CHITTENDEN, VT – The 9th Annual Mountain Top Paintball Biathlon hosted 275 participants this weekend and 48 local skiers from the Ford Sayre Ski Council braved the cold to enjoy an exciting day of skiing and shooting out on the course. Racers did laps around a 1.3 km loop and then stopped at the range to take five shots with a paintball gun every lap. Ten seconds was deducted from each racer’s final time for each shot that hit the target.
Craftsbury Nordic skier Alan Moody won the boys first- and second-grade race finishing the loop in 03:01.5 with perfect 5/5 shooting. Luke Rizio of Prospect Mountain BKL finished second in 04:16.0 with 3 hits, and Ford Sayre’s Caleb Zuckerman took the last podium spot in 05:09.5 with 4 hits. Other local finishers were James Underwood (6th, Woodstock Ski Runners, 05:39.5, 3 hits), Christian Blix (7th, Ford Sayre, 06:01.1, 2 hits), Andrew Davis (15th, Ford Sayre, 06:54.0, 0 hits), Felix DiGeorge (16th, Ford Sayre, 07:15.1, 1 hits), and Stephen Witwick (25th, Ford Sayre, 10:57.1, 2 hits).
In the first- and second-grade girls race, Mansfield Nordic BKL’s Virginia Cobb won with a time of 05:35.8 and went 3/5 at the range. Sadie Bell of Putney Ski Club relied on some very fast skiing to finish second in 05:51.4 without hitting the target. Ada Mahood of the Woodstock Nordic Runners came in 10th with a time of 10:05.6.
Hanover’s Ann Rightmire won the girls third- and fourth-grade race with a blazing ski time of 09:39.9 despite having a tough day at the range. Jane Skavlem of Berkshire Trails went 2/5 from the line and finished 2nd in 09:50.8. Ford Sayre’s Katie Davis also hit the target twice and finished in third place with a time of 10:00.4. Imogen Dietz (6th, Ford Sayre, 11:10.7) and Madeline Zuckerman (9th, Ford Sayre, 12:27.8) also finished very strongly.
Evan Nichols of Lyme won the boys third- and fourth-grade race in 07:24.8 with Neil Guy from Frost Mountain Nordic just behind a 07:27; both had three hits at the range. A lot of local racers participated in this race including Matt Walsh (7th, Ford Sayre, 08:55.6, 3 hits), Joseph Davis (8th, Ford Sayre, 09:08.3, 3 hits), Hugh Clark (10th, Ford Sayre, 09:34.4, 2 hits), Gaven Schane (12th, Woodstock, 09:48.5, 4 hits), Jack Lange (14th, Ford Sayre, 09:59.3, 2 hits), Simon Phipps (16th, Ford Sayre, 10:02.3, 3 hits), Daniel Jaccaci (26th, Ford Sayre, 11:24.8, 4 hits), Forster Goodrich (29th, Ford Sayre, 13:06.8, 2 hits), Jasper Tuthill (30th, Ford Sayre, 13:12.9, 2 hits), Oscar Miller (31st, Ford Sayre, 13:19.1, 0 hits).
Will Koch from West River combined a marksman-like 9/10 from the range with fast skiing to win the boys fifth- and sixth-grade race in 10:40.8. David Moody of Craftsbury Nordic finished second in 10:58.6 with 4 hits, and West River Nordic’s Asa Chalmers finished third in 11:16.9 and 6 hits. Other local finishers were Sam Murray (10th, Ford Sayre, 12:32.4, 7 hits), Peter Burnham (14th, Ford Sayre, 13:30.2, 5 hits), Vincent Nacio Levey (15th, Ford Sayre, 13:38.0, 5 hits), Noah Phipps (21st, Ford Sayre, 14:37.7, 4 hits), Erik Blix (24th, Ford Sayre, 15:21.3, 3 hits), Dirk Andrew (27th, Ford Sayre, 16:35.2, 3 hits).
In the girls fifth- and sixth-grade race, Phoebe Hussey of Frost Mountain Nordic won with a time of 10:54.5 with 6 hits. Malia Hodges of Frost Mountain Nordic finished second in 11:00.0 with 6 hits, and Ford Sayre’s Grace Dietz finished third in 12:00.4 and 7 hits. Other local finishers were Liz Rightmire (6th, Ford Sayre, 12:51.1, 3 hits), Eloise Silver-VanMeter (8th, Ford Sayre, 13:31.5, 4 hits), Hannah Chipman (9th, Ford Sayre, 13:38.1, 7 hits), Carly Milliken (10th, Ford Sayre, 13:53.6, 10 hits), Catherine Bregou (11th, Ford Sayre, 13:57.7, 0 hits), Meg Snyder (21st, Ford Sayre, 18:42.6, 4 hits), Lara Witwick (22nd, Ford Sayre, 20:57.3, 4 hits).
West River Nordic skier Mae Chalmers won the girls seventh- and eighth-grade race finishing the loop in 12:17.2 with 4 hits, and incredibly accurate shooting by Perrin Milliken of Ford Sayre won her a second place finish in 13:10.0 with 10 hits. The Stratton Mountain School’s Anna Lehmann finished third in 13:16.7 and 4 hits. This race had a very strong local turnout with Kennedy Lange (6th, Ford Sayre, 13:40.1, 11 hits), Ingrid Miller (8th, Ford Sayre, 13:53.7, 2 hits), Casey Nichols (9th, Ford Sayre, 14:01.7, 7 hits), Johanna Bandler (11th, Ford Sayre, 16:14.6, 1 hits), Margot Davis (14th, Ford Sayre, 16:39.8, 3 hits), Olivia Brooks (15th, Woodstock Nordic, 17:01.5, 3 hits), Maeve Goodrich (16th, Ford Sayre, 17:29.2, 4 hits), Emily Bregou (18th, Ford Sayre, 17:45.3, 4 hits), and Shannon Walsh (19th, Ford Sayre, 19:03.7, 3 hits).
In the boys seventh- and eighth-grade race, Greg Burt of Mansfield Nordic won with a time of 10:07.1 with 11 hits. Neil Thorley of West River finished second in 10:20.1 with 10 hits, and Frost Mountain Nordic’s Sam Hodges finished third in 10:27.2 and 4 hits. Ford Sayre’s Malcom Silver-VanMeter broke a pole but kept skiing hard around the course finishing 17th in 14:11. Other Upper Valley racers included Andy Rightmire (10th, Ford Sayre, 12:33.4, 10 hits), Jack Burnham (14th, Ford Sayre, 14:10.6, 3 hits), Matt Ennis (18th, Woodstock Ski Runners, 14:54.6, 9 hits), Beaven Ankner-Edelstein (22nd, Ford Sayre, 16:15.6, 6 hits), and Justin Andrew (26th, Ford Sayre, 17:39.7, 10 hits).
See more of Randy Witwick’s photos here
See more of Scott Nichol’s photos here