Skiing races to 7th overall at UVM carnival

Nordic ski earned its best result of the season last weekend at the UVM Carnival at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt., finishing the weekend in fifth place, a score that included the alpine team’s results from Jan. 11, which included a seventh-place overall finish. Due to scheduling decisions made to accommodate Eastern racers partaking in Western carnivals, the alpine team had a by-weekend.

On Sunday, Isaac Hoenig ’14 and Vanya Rybkin ’15 both clinched a spot in the top 20 to help earn a fifth-place finish for the men. Hoenig finished the 10k classic course in 29:03, putting him in 15th place overall, while Rybkin rounded the course in 29:19, putting him in 19th place. Will Wicherski ’15, who has just returned from studying in Norway, had a notable performance in his first collegiate weekend of the season. He skied the course in 29:23.8, finishing in 22nd place.

The women were anchored by an 18th-place finish by Christina Knapp ’15 and a 22nd-place finish by Olivia Meyerson ’16. Knapp circled the 10k course in 34:55.5, while Meyerson finished in 34:57.8. Kristen Halvorsen ’14 had her best performance of the season as the final Eph scorer on Sunday, finishing in 28th place.

“This was a great weekend of racing, and it was exciting to place all six of our male carnival skiers in the top 30,” men’s nordic captain Casey Jones ’13 said. “We’ve gotten better every weekend thus far, and I think we can continue to improve our results.”

“We had our best races as a team, and a lot of individuals had personal bests for the season,” women’s nordic co-captain Hannah Smith ’15 said. “We’re excited to see how the energy builds for the rest of the season.”

Both the nordic and alpine teams traveled to Maine in the final weekend of Winter Study for the Colby Carnival. On Jan. 25, they waited out a one-hour delay due to freezing cold temperatures that persisted throughout the weekend. Annie Leiter ’13 led the women’s alpine team on Day One in the icy conditions of the giant slalom with a 26th-place finish; her two runs tallied a combined total of 1:52.27, roughly eight seconds off the leader. Next for the Ephs was Kristina Krone ’13 in 29th, followed by women’s alpine captain Geordie Lonza ’13 in 36th. The women’s team stood in ninth as Friday came to a close.

The men’s side of the alpine team was composed of a slim roster of four, as Kendall Pasteris ’16, Christoph Lentz ’15 and Chris Nocek ’13 were all recovering from knee injuries.

The top finishers for the Ephs were Victor Major ’15 in 42nd and Carson Houle ’15 in 46th. The men’s team ended Friday in 12th. “Sugarloaf [Mountain] certainly is one of the steeper hills we race on the carnival circuit, but we are well-prepared from skiing at Jiminy,” men’s alpine captain John Sanderson ’14 said. “We struggled in the giant slalom a bit, only qualifying two boys for the second run.”

The Ephs returned to the hill Saturday for their generally faster event, the slalom. The women’s team had three racers in the top 30, with Shannon Campbell ’14 in 18th, Lonza in 22nd and Sarah Cottrill ’15 in 30th, moving the team from ninth to seventh. Houle was the top finisher for the men, with a final place of 27th. He was also the only Eph to complete both runs, helping the men’s team to a 13th-place finish.

“This was a frustrating Carnival, but sometimes in ski racing, you have to find positives in the most seemingly negative situations in order to continue to improve and maintain a passion for the sport,” Sanderson said of the weekend.

“This was a frustrating carnival for the women’s side as well, as we are definitely not skiing to our full potential,” Lonza said. “We’ve been training really well but have had trouble putting it together on race day.”

The men’s nordic team competed on the following Sunday, earning 71 points in the 20k mass start freestyle race, which allowed them to clinch a fourth-place finish. Hoenig had an impressive weekend, finishing the race in 14th place in 48:46.5. Phil Tosteson ’13 and Kalle Jahn ’14 also had promising finishes. Tosteson skied the course in 49:46.7 finishing in 21st place, while Jahn finished in 28th place with a time of 50:25.7.

The nordic women finished Sunday’s 15k mass start freestyle race in eighth place. Meyerson led the team in 17th place, completing the course in 46:24.6. Knapp continued her streak of top-20 finishes with a time of 46:27.5. Smith had a notable 26th-place finish in 47:17.6.

The combined totals between the alpine and nordic teams put the Ephs in seventh place at the end of the Colby Carnival.

The weekend of Jan. 18-19 saw another seventh-place team finish for Williams at the St. Lawrence Carnival held in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The nordic men opened their season with an impressive ninth place with 48 points on the weekend. The nordic women garnered seventh on their opening weekend with 59 points after finishing Day One in eighth.

Both squads will travel to the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, N.H. for the Dartmouth Carnival this weekend.