By Nick Curcuru
---- — The Manchester Essex boys and girls ski teams are picking up right where it left off last winter, putting up impressive times in the North Shore ski leagues.
Although it’s difficult for the Hornets to compete at the team level, skiing is primarily an individual sport and while the Hornets may have one of the smaller rosters quantity wise, it has one of the larger rosters in league when it comes to quality.
The Manchester Essex girls sent a big message to the North Shore Ski League in its first run of the season Tuesday placing three girls in the top 10 and coming away with the top two finishes of the afternoon.
Senior Megan Jones, who won the North Shore Ski League’s Interscholastic Ski Race as a junior last winter, continued her dominance on the slopes with a winning the season’s first giant slalom run at Ski Bradford with a time of 19.51.
Jones, who qualified for the state meet in each of the Hornets’ two varsity seasons. has been a mainstay at the top of the North Shore Ski League standings for years and she was followed by a pair of up and comers.
Sophomore Alex Marshall, who became the youngest girl to qualify for the state meet as an eighth grader in 2011, finished right behind Jones in second place with a time of 19.62. Junior Lizzy White finished with the ninth best time at 20.85 while Megan Clark finished 21st with a time of 21.71.
The boys team also had its share of strong finishes. Brian McAuliff appears to be well on his way to a third straight appearance in the state meet with a second place finish in the Manchester Essex boys second race of the season. McAuliff finished his giant slalom run in 18.94 seconds.
Following Brian McAuliff was his brother Chris McAuliff in 17th with a time of 19.8. William Kiley also broke the top 40 with a 39th place finish and a time of 20.66.