Skiing opens season at Bates

rm weather and tough snow conditions to finish seventh at the Bates carnival with 389 points last weekend. In the NCAA Div. I circuit, the Ephs made several strong times considering the slippery conditions for their first meet.

For the alpine squad, Emily Porter ’10 was the only Eph on the women’s team to finish in the overall performance, placing a commendable 12th, bringing the team to a ninth place finish. The men’s side finished third in the event in part due to a formidable second place finish from captain Charles Christianson ’08. Evan Barret ’08 and Alex Reeves ’11 occupied 25th and 26th positions, while Eric Mann ’09 rounded out the top thirty. A great move-up by Alex Dyroff ’10 also gave the Ephs an extra edge. Dyroff finished 11th overall and third on the second run.

“I really took advantage of getting an early start position on the second run,” Dyroff said. “I went full gas and I’m glad it paid off.”

In the giant alpine slalom, Jennah Durham ’09 finished at an impressive14th while Emily Porter finished 20th. In the men’s race, Christianson again took second, and Mann skied consistently to 23rd and Barret 24th.

Christianson admitted that the weekend’s general outcome wasn’t what it could have been, but confirmed the skill of the team. “While the overall performances weren’t what we were hoping for,” Christianson said, “there was a lot of good skiing all around which hopefully we will turn into better results next week at Whiteface.”

The young nordic team had promising early season results, with the first-year and sophomore class dominating the scores. In Friday’s 5K freestyle race, Alice Nelson ’10 led the way for the women’s nordic squad, finishing a career best fifth place. Nelson’s score is the top result for an Eph nordic skier since the 2006 season. Kirsten Johnson ’11 began her collegiate racing season with a solid 25th place finish and Ali Demarchis ’10 completed the scoring at 36th, with Fiona Worcester ’09 close behind in 37th place.

In the men’s 10K freestyle race, Mark Johnson ’10 – a qualifier for his fifth consecutive World Junior Biathlon Championships – was the top Eph to finish in the men’s 10K freestyle race. Johnson finished 23rd, less than10 seconds out of the top 15, and teammates Evan Dethier ’11 and Alex Taylor ’10 followed, scoring 33rd and 37th, respectively.

Saturday’s classic races brought more success for the squad with four Ephs in the top 40. Nelson capped off a banner weekend with a ninth place result in the women’s 10K classic race and Johnson fought soft snow conditions to take an outstanding 13th place. Liz Kantack ’09 and Natalie Joffe ’08 also scored 34th and 37th, respectively.

In the men’s 10K classic, Keith Kantack ’11 placed 22nd backed by solid results from Taylor and Caleb Lucy ’11 in 26th and 30th. Four more Ephs crowded the top 50: Johnson (44th place), Dethier and Scotty McClelland ’08 (tied for 47th) and Sam Kapala ’09 (50th), all finishing the event within ten seconds of each other.

Joffe was impressed with the team’s performance. “The team raced hard, remained positive and laid down a strong base of results from which we will improve upon in the races to come,” she said.

Skiing will travel to Lake Placid, NY to compete at the St. Lawrence carnival on Saturday and Sunday.