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1/27 – Sassi Races

At this weekend’s Sassi Memorial races, Maine’s premier mid season Nordic event for skiers under the age of 18, Portland Nordic skiers stood on the podium in three of the four races, highlighted by Liam Niles winning the men’s 5k race.

The Sassi classic technique races include a 3 kilometer Junior Sassi race for skiers up to grade 8 and the 5km Sassi Classic for Maine high school skiers.

“This is one of the biggest events of the season,” said George Aponte-Clarke head coach of the Portland Nordic high school teams. “The conditions were some of the best we’ve seen this season and it was great to have our skiers do so well among such strong fields.”

In the girl’s Junior Sassi Race, Portland Nordic Middle School skier Zuzia Varney finished in second place with her teammates Frannie Freeman and Meribel Collin finishing in 8th and 9th respectively in a field of 66 racers. Farmington Area Ski Team’s Emma Charles won the girl’s race in a time of 10:14.4. Varney had a time of 11:06.1. Farmington also won the girl’s team event with a total of 13 points with Portland in second with 28 and Central Maine Ski club in third with 61.

In the boy’s race, Falmouth’s Nate Livingood took top honors with a time of 9:07.0. Telstar MS skier Eli Chiffrin was second with a time of 9:45.3, and Portland’s Ben Horrisberger finished third in 10:02.4 in a field of 67 racers. Portland’s Daniel Niles and George Theal finished in 8th and 9th and as a team Portland tied for first with Central Maine Ski Club with 33 points.

In the men’s 5km race Portland High School sophomore Liam Niles had the best time in the field of 154 crossing the finish line in 13:40.6. Maine Coast Waldorf High School (Freeport) skier, Nick Neveau finished in second only 3 seconds behind Niles with Deering High School skier Peter Jordan finishing in third in 13:52.9. Deering sophomore William Jordan came in just shy of the top 10 in 12th with a time of 14:39 despite a minor ankle injury. In team scoring Maranacook won with Portland High School finishing in 10th among 24 teams. Deering didn’t have enough skiers competing to make up a full team.

In the women’s 5km Sassi Classic Yarmouth High School Senior Sophia Laukli beat out the field of 152 skiers in a time of 14:25.7. Deering High School team freshman Sierra Aponte-Clarke had a strong showing finishing in 6th. Aponte-Clarke’s teammate Grace Tumavicus was the next Portland area skier finishing in 13th place.. As a team the Deering High School women finished in 9th place in the field of 15 schools.

Below are results of all Portland skiers from the weekend.

Girl’s 3km Junior Sassi Memorial 3 Zuzia Varney Portland (Lincoln) 8 Frannie Freeman Portland (Lincoln) 9 Meribel Collin Portland (King) 11 Annabelle Brooks Portland (King) 14 Ally Butts Portland (Lincoln)

Boy’s 3km Junior Sassi Memorial 3 Ben Horrisberger Portland (Lincoln) 8 Daniel Niles Portland (Lyman Moore) 9 George Theall Portland (King) 3 Luc Dietlin Portland (King)

Women’s 5km Sassi Memorial 6 Sierra Aponte-Clarke Deering 13 Grace Tamuavicus Deering 26 Elizabeth Thomas Portland 39 Ella Raymond Deering 94 Emma Carleton Deering

Men’s 5km Sassi Memorial 1 Liam Niles Portland 3 Peter Jordan Deering 12 William Jordan Deering 41 Robby Sheils Portland 46 Ezra Flint Portland 69 Michael Luna Cheverus 127 Kieran Elliot Portland

For complete results and pictures visit

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