Skiing takes 5th at Midd.

After placing sixth in the first day of the Middlebury Carnival, the ski team kicked into high gear for day two, moving past Colby to claim fifth place overall. Eric Mann’s win in the Giant Slalom (GS) and the men’s nordic team placing third in the relay highlighted the weekend.

The alpine Ephs were out for blood as this weekend is traditionally reserved for the Williams Carnival, which was moved to Middlebury due to a scheduling change. In the slalom, the women made a solid showing, with Laurel Carter ’12 leading the way in 17th place. Kelsey Levine ’10 was the second finisher for the Ephs in 30th, and Amy McLaughlin ’12 battled the ruts to finish an impressive 31st. The women finished sixth as a team in the slalom.  

The men’s team had a similar outing, with Alex Dyroff ’10 finishing seventh. Jeff Putnam ’11 and Ian Simmons ’09 rounded out the team scorers, finishing 29th and 39th respectively. The men finished in sixth in the slalom team score as well. 

In the GS, the women had great performances out of Emily Porter ’10, Levine and Carter finishing in ninth, 18th and 19th respectively. The result advances Porter’s bid for a spot on the Eastern NCAA team, as the women finished fifth overall. 

The men’s GS was a very interesting race. Middlebury skiers have won the race the past two years, a streak Eric Mann ’09 was looking to end. Skiing without his two front teeth, which he lost the day before to a slalom gate, Mann showed Middlebury just how little they deserved a carnival this weekend. Mann won the race handily, and was followed by Dyroff and Putnam in 10th and 41st, respectively, to give a team result of fourth place.

 After placing three men in the top 20 in Friday’s 10K classic race (Keith Kantack ’11 in 12th, Alex Taylor ’10 in 16th and Dimitri Luthi ’12 in 19th) to place fifth as a team, the men continued with their successful season by putting their first relay team on the podium in the 3 by 5K freestyle relay. The team of Taylor, Sam Kapala ’09 and Kantack placed third behind teams from Middlebury and Dartmouth. With Middlebury and Dartmouth out in front fighting for the win, Taylor’s leadoff leg put the Ephs in good position to fight for the podium. Kapala then moved with the pack to overtake the third place team, and Kantack polished off UVM and Colby in a dramatic sprint to the finish to put Williams on the podium. 
“I’m really proud of the men’s team,” said Kapala, the team captain. “We’ve worked hard to move up this year and be in a position to have results like this. The relay was incredibly exciting for the team.”

Not to be outdone, the women’s nordic team finally found its stride in Friday’s classic race. Alice Nelson ’10 and Kirsten Johnson ’11 cracked the top 10, placing sixth and 10th, respectfully, leading the women’s team to a season-high fourth place as a team. Liz Kantack ’09 took 23rd to help out with the team score. In Saturday’s 3 by 5K relay, the women’s team of Nelson, Holly Whitney ’12, and Johnson placed seventh as a team, fighting for position with teams from St. Lawrence, Bates and Colby through most of the race, but received sixth-place team points, thanks to a second team from Dartmouth finishing in front of them. 

The team will finish the regular season at the EISA Championships hosted by Colby this weekend, where both teams will look to solidify or add to their NCAA team rosters.