By Frank Rizzo
BRIDGEVILLE The torch has passed for now in the county girls alpine skiing scene, where Monticellos Laura Ferranti has taken over the dominant role played last year by Fallsburg/Tri-Valleys Colleen Carey.
In 2000 Carey, a freshman, copped the Section IX title by winning four races, including the Section IX championship meet itself.
The weighted scoring is based on ones best four placements in the six regular season meets, plus the championship race result.
Ferranti, then a seventh-grader, came on strong to place second in the section.
At the state meet in Lake Placid Ferranti had the best Section IX performance in the giant slalom, placing 19th (to Careys 29th).
So far this season Ferranti has won both Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) American Conference meets, which are held at Holiday Mountain in Bridgeville.
On January 11th Ferranti and Carey finished 1-2 in the slalom with respective times of 44.31 and 45.07.
In the January 16th giant slalom race Ferranti was first with a 33.07, edging Sullivan Wests Veronika Dlouha (33.72). Carey was fourth with a 34.40.
A Skiing Life
Ferranti, who lives in Glen Wild, said she first skied at Holiday Mountain when she was four years old and like other aspiring skiers was a member of the Holiday Mountain Ski Club.
Monticello ski coaches Jim Bates and Warren Buddy Goldsmith were aware of Ferranti.
She wasnt yet 12 years old when she joined Monticellos varsity squad last season.
Its not unusual to see seventh or eighth graders on the team, said longtime coach Goldsmith, who stepped down after last season. But impact players [at those grades] are few and far between. Lauras an impact player. Its really something. She has a lot of talent.
Bates said he has worked with Ferranti ever since she was seven or eight years old.
She works hard and is very committed to her sport, said Bates. Shes got good size and strength, too, shes solidly built. In ski racing, size matters.
To add to her skiing experience, Ferranti also joined the Hunter Mountain Ski Club.
Parallel to her scholastic skiing, Ferranti has been a member of the United States Ski Association (USSA) youth circuit and has traveled to ski areas all over the state. When she turned 13 she moved up from J4 to J3 classification.
Shes competing against girls from all over New York State, and against 14 year olds with one year more experience than her, and has consistently finished in the top five, Bates noted.
Ferranti was recently invited by the USSA to one of its regional Super G events in Vermont.
That in itself shows that [the USSA] is paying attention to her results, Bates said.
Shes a pretty consistent skier, strong in both events (slalom and giant slalom) and has both finesse and power, Bates summed up.
Lauras on the right course. Now its a matter of staying the course, Bates added.