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Sonju helps Ethel Walker win second straight New England title in skiing

Ethel Walker sophomore Anneliese Sonju (Collinsville) won New England titles in the slalom and giant slalom Wednesday to lead Ethel Walker to their second straight New England championship. (Photo courtesy Ethel Walker School)

NEW HARTFORD, February 14 – Sophomore Anneliese Sonju swept the slalom and giant slalom to help lead the Ethel Walker girls alpine skiing team to a second straight New England championship on Wednesday at Ski Sundown.

Ethel Walker won the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council’s (NEPSAC) Class B championship with a 61-70 win over the Taft School from Watertown. The places that a school’s top three skiiers in the slalom and giant slalom determine the team score. Farmington’s Miss Porter’s finished sixth with 101 points.

Ethel Walker won the New England championship a year ago in Class C.

Anneliese, who lives in Collinsville, had a dominant win in the slalom with a two-run time of 65.86 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of Murray Lila of Greenwich High School with a time of 68.51 seconds. Anneliese had the fastest run of the day with a run of 31.25 seconds on her first run.

Teammates Elise Namnoum was tenth (73.33 seconds) in the slalom for Ethel Walker while Nancy Gfeller (76.29) was 16th.

Anneliese also won the giant slalom by more than two seconds with her two-run time of 87.27 seconds. Plants Mojo of Miss Porter’s in Farmington was second with a time of 89.48 seconds. Again, Anneliese had the fastest time of the day with a run of 41.9 seconds on her second run of the event.

For Ethel Walker, Namnoum was 12th (94.23 seconds) with Gfeller placing 22nd (97.98) in the giant slalom. Fifty-five skiiers finished the race.

“These championships are built on hard work by individuals,” Ethel Walker athletic director John Monagan said. “They are a testament to the unity of the team which is built into the fabric of our program. They support and care for one another, and that cohesion shows itself in their results. We couldn’t be more proud of the team and their coaches.”

NEPSAC Class B skiing championships
At New Hartford (Ski Sundown)
Girls team results:
1. Ethel Walker-Simsbury 61, 2. Taft School-Watertown 70, 3. Thayer-Braintree, MA 76, 4. Concord (MA) Academy 92, 5. Pingree School-Hamilton, MA 99, 6. Miss Porter’s-Farmington 101, 7. Governor’s Academy-Newbury MA 114, 8. Loomis Chaffee-Windsor 141, 9. Kents Hill School (ME) 189, 10, Williston-Northampton MA 208, 11. The Rivers School-Weston MA 214, 12. Greenwich High 235, 13. Miss Hall’s School- Pittsfield, MA 280
Individual results
Slalom: Anneliese Sonju, Ethel Walker, 65.80, 2. Lila Murray, Greenwich HS 68.51, 3. Skye Anker, Greenwich HS 69.87
Giant slalom: Anneliese Sonju, Ethel Walker, 87.27, 2.  Mojo Plants, Miss Porter’s 89.48, 3. Ciam Sage, Thayer 90.13


Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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