January’s fickle temperatures have created a bit of a predicament for the nordic and alpine teams so far this season. A lack of snow unsurprisingly means a lack of skiing. Yet both teams have high hopes for the 2014 season. Last weekend Eph skiing finished the Colby Carnival in sixth place, led by a deep men’s nordic team.
For the nordic team, 2014 is Head Coach Bud Fisher’s last season. Fisher has been the head nordic coach at Williams for the past 39 years. “I’ve had a great opportunity to coach the Williams nordic team, and I’m very excited about the season whether it was my last or not,” Fisher said. The Ephs stride into the 2014 season
coming off of a 12th place finish at last year’s NCAAs. While they lost several seniors, a strong roster of freshmen have come in to give the team a new edge. Eli Hoenig ’17, Jordan Fields ’17, Hans Halvorsen ’17 and Luke Costley ’17 join the men’s team while Hannah Benson ’17, Hannah Cole ’17 and Tsaina Mahlen ’17 join the women’s. Fisher commented on the newcomers, saying, “I expect some of the first-years will have a direct impact on the scoring team, and will push the whole group through.”
Although snow may be scarce in Massachusetts, the Ephs successfully took to the trails in their opening carnival of the season. Both the men’s and women’s teams travelled up to Black Mountain in Waterville, Maine to compete against other teams in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association. This carnival was the first of many that will make up the Ephs’ 2013-2014 season.
The season opened with a classic race, 5k for the women and 10k for the men. Cole was the first female Eph to cross the line, finishing the 5k course in 18:02. Her speedy time slipped her into the top 20, taking 17th place. Second for the Ephs was Benson, taking 28th with a time of 18:38. Elena Luthi ’15 was third, finishing in 18:48, while Olivia Meyerson ’16 was fourth with a time of 19:01. Laura Stamp ’16 and Jenna Maddock ’15 came across the finish line with times .2 seconds away from each other, taking 54th and 55th, respectively, while Eliza Rorabaugh ’16 and Tsaina Mahlen were also back-to-back in the results.
The men’s race gave way to a fiery debut by Hoenig. He was first for the men, rounding the 10k course in 32 minutes, 30.5 seconds, and his blistering time was good enough for 11th place, only .3 seconds out of the top ten. He was followed by a slew of teammates, with Vanya Rybkin ’15 in 23rd and Will Wicherski ’15 in 24th. Kalle Jahn ’14, Halvorsen and Fields finished very close to each other in 29th, 30th and 31st, respectively. At the end of the day on Friday, the Ephs were in sixth place in the overall standings.
Similar to the nordic team, the Williams alpine ski team welcomes many new faces to the slopes for the 2013-2014 season. Riley Peek ’17, Charlie Sheils ’17 and Matthew Davies ’17 join the men’s team while Paige Chardavoyne ’17 and Gabrielle Markel ’17 join the women’s team.
A bright spot for the women’s alpine team last weekend was the continued success of Shannon Campbell ’14. On Friday, Campbell finished fourth in the women’s alpine race, posting a final time of 2:19.35. Markel finished 25th for the Ephs with a time of 2:34.04 and Merritt Harlan ’16 finished 34th with 2:50.12. The women’s alpine team placed seventh with a total of 67 points from the day’s races. The men’s alpine team not only matched the women’s performance but also surpassed it. Victor Major ’15 led the Ephs and finished with a combined time of 2:12.39, good enough for 11th place. Christoph Lentz ’15 finished in 33rd place for the Ephs, with a time of 2:19.43, and Kendall Pasteris ’16 finished 39th with 2:22.4. At the end of the day, the men were sitting in sixth place with a total of 56 points.
On Saturday, Campbell finished ninth in the slalom, hurtling down the slopes with a time of 40.48 seconds. It was her third straight top-ten finish. Chardavoyne was the only other woman to finish both of her slalom runs, coming in forty-first place with a total time of 1:53.15. The female alpine skiers finished in ninth place for the race, earning their team 42 points. For the men, Dylan Thomas ’15 and Lentz scored for the male alpine skiers, while Friday’s standout, Major, failed to complete both runs for the Ephs. Thomas finished with a time of 1:31.76, putting him in 29th place, and Lentz finished with a total time of 1:33.35, placing in 33rd place. The men ultimately finished the race in eighth place, with 41 points.
The combination of the Nordic and Alpine scores left the Ephs in sixth place at the Colby Carnival. The Ephs beat ten other teams in the sixteen-team field.
The carnival season continues this upcoming weekend at the UNH Carnival in Jackson, N.H.