Alpine skiing: Hopkinton wins 2nd consecutive Capital Cup

Hopkinton’s Merrick Chapin races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Chapin won the boys’ slalom, helping lead Hopkinton to its second consecutive Capital Cup title.

Hopkinton’s Merrick Chapin races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Chapin won the boys’ slalom, helping lead Hopkinton to its second consecutive Capital Cup title. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Hopkinton’s Merrick Chapin races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Chapin won the boys’ slalom, helping lead Hopkinton to its second consecutive Capital Cup title.

Hopkinton’s Merrick Chapin races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Chapin won the boys’ slalom, helping lead Hopkinton to its second consecutive Capital Cup title. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Concord’s Mika Taylor races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Taylor defended her title in the girls’ slalom, leading the Crimson Tide to second place as a team.

Concord’s Mika Taylor races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Taylor defended her title in the girls’ slalom, leading the Crimson Tide to second place as a team. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Concord’s Mika Taylor races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Taylor defended her title in the girls’ slalom, leading the Crimson Tide to second place as a team.

Concord’s Mika Taylor races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Taylor defended her title in the girls’ slalom, leading the Crimson Tide to second place as a team. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Concord’s Mika Taylor races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Taylor defended her title in the girls’ slalom, leading the Crimson Tide to second place as a team.

Concord’s Mika Taylor races in the slalom at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. Taylor defended her title in the girls’ slalom, leading the Crimson Tide to second place as a team. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

The Hopkinton Alpine ski team celebrates its victory at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. The Hawks won the event, which combines both boys’ and girls’ team scores, for the second consecutive year.

The Hopkinton Alpine ski team celebrates its victory at the 16th annual Capital Cup at Proctor Academy on Monday. The Hawks won the event, which combines both boys’ and girls’ team scores, for the second consecutive year. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 01-30-2024 1:17 AM

Scott Zipke likes that the Capital Cup has a “competitive midseason feel” to it. For the second year in a row, that competition has gone Hopkinton’s way.

Junior Merrick Chapin led the Hopkinton boys to a 1-2-4 finish in the boys’ slalom to lead the Hawks to a commanding lead in that event and the Hopkinton girls kept up with Concord enough to maintain it as the Hopkinton Alpine ski team claimed the 16th annual Capital Cup title at Proctor Academy on Monday.

The Capital Cup, directed by Concord High head coach George Golden, combines both the boys’ and girls’ team scores to decide which program can claim Capital Area bragging rights.

The Hawks had a combined score of 766 points, followed by Concord (748), Bow (733), Bishop Brady (657) and Pembroke (633).

Hopkinton (386), Bow (370) and Concord (364) were the top three boys’ team scores, while Concord (384), led by girls’ slalom winner Mika Taylor, narrowly topped Hopkinton (380) with Bow (363) finishing third in that event.

Chapin bobbled on his second run, and at one point had both hands in the snow to recover, but he stayed on his skis and still posted the fastest combined time of his two runs, clocking a 1:01.15. 

Senior Harrison Wilson was second in 1:03 flat, while senior Conrado Mollano (fourth, 1:04.75) and freshman Coley Wells (11th) rounded out the scorers for the Hopkinton boys.

The Hawk girls are much less experienced side, but sophomores Marcella Guadagno (second, 1:10.51), Avery Loew (third 1:14.82), Madison Dwyer (12th), and freshman Lia Chapin (seventh) were able to hold their own against Division I Concord.

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Although Hopkinton won the D-III girls’ Alpine championship last year, one of last year’s top skiers is out for the season after an injury during soccer season, while another graduated, so Zipke is encouraged by what he saw from the young squad.

“They’re coming into themselves, which is neat to see them ski to the top of their abilities,” Zipke said. “Everybody finished strong today. We had some good individual results and it’s fun to combine scores like that. … It’s cool to have all divisions come together, but we still don’t know how we stack up against everyone in D-III yet.”

Taylor, a sophomore, won the girls’ slalom crown for the second time. Her time of 1:06.84 beat the rest of the field by nearly four seconds. It’s hardly a surprise, given that she won the D-I slalom title last year as a freshman.

“She’s strong and she skis very aggressively,” Golden said. “She attacks out of the start and that’s what you need to keep winning like that. Slalom is definitely her stronger event. … She’s got a lot of experience, she’s been ski racing for a long time. She’s scored points (and finished in the top three) in every race so far.”

Senior Charlotte Summerlin (fourth, 1:16.87), sophomore Emma Pelletier (fifth, 1:16.92) and junior Lilly Merrill (10th) were Concord’s other scorers on the girls’ side, with junior Charlotte Dill (14th) also skiing well.

Those five athletes make up the entire roster, the smallest team that Golden has coached in 24 years with the Crimson Tide.

Golden’s son Lucas, a freshman, finished third in 1:04.01 to break up Hopkinton’s sweep on the boys’ podium, with Brett McDonough (sixth), Carter Pratt (15th) and Pablo Winn (16th) also scoring for the Tide boys.

Seth Lowne, Aaron Barrieau, Oliver Weiss and Collin Atwell went 7-8-9-10 for the Bow boys, and Ava Gabois (eighth), Sophia Coombs (ninth), Sierra Scull (11th) and Vivian Madden (13th) scored for the Falcon girls.

Bishop Brady was led by Tess Lavoie (sixth) and Anna Beauchesne (17th) on the girls’ side, and Caleb Goldstein (fifth) and Boden Gendron (21st) on the boys’.

Pembroke was led by Dylan Hawkins (18th boys), Colby Pope (23rd boys), Madison McAlpine (23rd girls) and Leilani Belanger (24th girls).