The ski team took sixth place in the University of Vermont Carnival with 500 points, benefitting from the strong performance of the nordic team, who helped improve upon the ninth place finish of the alpine skiers a weekend ago.
Due to unseasonably warm temperatures and sparse snow, the nordic races were moved from the Trapp Family Lodge to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. The weekend began on Saturday, when the women skied a skate style, 5k individual start race. The two loops around the relatively flat course were very fast, which led to close times and exciting finishes for the field. The women finished in a close grouping, with the team’s top four skiers all in the top 25 and all within 10 seconds of each other. The first Williams finisher was Tsaina Mahlen ’17, cracking the top 15 for the first time this season at 14th in 12:31.2. Five seconds later, Sarah Becker ’18 completed the course in 12:36.5 for 21st place. Becker was followed by Hannah Benson ’17 in 24th and Eliza Rorabaugh ’16 in 25th. The women scored 70 points for sixth place overall on Saturday.
The men raced 10k on the same course, scoring 82 points for fourth place. Eli Hoenig ’17 was again the leading Williams man, taking 10th in 22:16.6. Nick Gardner ’19 joined Hoenig in the top 20, taking 18th in 22:32.0, while Braden Becker ’19 and Jordan Fields ’17 clocked in at 23rd and 24th place. Jack Schrupp ’18, in 29th place, gave Williams its fourth skier in the top 30 for the day.
On Sunday, the women’s nordic team competed in classic technique mass start 10k races. Great individual efforts for the Ephs included Benson in 29:55.3 for 20th place, and Rorabaugh in 22nd. The women scored 69 points, taking sixth place again overall.
Hoenig was again the top Williams finisher, coming in eighth with a time of 24:55.3. Schrupp also had a significantly better result than the previous day, coming in 14th in 25:21.2. Becker scored points for the Ephs as well, coming in 17th. Fields and Luke Costley ’17 rounded out the top finishers, both skiing into the top 25.
“ It wasn’t our team’s best weekend, but to get fourth is pretty exciting. We’re also seeing some real promise from the freshman class. Come the end of the season expect to see us fighting UVM on the podium,” added captain Josh Harrington ’16.
On Jan. 29 and 30, the Williams skiers competed against their peers at Mount Mansfield in Stowe, Vt. in giant slalom and slalom races.
In the giant slalom, Isabel Torres ’19 continued her superb season by leading the Williams skiers with a 15th place finish. She had two very consistent runs of 1:08.42 for 20th place and a second run of 1:07.06, 21st for the day. Hannah Hunsaker ’19, another of Williams’s top performers this year, also broke the top 20 in 2:16.78 for 20th place. In 37th, Grace Merriman ’19 was the final scorer for the women.
The women continued their impressive trend on the slalom course, led by Hunsaker with her best finish of the season. Hunsaker came in seventh place with a combined time of 1:59.98, less than five seconds back from Dartmouth’s Alexa Dlouhy. Gibson Donnan ’19 and Merriman also did particularly well, coming 22nd and 23rd, respectively. The women scored 74 points for fifth overall for the day.
The men struggled on Friday, with only one skier, Andrew West ’19, finishing the race. West posted an initial run time of 1:12.67 and a second run of 1:07.03 for a total time of 2:19.70, good for 45th place. In the slalom portion, Williams managed to secure a full scoring team, lead by Bryan Bailey ’19 in 15th. Bailey’s total time was 1:54.86, less than five seconds back from Max Roeislad of UVM. Charlie Sheils ’18 also had a standout performance, coming in 29th with a total time of 2:01.36, while Marc Talbott ’18 rounded out the scoring team in 2:27.13 for 41st place. The men scored 55 points for seventh place.
Although the conditions made for a turbulent weekend on the alpine slopes, the alpine skiers finished a strong ninth, positioning the team for a sixth-place finish once combined with the nordic portion.
Next weekend, the nordic team returns to Craftsbury and the alpine team competes at Skiway in Hanover, N.H. for the Dartmouth Carnival.