Alpine Ski Racing Team Wins State Titles in Inaugural Season

In a fierce competition at Mountain Creek, in Vernon New Jersey, the RHS Varsity Women’s Alpine Ski Racing Team won the overall New Jersey State Ski Racing Championship and the State Slalom Championship at Mountain Creek, soundly defeating the ten other participating teams.

The New Jersey High School Alpine Ski Racing Championship consists of races in two disciplines, slalom and giant slalom. Teams first must qualify to participate in the championship based upon their record during the six race regular season. The Ridgewood women were consistently the fastest racers on the hill, finishing the regular season with an impressive 30-3 record. In the Slalom championship the Ridgewood women surpassed second place team Wayne Valley by 2.44 seconds. Junior Kait Devir had the fastest time on the course for the final championship race. When asked about winning the title, Meg Devir said, “I think that it is a great honor to win the State Championship. It shows how much potential the team has and much we deserve to be a part of the League, as a Varsity sport.

In the Giant Slalom, Ridgewood came in a strong second place. The team combined GS and Slalom time beat second place Wayne Valley by 7.65 seconds. The Ridgewood women also brought home the Liberty League Championship title.

The victory was particularly satisfying given that 2017 marked the inaugural year for Ski Racing in Ridgewood. The Ridgewood Women’s varsity squad consists of Kaitlyn Devir, Meg Devir, Jane Mckinley, Vanessa D’Angelo, Sarah Pilson, Sophia Bergantino and Sophia Swanson, coached by Karl Roecker.

On Tuesday, February 28, 7 members of the Ridgewood High School Alpine Ski Racing Team (Kaitlin Devir, Meg Devir, Jane McKinley,Vanessa D’Angelo, Sloan Ruhl, PJ McKenna, and Cole Sherman) raced in their first ever New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association’s Race of Champions. While the regular season focused entirely on team competition, the ROC pits NJISRA’s best racers against one another to compete for individual titles. On the line were 6 championship titles: the Men’s and Women’s Slalom and GS Championships, and the best overall individual racer, male and female. Ridgewood racers brought home four of the six championship titles.

Sophomore Kait Devir repeated her impressive performance from the team championship race. For the women, Devir won the New Jersey State Slalom Championship, Giant Slalom Championship, and was the overall individual state champion. Senior Sloan Ruhl won the state Giant Slalom championship. When asked about her performance, Kait said, “It was an amazing feeling considering the competition. In addition, it was a privilege representing my town and winning the ROC events.”

There were additional impressive performances from Ridgewood racers. Junior Meg Devir came in 3rd place in the slalom. Kaitlin Devir and Sloan Ruhl were both named All State 1st team, Meg Devir and Jane McKinley made All State 2nd team. PJ McKenna was named to All Conference (Liberty Conference) 1st team, and Vanessa D’Angelo and Cole Sherman were All Conference – honorable mention. Devir, Devir, Ruhl and McKinley will now move on to compete in the high school Regional Championship in Attitash, NH, next week.

Eddie O’Keefe
staff writer

Graphics: Sophia Swanson

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