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Mitch's Sports Report: Mount Mansfield Girls Win Back To Back State Nordic Ski Titles

The state high school Nordic Ski champions were decided yesterday and thanks to a strong anchor leg relay run, Mount Mansfield claimed the division one girl's title for the second year in a row.

The repeat was in doubt after CVU closed a big lead Mount Mansfield had built up in the early freestyle portions of events at the Rikert Nordic Ski Center in Ripton.

But MMU's Rose Clayton was chosen to anchor the final 2.5 kilometer relay section and rallied to cross the finish line in first place by a good 24 seconds, securing MMU's second straight D-1 title.

CVU took second place and Mount Anthony came in third.

The boy's division one crown went to Mount Anthony, fending off a strong push from second place finishing Brattleboro, with BFA-St. Albans rounding out the top three. The D-1 boy's championship is the first for Mount Anthony in nine years and the program's tenth title overall.

In division two it was a sweep in both the boy's and girl's divisions for U-32, both squads building up insurmountable leads in the early days of the competition to pull away with Monday's final events.

The U-32 girls won the state title in 2016 but it's been a longer drought for the boys, who bring the championship back for the first time since 2002 while ending hopes of a fourth consecutive title for Middlebury.

The Tigers made a charge in the finale with skiers finishing in the top three, but still falling eleven points shy of the Raider's total.

Next up is the state alpine ski championships, which began yesterday. Woodstock has the early lead in the girl's competition and the St. Johnsbury boys lead after one day of races at Burke Mountain.

A couple of scores from the state high school basketball playdowns. The girl's division two semi-finals saw fourth-seeded Lake Region upset top-seeded Mount Abraham by just one point in a 38-37 win at Barre Auditorium.

And in the division four semis, top-seeded Blue Mountain beat number five Mount St. Joseph 47-28.

On the pro hard court the slide continues for LeBron James and the LA Lakers, their latest loss coming against the team they share a home court with at Staples Center, the LA Clippers, in a 113-105 defeat.

Danilo Gallinari led the Clippers with 23 points and it's worth noting that the decidedly non-star-studded Clippers are en route to make the post-season, in seventh place in the western conference, while the glitzier and higher profile Lakers are on the outside looking in. With just 18 games left in the regular season, they're 5 1/2 games outside the playoff bubble.

In the NHL the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled over the very good Calgary Flames 6-2 last night with Tyler Ennis scoring his first career hat trick in the process, and with the win the Leafs are just one point behind Boston for second place in the Atlantic, despite the Bruins enjoying a streak of sixteen games in which they've recorded at least one point.

That second place tier is important because the Leafs and Bruins are on a collision course to meet in the first round of the NHL playoffs, as they did last year, and home ice advantage hangs in that balance.  

The Bruins are on their home ice tonight, facing the hard-charging Carolina Hurricanes, who currently own the second and final wild card playoff berth in the east, just one point ahead of Pittsburgh, so they'll be a highly motivated opponent.

It's day three of the Iditarod in Alaska, and we're keeping an eye on 65 year old Linwood Fiedler, a Vermont native, who currently sits with his dogs in 21st place out of the 52 teams competing in the world's greatest race.


A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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