BFA’s Nordic and Alpine Season Comes to an End


Left to right: Coach Scott Magnan, Chris Cotignola (‘21), Porter Hurteau (‘24), Jacob Tremblay (‘22), Ethan Mashtare (‘22), Calvin Storms (‘22), Nolan Rochelou (‘21), Thomas Curry (‘21), Dylan Koval (‘21). Photo credit: Ethan Mashtare

Brayden Baker, Writer

Both Bellows Free Academy St.Albans’s Nordic and alpine teams season came to an end last week with a strong finish.

The Mercury talked to alpine coach Nellie Dawson about some of the challenges the team faced with Covid restrictions, and she said, “We did not have access to the Collins Perley Complex this year, which forced us to be creative with our use of space for dryland practice. We practiced in the school parking lot, made more use of the BFA weight room than in the past and had yoga sessions spread out in my classroom.¨

Though the alpine team only competed in one meet the year, Dawson said, ¨The team had fun and skiers new and old created bonds with each other, which I call a success in my book.¨

BFA’s Nordic ski coach Mike Mashtare would also talk to The Mercury about his thoughts on his team for the 2021 season.  He said, “Our goal for the season was to get the team outside daily, to get fresh air and exercise to stay healthy physically and mentally. Both teams had a strong season and even stronger state championships. The boys finished 5th, and the girls 6th, to finish in the top half of the schools racing at states.¨ 

The strongest performance at the state championships for BFA was by Lydia Hodgeman (’22). Hodgeman had a great day, finishing 6th in the classic race and 8th in the skate race. This performance was good enough to make her a double medalist.

After the race, Hodgeman would go on to say that, “The state championship this year was bitter-sweet. It was really fun to actually race with other teams in real-time, but the excitement was dampened as we could not cheer and support our teammates on such a special day; this year, the boys and girls raced on separate days to lower the number of people at Craftsbury.” 

Hodgeman added, “I’m looking forward to next year when we can hopefully bring back the closeness of the team that makes Nordic skiing so special.”