Alpine skiing: ConVal’s Dishong sweeps state championship races

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Feb. 10. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal’s Ella Dishong races at the NHIAA Division II championship at Crotched Mountain last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The NHIAA Division II alpine skiing championships were held at Crotched Mountain in Bennington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/12/2021 7:43:15 PM

ConVal’s Molly Dishong swept the Division II championship races at Crotched Mountain on Wednesday, her hard work and dedication to ski racing paying off big at her home mountain.

“It was nice being at my home mountain and running on a trail I was really comfortable on,” Dishong said after the race. 

The Francestown junior – already a champion after winning the DII slalom race at Mount Sunapee last winter – finished first in all four of ConVal’s regular season races, but Wednesday saw her go head-to-head with stiffer competition. Kennett’s Ashley Garside, the defending DII giant slalom champ, edged out Dishong in the first GS run with a blistering 33.52 to Dishong’s 33.70. Dishong, who hadn’t faced a deficit all season, said that first-run defeat let her know exactly what she had to do on the second run. Focused, she skied – flawlessly – and beat Garside by two-tenths of a second, overturning the first run and winning the event by the most miniscule of margins, a total of 1:07.47 to 1:07.49.

“I’m absolutely thrilled for her,” ConVal head coach Holly Wilson said. “She’s worked really hard for this. She’s a beautiful ski racer and she has a love for this sport that is second-to-none.”

Dishong went on to repeat as slalom champion, creating a three-and-a-half second margin between herself and Garside when all was said and done to win the event in 1:19.40.

Dishong, modest, downplayed her historic day and the rare sweep of the state championship races, attributing her success to her history of winter-long racing and offseason training. 

“Anybody coming out of ConVal could do it if they worked hard enough,” Dishong said.

But Coach Wilson explained that it’s Dishong’s unparalleled drive and strong foundational skills that set her apart from the rest of the pack.

“She is such a well-balanced skier and her fundamentals are so strong that it makes her technique very sound,” Wilson said, “and she makes so few mistakes along the way throughout a course that she just will dominate. And when she does make a mistake, she focuses on that and works to correct that. She’s very driven that way.”

Dishong’s short season will be a little longer after her win, which placed her automatically into the Meet of Champions, set for Thursday at Cannon Mountain.

She’ll be the only ConVal student-athlete up at the Mittersill Ski Area, as the rest of the Cougars didn’t make the MOC cut, despite skiing well in their championship races. 

Senior, elder sister and team captain Ella Dishong was the second ConVal racer across in both the GS (18th, 1:12.90) and SL (1:32.06) races, capping off an impressive career while showing off her leadership qualities.

“She was a great leader this year,” Wilson said. “She’s captain of our team, she’s been really helpful, and she reads me and knows exactly what I’m going to need help with.”

Ella was the only senior on a ConVal girls’ team that is young and promising.

“These girls, there’s so much potential,” Wilson said.

Also scoring for ConVal on Wednesday were Jennifer Hopkins (26th, 1:15.21) and Caitlin Beal (33rd, 1:16.94); Laramie Wilson (44th, 1:20.17) and Eva McCullough (45th, 1:20.26) also finished for the Cougars.

DII boys’ championship

The ConVal boys were supposed to race at Cranmore for their DII championship on Tuesday, but the old irony – a ski race canceled by a snowstorm – forced the NHIAA to reschedule for Thursday. Wilson said she had top-15 aspirations for some of her boys that didn’t quite come to fruition. Carter Rousseau was ConVal’s top finisher with a 20th-place finish in the SL (1:25.42); he’d finish 30th in GS in 53.18. Reid Wilson took 22nd in the GS in 51.45 and 24th in the SL in 1:28.45; Owen Kotula took 30th (1:33.21) in the SL and 33rd (53.98) in the GS; David Martin took 28th (52.73) in the GS; Fletcher Maggs took 42nd (55.93) in the GS and 39th in the SL (39th), and Bennett Saxe was 45th in the SL (1:41.37) and 37th in the GS (54.78).

Cole Siefer of Kennett won the boys’ GS in 47.24; Justin Colby of Hollis-Brookline won the SL in 1:08.74. 

Wilson said that while her boys might not have any hardware to show for their trip north, the memories they made on the mountain will last long after the winter snows melt away. After the official racing was done in the early afternoon, the Cougars opted to stick around and take advantage of their visit to Cranmore by skiing the rest of the day for fun. 

“What that says to me is that they are going to be lifetime lovers of skiing, not just ski racing,” Wilson said. “They might not be champions, but oh man, they are good skiers. We were in the woods, we were in the park, they were skiing everywhere and the laughter was just amazing.”

DIV boys’ championship

Wilton-Lyndeborough junior Nathan Browne raced independently at the Division IV championships at Crotched Mountain on Monday. Browne took 30th in the SL in 1:53.31 and 35th in the GS in 1:22.16.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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