Ski team ends season in a familiar position, fifth place

The ski teams closed out the regular season this past weekend at the Middlebury Carnival with another fifth place. Overall, the Ephs had a good season but just could not move up out of fifth place while competing against such ski team powerhouses as Dartmouth and the University of Vermont. “We were somewhat disappointed as a team finishing fifth every carnival,” alpine captain Peter Endres ’04 said. “We are capable of much better results.”

The men’s Nordic finished in sixth place on both Friday and Saturday, continuing their domination of finishes in the twenties. Friday’s race, held in the first sunshine of the season, saw the men skiing a 10-km freestyle around the Middlebury course. Captain Eric Tietze ’03 had the best finish for the Ephs in 23rd with a time of 27:55.0 seconds. Finishing closely behind him to round out the scoring were Peter Leonard ’04 and Tim Stickney ’04 with a 26th and a 28th place finish, respectively. Saturday was the day of the seniors with the season’s best finish for Tietze (15th in 59:06.1) and Jordan Goldwarg ’03 (28th in 1:02:08.2) on the long 20-km course. Leonard (23rd in 1:00:49.) and Stickney (26th in 1:01:43.6) again finished out the top three for the Ephs.

“We went into the weekend with the hope of beating Bates, but as has been the case every weekend this year we came up short,” Leonard said. “On a positive note it was good to see Eric and Jordan have their best races of the year [and for Jordan of his college career] on their last weekend with the team.”

The Nordic women capped off a very strong season that included both a carnival and relay win, and two individual race wins by captain Mel Scheefer ’03, with a third in the 5-k freestyle and a fifth in the 15k classic. On Friday in the 5k, Elise Henson ’06, fourth place 14:35.5, and Scheefer, fifth 14:36.2, were the top finishers for the Williams, less than twenty seconds from first place. Jen Abraham, in 24th at 15:06.5, closed out the scoring for the day.

As Saturday was the day of the seniors for the men, it was the day of the first years for the women. Henson again placed first for the team in seventh place with a time of 54:46.0. Amelia Bishop ’06, 15th 57:02.0, and Gillian Sowden ’06, 17th 57:37.1, skied in the next two places for Williams. Scheefer and Henson, after both skiing great seasons which saw two individual wins by Scheefer and finishes no lower than seventh for Henson, earned first and second team All-East and qualified for nationals, held at Dartmouth this year. “That [two skiers made All-East] is a pretty impressive feat,” Head Nordic Coach Paul Stone said. “We haven’t managed anything like that since 2001.”

The men’s alpine had a tough day on Friday, finishing seventh in the slalom, but they recovered well and posted a fifth place finish in the Giant Slalom (GS). Chris Frank ’05 was the top finisher in the slalom in 16th. Ethan Dahlberg ’06 and Mark Heinrich-Wallace ’04 were not far behind in 21st and 23rd place, respectively.

On Saturday, Heinrich-Wallace finished first for the Ephs (ninth in 2:05.54) with a strong second run moving up from 15th place after the first run. Frank (16th in 2:06.28) and Endres (28th in 2:08.06) finished out the top three for Williams. “There were some outstanding individual results this year,” Endres said, “but unfortunately they never seemed to fall on the whole team on the same day.” Because of these strong results, Heinrich-Wallace and Frank qualified for NCAAs.

The women’s alpine scored a fourth place finish on Friday and a sixth place on Saturday in two very tight races where eight more points either day would have put them into third place. In the slalom, Ashley Carter ’04 and Addie Robinson ’05 tied for 12th place and were the first Ephs to finish. Cecily Lowenthal ’06 was directly behind them in 14th place, clumping all three Eph scorers together. On Saturday, the same three women scored for the team with Lowenthal taking 12th place in 2:11.32. Carter then came in at 18th in 2:12.26 followed by Robinson in 22nd with a time of 2:12.66.

“I was very pleased with the second run in GS,” Head Alpine Coach Ed Grees said. “Lowenthal, Robinson and Carter were quite aggressive and moved up into much better scoring positions.” Lowenthal and Robinson also qualified to represent the women’s alpine at NCAAs.

There is now a weekend break for the six skiers who made nationals before they head up to Dartmouth to compete against other Div. I skiers from across the country, including athletes from the University of Colorado, Denver University and the University of Utah.

“We have qualified four very strong [alpine] skiers to the NCAA championships,” Grees said. “All four are capable of skiing well in both the GS and SL, so I am very excited about their prospects at Dartmouth in two weeks.”

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