Skiing: Impressive start for Ridgefield teams

In the first race of the regular season, the Ridgefield High boys ski team demonstrated why it is considered one of the favorites to win a state title this year.

The Tigers not only swept the four teams they were competing against in head-to-head contests but also finished first overall among all 12 teams skiing on Wednesday afternoon at Mount Southington.

Ridgefield's team time of 279.34 seconds was nearly eight seconds faster than that of runner-up Staples (287.03), which was second overall.

The Tigers' head-to-head victories came against Darien (290.63), Pomperaug (293.22), Brunswick (303.60), and Amity (324.84).

All six of Ridgefield's scoring skiers finished in the top-20 overall. Matt Bornstein led the way, placing eighth overall in a two-run combined time of 45.26 seconds. He was followed closely by teammates Macrae Benziger (45.94) and Niels van Beek (46.16), who were 10th and 11th, respectively.

Alex O'Reilly and Jenner Hagele tied for 17th with matching times of 47.25, and Will Coffin rounded out the scoring by placing 20th in a time of 47.48.

The Ridgefield girls ski team also began its season Wednesday, finishing third overall among 11 teams.

The Tigers' had a team time of 312.10 seconds to win three of their four head-to-head races. Ridgefield defeated Amity (324.31), Lauralton Hall (332.25) and Pomperaug (340.89) and lost to Darien (301.47), which was first overall.

Sloan Coughlin was Ridgefield's top skier, finishing ninth overall in a two-run combined time of 49.35 seconds.

Hailey Guerra (11th, 49.56), Lauren Tsai (17th, 50.33), Alycia Wong (27th, 52.98), Georgia Rich (34th, 54.91), and Sierra Gundersen (35th, 54.97) also contributed to the Tigers' team time.

Notes: The Ridgefield teams continue their season next Wednesday at Mount Southington against Greenwich, Cheshire Academy, Danbury, Southington, Wilton, and Hopkins.