Alpine skiing hampered by poor conditions at carnival

The Williams Alpine skiing teams, although somewhat disappointed with their results, still had a respectable showing this past weekend at the St. Lawrence Carnival. Despite extremely adverse conditions on a very tough Olympic course, the Alpine teams helped the team (Nordic and Alpine combined) to a sixth place finish overall, with a score of 213.0. The University of Vermont won the carnival with a score of 345.0, followed by Middlebury and Dartmouth.

The carnival was plagued by extreme weather conditions. Saturday’s events were all moved to Sunday due to temperatures that reached 20 degrees below zero, and the slalom races were ultimately canceled. Only the giant slalom races were held. The snow was also very hard and slick, making the course treacherous and the times much slower.

For the Ephmen, J.J. Hanley ’02 was the top Eph finisher, placing in 26th with a combined two-race time of 2:33.62. Brad Nichol ’02 was eight places behind Hanley with a combined time of 2:36.45. Captain Kyle Goodrich ’01 was the only other finisher for the Ephs, ending up in 37th place (2:37.59).

According to assistant coach Graham Garber, the times for the race were significantly slower than other carnivals, and a quarter of the field did not finish the race.

“Our skiers were a bit disappointed,” said Garber. “But the consensus is that they have the pre-race jitters out of their system, and now it’s time to buckle down. Nerves were a big factor.”

The Ephwomen had a stronger showing at St. Lawrence, although they too were disappointed in the final results.

Zoe Unger ’02 was the top Eph finisher, coming in 18th with a combined time of 2:47.34. The other three Eph finishers—Sarah Murray ’03, Kate Leonard ’03, and Rebekah Levine ’03—finished 26th, 27th and 28th, respectively.

The women’s team did have its share of problems. One of captain Gabriella Thiele’s ’00 skis popped off at the second gate, causing her to forfeit the race, and the skiers were a bit thrown off by the snow conditions, as they had been practicing on much softer snow.

“The weekend was disappointing, but it’s still a good start,” said Garber. “The teams are looking to build from this first carnival.”

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