The Williams nordic ski team skied to a strong finish in its first carnival of the 2000 winter season at Lake Placid, NY. St. Lawrence hosted this season opener at Mt.Van Hoevenberg, site of the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Extremely cold temperatures on Saturday caused both the men’s and women’s nordic races to be postponed until Sunday. Due to NCAA rules, ski races cannot be held in temperatures below -5o F, at which point the cold air can cause damage to racers’ lungs. The temperatures on Saturday never made it above about -10o F, not including the wind chill.
Sunday brought warmer temperatures, the high hovering round 0o F, which felt like a heat wave compared to the previous day. The men’s 20K race was shortened to 15K with University of Vermont’s Dave Stewart finishing first with a time of 41:05. Jason Lemieux ’01 finished first for the Ephs in ninth place with a time of 42:16. P.J. Spina ’00 was not too far behind in 11th place.
Noel Johnson ’01 followed in 16th place, with Matt Holland ’02 in 22nd, Mark Walrod ’01 in 26th, Ben Connard ’02 in 27th and Karl Remsen ’03 and Jordan Goldwarg ’03 rounding out the team.
The women’s 15K race was also shortened due to the cold temperatures to 7.5K. University of Vermont’s Tessa Benoit finished first for the women with a time of 24:05 with Melody Scheefer ’03 finishing in sixth place with a time of 26:03. Katie Guernsey ’00 finished second for the team in 19th place with Jenny Wetzel ’02 scoring for third in 24th place.
Erin Graham ’02 finished 31st, Elly Spensley ’01 in 47th and Helena Johnson ’00 in 52nd. Collins Canada ’03 and Molly Stone ’03 skied strong in their first college ski race.
Overall the team was pleased with its weekend performance, and it is already looking ahead to University of New Hampshire’s Carnival this coming weekend at Bretton Woods.