The 1999 season was one of the most successful in recent memory for both the Williams College alpine and nordic ski teams. A total of eight men and women made the trip up to Rumford, Maine to compete at the NCAA Division I championships in March. Top finishes included a 12th place finish for Zoe Unger ‘02 in the women’s Giant Slalom (GS), a 24th place finish for John Cavanaugh ’99 in the men’s GS, and Loryn Kipp and Sylvia Englund finishing within a second of each other in the women’s 5K freestyle. The Williams skiers would power themselves to a twelfth place finish nationally, cheered on by the largest and most enthusiastic bunch of fans of any school competing.
Leading the way for a very strong Nordic men’s team this year was junior P.J. Spina, who had several top ten finishes this year, most notably a seventh place result at Williams Carnival. Spina was followed closely by Jason Lemieux ’01, who followed up an impressive freshman season with an equally strong sophomore year. Noel Johnson ’01 would break his way into the pack of NCAA contenders with a personal best 10th place finish at Williams, and compete along with Lemieux and Spina up in Maine.
On the women’s nordic team, Loryn Kipp ’99 overcame a back injury that had troubled her for years to post results that would make her Williams’ top skier. Sylvia Englund ’99 was never far behind; these two skiers would work together all season to earn themselves both places on the eastern NCAA team. Katie Guernsey ’00 and Helena Johnson ’00 also earned NCAA points. Additionally, Erin Graham ’02, Elly Spensley ’01, and Hilary Hackmann ’02 scored strong for the Ephs.
Senior John Cavanaugh led the way for the alpine men this year, and fulfilled what had been his goal all four years at Williams: qualifying for the NCAA team. Kyle Goodrich ’01, J.J. Hanley ’02, and Brad Nichol ’02 raced strong all season as well.
Allison Furey ’99 and Zoe Unger ’02 would prove themselves to be the top skiers on the women’s alpine team. Furey’s fifth place finish in the GS at Williams Carnival would be the best finish of any skier on both teams that weekend, leading the Williams women to a second place team finish in the GS; the highest team finish all year for both teams.