Woodstock’s Wood, Masillo maintain form on slushy surface in Eastern States qualifier

Bode Wood, of Woodstock, skis toward a finish of 50.21 seconds on his final race of the day during a qualifying meet for the eastern states championship at Sasadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2024. Wood's best time of the day came in the first race at 40.93 seconds and he was among the top five finishers on all three runs. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Bode Wood, of Woodstock, skis toward a finish of 50.21 seconds on his final race of the day during a qualifying meet for the eastern states championship at Sasadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2024. Wood's best time of the day came in the first race at 40.93 seconds and he was among the top five finishers on all three runs. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — James M. Patterson

Rivendell alpine ski coach Ken Champagne confers with Harper Traendly, left, and Allie Vogelien, right, before their final slalom qualifier for the eastern states championship at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2024. Champagne has started the team up this year after  an absence of more than a decade from competition. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Rivendell alpine ski coach Ken Champagne confers with Harper Traendly, left, and Allie Vogelien, right, before their final slalom qualifier for the eastern states championship at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2024. Champagne has started the team up this year after an absence of more than a decade from competition. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Harper Traendly, of Rivendell, enters a set of tight turns on the slalom course at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, on her way to a finish in 52.68 seconds in the third qualifying race of the day. Vogelien recorded her best time of 46.76 seconds in her first race. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Harper Traendly, of Rivendell, enters a set of tight turns on the slalom course at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, on her way to a finish in 52.68 seconds in the third qualifying race of the day. Vogelien recorded her best time of 46.76 seconds in her first race. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

After posting top times of 44.67 seconds and 44.17 seconds in her first two races, Chloe Masillo, of Woodstock, skis off the course without finishing on the final race of the day at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. Skiers will take their top three times of six races from this slalom meet and an upcoming giant slalom meet to compete for spots on the team representing Vermont in the Eastern Regional High School Ski Championship in March. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

After posting top times of 44.67 seconds and 44.17 seconds in her first two races, Chloe Masillo, of Woodstock, skis off the course without finishing on the final race of the day at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. Skiers will take their top three times of six races from this slalom meet and an upcoming giant slalom meet to compete for spots on the team representing Vermont in the Eastern Regional High School Ski Championship in March. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — James M. Patterson

Woodstock alpine ski coach Cheyenne Wood pulls gates as racers smooth the ruts from the slalom course at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2024, after a qualifying meet for the eastern states championship. Wood said poor snow conditions caused deep ruts and kept skiers moving at a conservative pace during competition. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Woodstock alpine ski coach Cheyenne Wood pulls gates as racers smooth the ruts from the slalom course at Saskadena Six in South Pomfret, Vt., on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2024, after a qualifying meet for the eastern states championship. Wood said poor snow conditions caused deep ruts and kept skiers moving at a conservative pace during competition. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Chloe Masillo

Chloe Masillo

Bode Wood

Bode Wood

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 01-26-2024 9:14 PM

Modified: 01-30-2024 4:14 PM


SOUTH POMFRET — Vermont’s best high school Alpine skiers met at Saskadena Six on Thursday. However, the conditions couldn’t have been much worse for the slalom race, the first of two qualifiers for the Eastern High School Championships, which will be held later this winter.

Temperatures soared into the mid-40s throughout the afternoon and left competitors focused less on speed than on staying upright. More than 30 runs ended prematurely in a competition featuring roughly 60 skiers total for the boys and girls races, each of whom took three runs.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be this bad,” said Woodstock High’s Chloe Masillo, who tied Champlain Valley’s Ella Lisle for the day’s best girls time of 44.17 seconds. The course “is very slushy and slow and kind of throws you around. You’re just trying to get through it.”

Said fellow Wasp Bode Wood: “These are the worst ruts I’ve ever seen in my life.”

By the third run’s end, skiers were taking more than a minute to make it down. Wipeouts drew oohs and ahhs from spectators below.

Woodstock coach Cheyenne Wood said the course was in solid shape Wednesday but that his heart sank when he arrived Thursday morning and saw the top of Saskadena’s slopes obscured in a haze.

“Fog is death on snow,” Wood said. “There was a skiable surface to begin with, but once we broke through that, it got down to the dirt in some places.”

Bode Wood’s best time was 40.93, the third-fastest among boys, and he and Masillo left themselves in good standing for the season’s second Eastern qualifier, a Feb. 5 giant slalom race at the Middlebury Snow Bowl.

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A couple of good runs there and the pair should be part of Vermont’s 12-person boys and girls teams that will compete at Attitash Mountain Resort in Bartlett, N.H., on a date to be determined. The Easterns include 12 other state teams from east of the Rocky Mountains.

Such a trip would be the third consecutive for Masillo and Wood, who are Woodstock’s senior co-captains and three-sport athletes. Masillo also plays soccer and tennis and Wood soccer and lacrosse.

“I thought Chloe and Bode were very measured and skied smart,” Cheyenne Wood said. “They knew they were No. 1 out of the gate and that the course was the best it was going to be all day long. They recorded some very good times.

“They knew didn’t need to win the race. It was more a matter of positioning themselves for qualifying.”

Hartford was scheduled to compete Thursday but dropped out. Rivendell Academy was the only other Upper Valley school in attendance, with Allie Vogelien finishing two seconds behind Masillo during their second run in 46.76. Rivendell’s Harper Traendly finished 17th during her second run, in 51.07.

Woodstock next competes Monday during a Southern Vermont League race at Pico Mountain in Rutland.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.