Skiing aims for strong carnival season with revitalized roster

Skiing is primed to begin racing in January, coming off a 14th-place finish at NCAAs last season, but the alpine and Nordic squads have had to replenish their rosters after graduating talented seniors.

The alpine team graduated three seniors: Annie Hanson ’11, and Jeff Putnam ’11 and Alex Reeves ’11. Despite the loss, the team is poised for success with a strong core of returners. Laurel Carter ’12, Geordie Lonza ’13 and Annie Leiter ’12 will return after qualifying for NCAAs last season. Lonza finished 19th and Carter finished 27th at NCAAs. Leiter did not finish the race.

Head Coach Ed Grees belives that this core, accompanied by Katy Kirkpatrick ’13, Marissa Thiel ’13, Kristina Krone ’13 and Shannon Campbell ’14 will carry the team to success. “All of these athletes are poised to have an impact on the team this year,” Grees said.

The men will roster a strong core of experienced and rookie skiers. Sean Cummiskey ’12, John Sanderson ’14, Whitney Mikell ’12 and Will Hadden ’12 will all return for the Ephs. The team will also add four rookies: Carson Houle ’15, Christoph Lentz ’15, Dylan Thomas ’15 and Victor Major ’15.

The team will benefit from the guidance of assistant Kelsey Levine ’09.  “As always, the challenge will be for the coaches to provide quality training situations and for the athletes to be prepared to take advantage of these opportunities,” Grees said. “We have a fantastic training venue at Jiminy Peak and look forward to getting on snow there in the near future.”

Despite the loss of several seniors, men’s Nordic skiing looks to maintain its competitive edge this year. Mark Johnson ’11, Caleb Lucy ’11, Robby Cuthbert ’11 and co-captains Keith Kantack ’11 and Evan Dethier ’11 were the backbone of last year’s team. Kantack, a consistent top-10 finisher, qualified for NCAAs last season, finishing 19th in the event.  The women lost two seniors to graduation: captain Sarah Tory ’11 and Maddy Wendt ’11. Tory qualified for NCAAs last season.

Holly Whitney ’12 and captain Hannah Hausman ’12 will look to lead an expanded women’s roster to success. The women gain several rookies this year: Sarah Abramson ’15, Becca Bell ’15, Jenna Maddock ’15, Elena Luethi ’15 and Hannah Smith ’15.

“The [women’s team] is looking stronger than ever with the addition of five new, fast freshmen,” Hausman said. “The depth this brings to the team allows us to push each other during training to prepare to ski our fastest this season.”

Captain Dimitri Luethi ’12 will lead the men’s Nordic squad after qualifying for NCAAs last season. The Eph took home 30th in the event. Luethi and classmate Erik Anderson ’12 have provided the motivation the team has needed this fall to execute very high-quality training. Rookies Ben Corwin ’15, Mitch Prevot ’15, Vanya Rybkin ’15 and Will Wicherski ’15 will help replace the talent lost in last year’s senior class. The rookies are poised to make an immediate impact in their collegiate debuts.

“After coming incredibly close to sending a full contingent [of three] to NCAA’s last year, our third guy [Evan Dethier ’11] falling victim to a bitter tie-breaker rule, we are ready to make it happen this year,” Luethi said. “I have never felt so confident as with this team to achieve this long-pursued goal.”

The season starts in earnest Jan. 14 with the Colby Carnival.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *