The Williams Alpine ski team showed promise this weekend at the 90th annual Dartmouth Winter Carnival as they prepared for the Williams Winter Carnival this coming weekend at Jiminy Peak. While UVM, Middlebury and Dartmouth dominated the top three positions, Williams was in close competition with UNH, Bates, and Colby for the fourth through seventh slots. Zoe Unger ’02 led the way for Williams with two 12th place finishes in a strong women’s field, while Brad Nichol ’02 led the men with a 16th in the Grand Slalom (GL) and a 13th in the slalom (SL).
The Carnival opened off on Friday with skies and temperatures threatening rain for the GS but despite delays the skiers escaped before the snow changed to rain. The competition in the men’s field was heightened by the presence of United States Ski Team athletes Thomas Vonn and Brad Hogan, as well as Dartmouth alum and 1999 NCAA Champion David Viele. Brad Nichol ’02 put down two solid runs on his hometown hill to claim 16th place amongst the college races while JJ Hanley ’02 was close behind finishing 18th. Captain Kyle Goodrich ’01, Jamie Hunt ’03, Alex Hood ’02 and Mitch Green ’03 finished out the men’s side with 40th, 48th, 50th and 51st place finishes respectively to take seventh place in the GS.
On the women’s side, Zoe Unger ’02 continued her solid skiing with a 12th place to lead the women to a sixth place in Friday’s GS. Teammates Gabriella Thiele ’00, Rebekah Leviene ’03 and Sarah Murray ’03 were in close competition taking 28th, 30th and 32nd, while Kate Leonard ’03 and Liz Hamachek ’01 were slightly off pace finishing 43rd and 54th.
Saturday brought crisp temperatures and bright sun for the SL races. Dartmouth graduate David Viele won the race followed closely by U.S. Ski team member Brad Hogan. Because they are non-college racers, their finishes did not count against the EISA skiers. Sophomore Brad Nichol had his best SL result of the year, finishing 13th, while classmate J.J. Hanley came back from a disappointing first run to take 22th. The remainder of the men’s team stuck together, taking 37th, 39th, 40th and 42nd on the Dartmouth slopes.
On the women’s side, Unger continued to set the team standard with a 12th place and first-year Kate Leonard showed her talent with an 18th place finish. Senior Captain Gabriella Thiele rounded off the team scoring with a 26th.
The EISA carnival circuit makes its next stop right here at Williams College this Friday and Saturday at Jiminy Peak. The GS will be held Friday with a first run start time of 9:30 a.m. and second run at 12:30 p.m. while the SL will be Saturday with the same start times. Be sure to come cheer on your team at their only home meet of the season!