After an onslaught of snow delayed the Williams Carnival for several hours last Friday, competition began that spanned the weekend and saw nordic and alpine skiing to season-best times on their home turf and a fifth-place finish. UVM took first at the carnival.
Friday morning was almost a whiteout at Prospect Mountain as the nordic skiers gathered and began to warm up for the three-leg relay. Although each skier was originally supposed to ski a 5k leg, conditions caused the race administrators to shorten the course to 3.25k. The women started first, with a mass start of 20 skiers leaving the start zone at noon. The conditions were tricky, with so much fresh snow making for a soft and slow course.
The first Eph team of Hannah Benson ’17, Elena Luethi ’15 and Hannah Cole ’17 whipped around the course in 37:12.3, a time that earned them an impressive fourth place. Benson scrambled for the first leg, tagging off to Luethi, who blazed around the course in 12:23.9. Luethi then tagged off to Cole while in fifth place, and Cole brought the team to its fourth-place finish. The second Eph team was full of young talent as Eliza Rorabaugh ’16, Laura Stamp ’16 and Tsaina Mahlen ’17 combined to finish in 14th in 40:40.6.
The nordic men were the second race of the afternoon. Still battling very soft conditions, the first Williams team comprised of Eli Hoenig ’17, Jordan Fields ’17 and Will Wicherski ’15 placed fifth overall. Despite a tangle up in the scramble leg, Eli Hoenig tagged off to Fields in ninth place. Skiing the course in 10:08.3, Fields then passed off to Wicherski in eighth. Wicherski blazed by two Bates skiers and a Colby skier to place fifth for the team. The second men’s team, consisting of Vanya Rybkin ’15, co-captain Kalle Jahn ’14 and co-captain Isaac Hoenig ’14 finished 11th overall. The men finished fourth overall at the end of the day.
In front of her home crowd on Friday, co-captain Shannon Campbell ’14 continued what she has been doing for the entirety of the ski season: finishing in the top 10. After a first run of 50.04 that left her in 15th place, Campbell responded with a strong second run to finish in 10th with a final time of 1:39.73 in the slalom. Next up for the women was Sarah Cottrill ’15 who finished in 22nd with a combined time of 1:41.15. Gabrielle Markel ’17 finished in 47th place for the Ephs with a time of 1:50.17, rounding out the finishers for the team. On the day, women’s alpine finished with 56 points, to place them in sixth.
Men’s alpine cruised to its best finish of the season, with three skiers finishing in the top 30. Christoph Lentz ’15 continued his consistent racing this season with a 21st-place finish, clocking in the 14th-fastest time in the field, and finishing with a time of 1:37.18. Carson Houle ’15 followed suit, finishing in 23rd with a combined time of 1:37.78, just .6 seconds behind Lentz. Victor Major ’15 rounded out the finishers for the Ephs, finishing in 27th with a time of 1:38.75. For the day, the men’s alpine finished in fifth with 64 points. Combined, the Ephs finished the day in fourth place overall.
Saturday brought a day of classic skiing for the Ephs. In the 10k classic for the men, Eli Hoenig placed first for the Ephs, sneaking into the top 10 with a ninth-place finish in 30:22.9. Rybkin shortly followed him, finishing in 12th with a time of 30:31.8. Wicherski rounded out the scoring for the Ephs, finishing in 20th with a time of 31:08. Isaac Hoenig and Fields also had strong results, 21st and 25th, respectively. Men’s nordic finished in third as a team with 87 points.
Women’s nordic also had a strong race, putting up good finishes for Head Coach Bud Fisher’s last home carnival. The women were led by Cole, who rounded the course in 17:17 to finish in 15th place. Cole was followed by Benson, in 22nd with a time of 17:31. Luthi rounded out the scoring coming in 27th with a time of 17:43.5.
Men’s alpine finished with very solid results, again placing three skiers in the top 30. Houle, after finishing with a first run outside of the top twenty, put down the fifth fastest time in the field on his second run, 51.27 seconds, and finished with a combined time of 1:45.57, good enough for 12th place. Matthew Davies ’17 finished with a time of 1:46.66 in 18th place for the Ephs. Dylan Thomas ’15 was the third Eph to finish in the top 30, finishing in 27th with a time of 1:48.31. Men’s alpine earned 68 points and placed fifth for Saturday’s races.
In the women’s alpine races, Campbell and Cotrill dominated the Giant Slalom (GS) on Saturday. Campbell threw down the second fastest time on her first run, and paired that with a solid second run to finish fifth overall for the event with a time of 1:46.81. Cottrill continued a slew of top-10 finishes, coming in 10th with a combined time of 1:47.77. The third scorer for the Ephs, Markel, finished in 43rd place with a time of 1:56.65. The women gained 77 points and finished in fourth place for the day.
“Big thanks to all of the volunteer gatekeepers, courseworkers, and everybody else who bravedsome knarly conditions this weekend!” captains John Sanderson ’14 and Campbell said. Combining the strong nordic efforts with the alpine, Williams came in fifth overall in the Williams Carnival. They race the final carnival of the season next weekend at the Middlebury Carnival.