, Longmeadow High School, along with 14 other local schools, competed in the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference (PVIAC) Individual Ski Championships at the Berkshire East Ski Resort. Longmeadow finished first in the A division.

"[The team's] work ethic paid off through out the season," Glenn Olson, Longmeadow Ski Team coach, said. "They definitely showed a level of class. They really made a stake of what hard work can do."

Garrett Gagne, a sophomore at Longmeadow High School, finished first overall in the event. He finished with a total of 57.37 points.

There was a lot of anticipation for the ski championships.

"I was a little nervous," Gagne said. "I was confident about my short slalom but I had some doubts about the giant slalom."

Ski competitions consist of two slaloms a downhill ski race in which competitors follow a course that generally zigzag through flags on poles or other obstacles.

There is a short slalom and a giant slalom. The short slalom is a shorter course that focuses more on skill, while the giant slalom focuses on speed.

The team does most of its practicing before the actual ski season begins. The competitions are very time consuming and they don't have a lot of time to practice during the season.

Longmeadow holds their practices at Bosquet Ski Area in Pittsfield.

"We do two days a week [of practice] on snow and pick up a couple days a week in the gym, training," Olson said.

The Longmeadow ski team will move on to the state championships competition, which will take place on Feb. 24 at Berkshire East.