Skiing takes 5th at UVM Carnival

Skiing took to the slopes in Stowe, Vt., on Friday and Saturday for the UVM Carnival. Williams came in fifth place overall at the carnival as the skiers from Vermont cruised to a home victory. Williams also traveled to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine to compete in the Colby Carnival on Jan. 22-23, finishing fifth overall with the skiers from Vermont once again claiming top honors.
On Friday, the alpine men and women opened the carnival with the giant slalom. The women had a good start to the weekend, posting a fifth-place team finish. Geordie Lonza ’13 was the top women’s skier for Williams, claiming ninth place. Laurel Carter ’12 placed 16th overall, followed closely by Kristina Krone ’13, who finished 18th to round out the top women finishers.

The men also had a strong showing, taking sixth as a team in the giant slalom on Friday. Sean Cummiskey ’12 was the first men’s finisher, earning a 15th place finish on the day. Co-captain Jeff Putnam ’11 skied into 25th place, while rookie Alex Jerred ’14 placed 32nd on the day.

The UVM and Dartmouth skiers dominated all of the nordic events on Friday, leaving the Williams skiers disappointed with their results.

“We struggled this weekend to find the form that we’ve shown in previous weeks,” said co-captain Evan Dethier ’11. “Our team didn’t pull through with the results that we’ve come to expect this season.”

On the women’s side, nordic captain Sarah Tory ’11 raced to 20th in the 5k. Tory was the only woman to place in the top 20 in any event as the women were hampered by illness, which limited their performances.

“This past weekend we definitely expected better results,” said Tory, “but lingering sickness and tiredness made for some tough races. However, with some more rest this week, we should be ready for some great racing this weekend at Dartmouth.”
The men’s top nordic skier for the day was Dimitri Luethi ’12, who brought home fifth for the Ephs in the 20k. Luethi also earned 16th in the 10k, while fellow Eph Keith Kantack ’11 finished in 19th. Mark Johnson ’11 skied to 18th in the 20k. The Vermont and Dartmouth skiers took home the top places in all four of the weekend’s nordic events.

“We know and have shown that we have the fitness to ski with the best skiers in the league and came away from this weekend kind of shaking our heads as to why we didn’t ski better,” said Dethier. “Illness has been a factor over the past few weeks, and we’ll look to rebound moving forward to the end of the season.”

Both the men’s and women’s alpine teams had strong showings on Saturday. The women’s team brought home a historic performance, taking first place in Saturday’s slalom competition. Not only was it the best recent result posted by any faction of the ski team, it was also the first team win in history for the Williams women’s alpine program.

“To come away with a women’s team win for the first time in history has been a goal for a while, and it’s so nice that it happened today in really tough conditions,” said captain Annie Hanson ’11.

Carter led the women to victory in the slalom with a second place finish. Annie Leiter ’13 came in just a few spots behind her teammate, taking fifth. Rookie Shannon Campbell ’14 rounded out the top three slalom finishers for Williams with her 12th-place run.
On the men’s side, Putnam was the top finisher for the Ephs’ alpine team, coming in 19th in the slalom. Finishing right behind was his teammate Cummiskey in 20th. The third highest scorer for the men was co-captain Alex Reeves ’11, who finished the day in 24th. The men finished seventh overall in the slalom.

Two weeks before the UVM Carnival, skiing competed at the Colby Carnival in Maine on Jan. 21. The alpine team brought home fifth overall on Sugarloaf Mountain. The women finished fifth as a team in the giant slalom and took home third in the slalom with strong finishes from Carter and Lonza, who placed sixth and seventh, respectively. The men’s team finished eighth in the giant slalom and brought home sixth in the slalom.

On Jan. 23, the nordic men and women worked in teams of three to complete two three-kilometer loops for the day. The women’s team, consisting of Tory, Maddy Wendt ’11 and Kirsten Johnson ’11, finished in sixth after overcoming a broken pole and botched tag-off. The men fared better in the relay, as Mark Johnson, Kantack and Luethi raced to third, finishing just behind the teams from powerhouses UVM and Dartmouth.

The previous day hosted the men’s and women’s 10k classics in the nordic division. Luethi earned a fifth place finish, with teammates Kantack and Mark Johnson snagging the 13th and 20th positions, respectively. The men placed third in the nordic competitions. The women were less fortunate, skiing to a ninth place finish. Tory led the women with a 25th place finish, and was followed closely by Christina Knapp ’13 and Kristen Johnson. Williams finished the carnival in fifth place overall.

Williams’ alpine and nordic skiers will next race at the Dartmouth Winter Carnival on Friday and Saturday where they will face familiar foes from top competitors Dartmouth and UVM.

“Each weekend is a blank slate, and we look to re-establish ourselves as a top contender this Friday and Saturday in Hanover,” Dethier said.

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