Alpine opens season with speed at Stowe

Alpine kicked off its carnival season with a promising start last weekend, racing on Jan. 11 and 12 at Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vt., in the UVM Carnival. The team garnered an impressive seventh-place finish with 250 points. UVM took home first place in its home carnival with 422 points, followed by the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Colby and St Lawrence before Williams.

The first carnival of the season represents the beginning of a winter-long quest to “leave no stone unturned in trying to bring out the best skiing,” Assistant Coach Kelsey Levine said. Both the men’s and women’s teams sent six racers to compete in a giant slalom course on Friday, followed by a slalom course on Saturday.

The variable Vermont weather caused the conditions to be challenging for racers the entire weekend. Rain on Friday night caused the course to freeze slightly, leading to ice on several sections and very soft snow in others. Additionally, patches of fog made visibility challenging for many racers as they made their way down the course. “The guys did really well to fight through it,” captain John Sanderson ’14 said.

Friday’s giant slalom race opened the season with Victor Major ’15 leading the men in 27th place and captain Geordie Lonza ’13 leading the women in 10th place. The men’s team came in sixth place overall, a result that Sanderson hopes will “get the ball rolling in the right direction.”

Nicholas Pasteris ’16 led the Eph men on Saturday in the slalom with an 18th-place finish, followed by Dylan Thomas ’15 and Carson Houle ’15 in 21st and 25th, respectively.

Meanwhile, the women’s team had a strong showing on Saturday with five girls in the top 30. Annie Leiter ’13 placed 19th, Sarah Cottrill ’15 placed 25th closely followed by Katy Kirkpatrick ’13 in 26th. Shannon Campbell ’14 rounded out the scoring in 30th. These impressive finish resulted in a seventh-place finish for the team. “We had tough conditions [last] weekend,” Lonza said. “We started racing a week earlier which means we were lacking another week of good training.”

Both teams are excited for the upcoming season with high prospects, strong rookies and hopes to send full teams of three skiers to NCAAs. “We lost a top scorer, Laurel Carter [’12], but we are off to a great start with new members of the team with runs in the top five, so I’m confident we will be strong,” Levine said. “The men are stronger than they have been, with new freshmen and a lot of development from the older guys.”

Skiing will travel to Whiteface Mountain in New York this weekend for the St. Lawrence Carnival.