Last weekend, Nordic and alpine skiing competed at the Colby Carnival, and the Ephs fought valiantly to take home sixth overall in the competition.
The Colby carnival began on Friday with the alpine athletes competing in Giant Slalom at Sugarloaf Mountain. The young alpine team had their fair share of exemplary performances, both in Giant Slalom and today in Slalom. Hannah Hunsaker ’19 was again the top Eph finisher in 11th. Her first run of 1:06.04 put her in a solid 14th place, but her blazingly fast second run of 1:03.29, fourth fastest for the day, proved strong enough to move her into 11th, less than five seconds back from Dartmouth’s Foreste Peterson. Isabel Torres ’19 was the next Williams finisher, taking 21st with an elapsed time of 2:12.10. Gibson Donnan ’19 and Grace Merriman ’19 were 36th and 37th for the day.
“The Sugarloaf GS is one of the more technical tracks we ski, so it says a lot about the good tactics and aggression of our skiers that they were able to find the finish line and move up so much,” said Head Coach Kelsey Levine ’10.
The alpine men, who placed tenth on Friday with 34 points, had a few standout performances of their own. Stockton Troyer ’19 was the first Eph finisher in 26th place. His two runs were fairly consistent in 1:03.57 and 1:02.71 for a total time of 2:06.28. Also scoring was co-captain Marc Talbott ’18 in 36th place and Charles Sheils ’17 in 43rd.
On Saturday, the women put three athletes in the top 30. Underclassmen again proved themselves: Hunsaker was the first Williams finisher in 11th place, Torres earned second in 26th and Merriman was the final scoring member of the Williams team in 28th. Torres’s total time was 1:39.31 and Merriman’s was 1:41.44.
The alpine men, however, mixed things up a bit, with Talbott taking the first scoring spot and breaking the top 30 with a 29th place result. He posted a first run of 45.39 seconds and, during the second run where conditions slowed the entire field, skied the course in 49.87 seconds for a total time of 1:35.26. Less than a second behind him was Bryan Bailey ’19, who skied to 30th, giving the Ephs their fifth alpine skier in the top 30 for the day.
The Nordic events started Saturday with a 15k mass start classic technique race for both the men and women, again at Quarry Road. The first day of the second carnival of the 2016 EISA Season was monumental for the Ephs, particularly the Nordic men who were second overall for the day with 106 points.
The impressive showing by the Nordic men was spearheaded by Eli Hoenig ’17 who, in his best finish of his collegiate career and first ever podium, took third overall in 42:04.6, only about seven seconds back from University of Vermont’s Jorgen Grav. Hoenig definitely showed his confidence, leading as he headed into the final lap of the race. Jack Schrupp ’18 assured that Williams had two skiers in the top ten, taking seventh in 42:38.2. Jordan Fields ’17 and Braden Becker ’19 gave the Ephs a total of four skiers in the top twenty for the day, coming in fourteenth and nineteenth respectively.
The women had their own share of exceptional races. The effort was headed by co-captain Olivia Meyerson ’16, who tied her best ever classic technique finish for 18th place in 52:53.5. Tsaina Mehlen ’17 also broke into the top 30 in 24th place. Rounding out the scoring team, Eliza Rorabaugh ’16, with her best ever classic distance result, came in 28th with a time of 53:36.4.
The second carnival of the 2016 EISA season came to a close Sunday with the Nordic Ephs competing in a team skate sprint. The top finishing team for the men was composed of Hoenig and Schrupp. After a rough start where Hoenig got caught up in a fall, the two nabbed sixth with a time of 17:33.7. The second team of Fields and Becker were another 30 seconds back, taking 14th in 18:06.2. Overall, the men were fourth for the day with 121 points. The women snagged sixth with 94 points. The first finishing Williams team was that of Meyerson and Hannah Benson ’17, who had a combined time of 21:55.7 for 12th place. Next, Mahlen and Sarah Becker ’18 came in 19th in 22:12.2.
“The entire team is skiing very well right now and we had numerous standout performances this past weekend.The passion for skiing runs deep on our team and we’re excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds,” said Head Coach Jason Lemieux ’01.
Williams came away from the weekend in sixth with 586 points , while Dartmouth took gold with 921. The carnival circuit takes a brief break this coming weekend but will resume Feb. 5-6 for the UVM carnival.