Decker leads local racers

SARANAC LAKE – Saranac Lake’s Sheila Decker turned in the top finish among local competitors Wednesday in the high school slalom races held at Mount Pisgah Ski Center.

Decker was runner-up in the girls race, finishing behind Madeline Mahoney of Old Forge. Mahoney turned in the fastest runs in both heats – 35.37 and 42.61 seconds – for a combined winning time of 1:17.98.

Decker put down the next-fastest runs in her two trips down the course and finished with a combined time of 1:19.33 seconds, which was less than 0.1 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Tara Seigle of Holland-Patent.

The races included skiers from seven schools, as well as athletes who competed as independents.

The girls race had a field of 30, including area students from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and the Northwood School.

After Decker, Saranac Lake’s Macy Fischer was the next top local finisher for the girls, placing sixth in 1:25.73. Lake Placid’s Emily Eaton finished 10th, Chloe Doctor of Northwood was 12th, Erin Skufca of Lake Placid was 13th and Claire Bickford of Saranac Lake finished in 20th place.

Austin Swirsky of Saranac Lake had the top showing for area skiers in the boys race. He placed eighth with runs of 37.1 and 44.46 seconds for a 1:21.56 total. David Meola of Holland-Patent won the boys slalom title with runs of 34.32 and 40.38 seconds and a 1:14.7 combined time.

Corey Down of Old Forge placed second and teammate Cy Barkauskus finished third.

Saranac Lake’s Gabe Woodward placed 19th, Hunter Miller of Northwood was 20th, Red Storm skier Blake Gregory finished 21st, Forest Ledger of Lake Placid was 25th and Joe Brogan of Saranac Lake placed 27th.

Four other area racers, Saranac Lake’s Jimmy Gearsbeck and Jeremy Barge, Lake Placid’s Jack Gallagher and Brendan Bette of the Northwood School bumped off the course for DNFs.

Other schools participating were Lowville and Manlius-Pebble Hill. The race was hosted by the Saranac Lake alpine ski team. The high school skiers will be back in action today with Lake Placid playing host for racing at Whiteface Mountain.