February 13, 2013 —
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — A rare profusion of winter sun poured down through an azure blue sky, a hiatus between periods of snow, ice and gray gloom. Looking out my back window, I was taken by the glitter of ice crystals that adorned every limb. Seizing the moment that I knew would soon be gone, I grabbed my camera and went out to photograph this natural splendor.
It was winter in its most lovely attire. Soon the ice would melt, the sun would abate and the next phase of freezing drizzle would hold forth. But not for long, for soon in its place will emerge greenery and flowers to remind us about rebirth and renewal. Say what you will about winter, but it is majestic in its own right.
And in the world of high school sports, this past week evinced three manifestations of wintry magnificence.
Heading to the snowy slopes of Belleayre Mountain on February 5 afforded an opportunity to photograph Division I skiers rocketing down the Giant Slalom course. The Monticello girls won both the morning and afternoon races. Fallsburg/Tri-Valley placed second and third respectively. Monticello senior Haley Heins continued her mastery with two first-place finishes. Teammate Haley Ripa was second in the afternoon run and fourth in the morning encounter. Other top 10 finishers included Sarah Coney (F/TV), Riley Lindholm (M), Olivia Racette (L) and Mackenzie Mitchell (M).
In the boys races, it was Onteora that prevailed in the morning, followed by Monticello in the afternoon. Sullivan West senior Drew Billard took second in both races. Other top 10 finishers included Bailey Mitchell (M), Alec Wood (M), Zak Steingart (F/TV), Gene Doyle (L) and Pat Doyle (L). The Section 9 ski championships are slated for Hunter Mountain on February 12. Heins and Billard are the OCIAA Division I champions.