alpine

A skier carves into the snow after rounding a gate during Northern Vermont Athletic Conference Championships at Jay Peak.

Harwood’s two top guns and a pair of multi-sport standouts from Stowe took home All-Star honors after an Alpine ski season for the ages.

Stowe’s Rai Bleda and Flynn Kearney entered the winter with winning attitudes after leading their respective fall teams to record-setting runs. The Raiders’ 1-2 punch on the downhill trails triggered a runner-up finish at state championships, and they join Harwood’s Gretchen Kogut and Rex Rubinstein on the statewide All-Star squad.

Bleda was a high-scoring striker for a Raiders soccer program that claimed its seventh straight title last fall. His athleticism quickly translated into fast times and podium finishes on the slopes. During states at Burke Mountain, he placed fifth in GS (1:43.68) and second in slalom (1:23.21). Kearney led the Stowe golf team to its fourth straight title before turning his attention to Alpine action. At states, he was third in slalom (1:24.83) and 11th in GS (1:47.32).

While Bleda and Kearney often flip-flopped in finish order, Rubinstein was Harwood’s No. 1 guy from start to finish. He placed second in GS during NVAC district championships at Jay Peak and was the picture of consistency at states. Rubinstein wound up third in GS (1:43.43) and fourth in slalom (1:25.47), fueling a fifth-place team finish. Kogut led the HU girls to a sixth-place showing at states. She was 13th in GS (1:57.62) and eighth in slalom (1:38.49).

Lyndon’s Lena Sauter and Burr and Burton’s Blake Greene completed individual sweeps at states by winning GS and slalom. Sauter posted a GS time of 1:45.26, while Greene finished in 1:42. Green won slalom in 1:19.62, with Sauter prevailing in 1:25.06.

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