Middlebury carnival sees skiing finish 7th

The Eastern Championships, the final carnival of the regular 2009-10 season, was hosted last weekend by Middlebury. Poor performanecs due to inclement weather and difficult waxing conditions, yielded a seventh place result, the Ephs’ worst of the year.

Saturday brought a mixed bag of results. The slalom race, originally scheduled for Friday, was postponed due to heavy snow and rain. The men fell victim to some tough course conditions; Alex Dyroff ’10, however, managed a season best finish in seventh. The men landed in 11th on the day after individual Ephs’ difficulties.

Meanwhile, men’s nordic placed second on Saturday in the 10K classic, led by Dimitri Luethi ’12, who skied into second place. Keith Kantack ’11 finished sixth: Both skiers recorded career best finishes. Mark Johnson ’11 rounded out the score with a 28th place finish.

The alpine women’s team also had an excellent day, with Emily Porter ‘10 and Laurel Carter ’12 finishing fifth and sixth respectively in the slalom. Geordie Lonza ’13 was the third Eph at 18th. The three scores were enough to put the women in third on the day.

The nordic women’s 5K classic race took place midday on Saturday and was affected by the weather that rolled in for the afternoon. The top Ephs found themselves at the back of the pack: Captain Alice Nelson ’10 ground out a 22nd place finish, followed by Kirsten Johnson ’11 in 31st and Christina Knapp ’13 in 33rd. Women’s nordic finished in ninth on the day.

Sunday brought a similar spread of results. The giant slalom ended up better than the slalom for the alpine men: Dyroff held strong 24th, with Jeff Bak ’13 just behind in 25th. Sean Cummiskey ’12 rounded out the top three in 28th, improving the men to eighth on the day.

Men’s nordic had its worst performance of the season: After placing two skiers in the top six on Saturday, the team finished ninth in the 20K freestyle. Luethi, Kantack and Evan Dethier ’11 finished 24th, 29th and 49th.

The alpine women laid down a solid day of GS, as Lonza and Porter skied into 18th and 19th with Kelsey Levine ’10 just behind in 21st. Their performances placed the Ephs in sixth.

The women’s nordic 15K freestyle race proved difficult as well. Nelson hung tough to finish in 15th, while Hannah Hausman ’12 raced well to end in 26th. Johnson hurt her back mid-race and fell to 31st. The women placed seventh for the day.

The team’s season will end in two weeks at NCAA Championships March 10-13. Four alpine Ephs – Porter, Carter, Lonza and Dyroff – will represent the team at University of Colorado-Boulder, where Nelson and Luethi will join them for the nordic events at Steamboat Springs.

“We’ll be taking a strong team to NCAAs this year,” Assistant Coach Eirik Buraas said. “We’ll be looking to do some damage, especially in the slalom.”

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