Fifth Trip Is Taken
By Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO March 31, 2000 -- Laura Katzenberger of Monticello
accomplished what few athletes in Sullivan County have
ever done competed in a state championship for a
fifth straight year.
The senior took part in the New York State nordic ski
championship earlier this month at Lake Placid. The race
was held on the Olympic cross country ski course.
Monticello qualified four athletes for states. In
addition to Katzenberger, senior Mara Miller, junior Ross
Feller, and senior Brian Kurta also made the trip. For
Miller, it was her fourth appearance in the state meet.
We had snow in January and were able to get six
races in, said Monticello coach John Maranzana,
noting that last year, lack of snow forced Section IX to
hold some of its regular season meets way up in Glens
The Monticello girls placed third behind New Paltz and
Wallkill in the section. The boys had four members, one
shy of the number needed for team scoring.
This year was a good step for our boys
program, Maranzana noted.
The top 12 finishers in Section IX made the trip to Lake
Placid. Standings were determined by a combination of
regular season and Section IX championship meet
Gwynne Matter of New Paltz was the top girls skier
in the section this season. Katzenberger placed seventh
while Miller was eighth.
A.J. Feldt of Wallkill led the boys contingent.
Kurta was ninth and Feller gained the12th and last slot.
Matter became the first Section IX nordic skier in recent
memory to finish in the top 10 at the state meet.
Its difficult to compete against kids from
the schools up north, Katzenberger explained.
They can practice year-round.
She described the Olympic course as difficult, with
big hills and big downhills.
Katzenberger added, It rained and the course was
slushy and nasty. It was so hot (65 degrees) that people
wanted to ski in shorts and tank tops.
The boys skied 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) while the girls
Though disappointed with her placement at the meet,
Katzenberger said she always enjoys the experience. The
skiers left on a Friday after school and came back Monday
night, staying in a bed and breakfast.
Katzenberger said she plans to continue skiing
recreationally but noted that few colleges offer
intercollegiate nordic skiing, and not the ones she is
interested in attending.
Notes: None of the Liberty nordic skiers qualified for
the state meet. Junior Kevin Abbott, the top boy for the
Indians, placed 18th in Section IX. Eighth-grader Bertha
Lee led the Liberty girls contingent with 20th
place, followed by freshman Michelle Olsen (21st) and
soph Christy Immel (23rd).