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Wayne Post
  • Pucko's Perspective: Bernie’s Magnificent Seven stand out at HFL

  • Bernie Gardner has been producing cross country ski champions at Honeoye Falls-Lima High School for over twenty years. 1987 was the first in a streak of girls Nordic skiers to win Section Five titles. That’s 27 in a row. So it’s tough to say any one is better than the other. Gardner does, however, admit that this year’s was one of his best.

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  • Bernie Gardner has been producing cross country ski champions at Honeoye Falls-Lima High School for over twenty years. 1987 was the first in a streak of girls Nordic skiers to win Section Five titles. That’s 27 in a row. So it’s tough to say any one is better than the other. Gardner does, however, admit that this year’s was one of his best.
    “Some teams we’ve had, after we get to your third or fourth person, it drops. But this is like a solid chain. Even below number seven, there are girls right there. This is a really great overall team.”
    They are Bernie’s Magnificent Seven. The Cougars placed the top five finishers in HFL’s 2013 championship, and seven of the first eight.
    “It’s fantastic just to get such a great group of individuals together who care about the sport and who care to give it their all every day in practice moving forward,” said senior Hanna Cole. “It’s great.”
    Cole was the overall race winner beating teammate Riley Douglas by a mere second. Riley is a legacy. Her mom, Kim Bauer Douglas was a two time champion for Bernie back in the 80s.
    “I was really very excited with my result because Hans has been ahead of me a lot this whole year,” said Douglas. “So I was just excited to be so close to her. It was a good race for me I think.”
    These have been challenging times for ski teams. The last two years just haven’t produced a lot of snow. So the Cougars chase it.
    “Every weekend we’re going to Lake Placid, Canada, Vermont,” said Jenna Hanson. “Anywhere we can find harder courses. It’s a lot of hard work that we put into it.”
    In addition to Cole, Douglas and Hanson, the Magnificent Seven include Jordan Reed, Emmy Held, Martha Mevorach and Colleen Corey. Five of the seven are seniors, but don’t expect much of a drop off.
    “The kids that are coming back are stellar,” says Gardner. “And we’ve got some getting ready in the minor leagues. This is like a seven foot high bar we’re clearing. Next year will be 6-5.”
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