At Smuggler’s Notch, skiing places 5th for 3rd consecutive carnival

Alpine and nordic skiing had successful races at Stowe this past weekend, after a one-week hiatus following a Jan. 22-24 carnival at Smuggler’s Notch, Vt., where both teams also performed well.

Last weekend’s events were held at Stowe, just outside Burlington, the home of host-team University of Vermont (UVM). Friday was a giant slalom race for both men and women, and both teams posted solid results. On the men’s side, Alex Dyroff ’10 led the team in 15th, with Sean Cummiskey ’12 and Jeff Putnam ’11 ending up in 25th and 26th, respectively. Kelsey Levine ’10 finished first among the Williams women in 15th place, while Geordie Lonza ’13 skied into 19th overall and Emily Porter ’10 rounded out the top finishers in the 23rd spot.

The nordic team had a tough day during Saturday’s classic races at the UVM carnival. Dimitri Luethi ’12 had his sixth place finish nullified after he was disqualified for a technique violation, which left Keith Kantack ’11 in 12th place as the men’s only top-15 finisher. The women had similar results, with Kirsten Johnson ’11 placing in 12th, the Ephs’ only top-15 result.

On Saturday, Dyroff placed 12th on the alpine side for the Ephs, the first of the men’s finishers. Alex Reeves ’11 was the second scorer in 20th, and Putnam, despite some costly errors in both runs, finished just behind in 22nd. The women had another remarkable race, with Laurel Carter ’12 landing in fourth, just 0.19 seconds off the podium. Lonza and Porter were also fast in the slalom, ending up in eighth and 11th overall, which was enough to put the women in fourth collectively on the day, just one point away from third.

On Sunday, the nordic team rebounded nicely with six top-15 finishes in the 10 km freestyle. In the men’s race, Williams crowded the top-15 with four skiers. Fastest was captain Alex Taylor ’10 in seventh place, which marked his first top-10 since his sixth place result last year on the same course. Luethi and Kantack went 11-12 to round out a strong team score, while Mark Johnson ’10 was just behind in 15th. Taylor said he was “stoked to put four in the top 15,” and noted that the team was “poised to dominate the second half of the season.” Captain Alice Nelson ’10 was the top woman, finishing 10th, while Sarah Tory ’11 skied to a career-best 14th place. The women may have had three in the top-15 if Johnson had not been sidelined by illness. In any case, the performance was good enough for a fifth-place team finish. Overall, the team finished fifth for the third time this season.

The Ephs traveled to Smuggler’s Notch, Vt., the home of St Michael’s, on Jan. 22-23 for a giant slalom on Friday. Friday’s race was a major step forward from the previous weekend for both the men’s and women’s teams. Lonza led the women in fifth position, a great showing from the Mammoth Lakes native. Levine and Carter also scored for the team, in 11th and 26th respectively, which placed the women’s team in fourth overall for the GS event. On the men’s side, Dyroff also had a great day, finishing in seventh. Cummiskey laid down a fast second run, which moved him into 13th overall, while teammate Putnam rounded out the top three Ephs in a solid 21st position, landing the team in fifth overall.

Women’s nordic had their best showing thus far during the first day of the St. Michael’s carnival, placing two skiers – Nelson in seventh and Johnson in 11th – in the top 15 to finish in fourth. The men’s juniors carried the team: Kantack finished in 12th, while teammate Caleb Lucy ’11 came in 13th, a career best. Evan Dethier ’11 came in 17th, helping the Ephs slide into sixth place, only seven points out of fourth.

Saturday’s slalom proved more difficult for the men, although the Chris Nocek ’13 capitalized on his second run, which placed him in 10th overall, his first top-10 on the circuit. Putnam also had a good day, ending up in 17th. Cummiskey was the third scorer, despite a major mistake in the second run, and finished in 32nd. The capstone for the weekend was the women’s slalom, in which Carter found her form and skied her way to third overall, her first college podium. Lonza and Levine also had excellent races finishing 10th and 11th, which was enough to put the women in third overall for the event.

On Sunday, the nordic women skied into a disappointing tenth place during the classic sprint relay after an infraction during the course of a tag. The men also underperformed, finishing in seventh overall.

The combined team is already looking forward to next week’s carnival, one of the classic races on the circuit. Kelsey Levine ’10 is optimistic about the team’s performance. “It’s pretty fun knowing a carnival win is tangibly within our grasp,” she said. Next weekend’s carnival will be held at the Dartmouth Skiway, in Hanover, N.H.