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The Wilton High School girls varsity ski team, the Class S State Champions for the past two years, claimed victory yet again on Thursday, Jan. 12, at Mount Southington in the first race of the Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League (CISL) 2023 season. The WHS boys varsity ski team also had a strong showing, achieving a close second place just 1.16 seconds behind Brunswick. Wilton’s junior varsity boys and girls teams placed first as well.

Out of 14 teams, Wilton’s varsity girls locked in the winning score of 298.39 seconds followed by Hand (second at 304.06) and Weston (third at 305.93).

The girls were led by sophomore Paige Leung who finished in fourth place out of 134 skiers with a combined two-run score of 47.53 seconds. Sophomore Gabby O’Meara quickly placed next in sixth (47.82) followed by sophomore Georgia Polito (11th, 49.48); senior captains Sloane Sullivan (16th, 50.83) and Samantha Mims (18th, 51.02); junior Kate Rusin (22nd, 51.71); freshman Lyla Theoharides (27th, 52.23); junior Molly Kaeyer (34th, 53.78); sophomore Kellogg Pettibone (38th, 54.37); and sophomore Sarah Morris (41st, 54.69).

“After winning States last year, it’s great to see that we have another very competitive team,” Wilton girls coach Bill Howard said. “Our girls let the league know that they are still a force to be reckoned with.”

Wilton varsity boys achieved their second-place score of 278.35 out of 13 teams, preceded by Brunswick (first at 277.19) and followed by Weston (third at 286.8).

Sophomore Connor Buchichio led the Warriors by placing a very close second (.11 second behind first place) out of 143 skiers at 44.9 seconds. He was followed by junior captain Owen Theoharides (ninth, 46.02); junior Daniel Zoubarev (10th, 46.52); freshman Cooper Buchichio (13th, 46.83); junior Jack Kelly (16th, 46.95); junior captain Harry Polito (18th, 47.13); sophomore Hudson Hagmann (24th, 48.01); junior Max Mirota (28th, 48.48); senior Jack Michael (32nd, 49.28); and junior Finn Kaeyer (43rd, 51.35).

The Wilton boys also welcomed a new coach this season, Michael Krudwig, who coached the U14 and U16 teams at Ski Sundown in New Hartford, as well as Team Connecticut. He brings more than 10 years of coaching experience to Wilton.

“The Wilton boys, with seasoned varsity skiers and a big rookie JV squad, had a great first race, despite marginal course conditions. I look forward to coaching this team and I’m sure there will be more wins to come,” Krudwig said.

Complete team results can be found on the CISL website.