Unbelievably cold temperatures and rock-hard icy conditions were the name of the game at Sugarloaf USA, the alpine venue for the Colby Carnival this past weekend. Friday's GS saw very challenging course sets both runs, with even more challenging snow conditions that had athletes resharpening their edges in between runs. Our men's team seemed to thrive on the challenging conditions, as we qualified 3 out of 5 starters for a second run. Unfortunately, two of the qualifiers, Matt Mansson and Ian Anderson, fell victim to the treacherous conditions while charging hard on their second runs. Andrew Spielvogel was the points-scorer for the men in 48th place.
The women's team saw Becca Nadler continue to chip away at UVM's recent dominance of the podium, as she tallied a 2nd place, her first podium performance of the collegiate race season. Catherine Sheils continued her improvement as well, moving up well from the 44th start spot to finish 27th, and Liz Strong chipped in a few more team points in 40th place to help the team to 6th place in the women's team standings.
Saturday's slalom saw even colder temperatures, although with a bit less wind. Conditions were challenging but very fair as the courses held up well all day. Again, our men's teamed stepped up their game and qualified 4 out of 5 athletes for a second run. This is the team's best performance since the "Cut 60″ rule was put in place (whereby only the top 60 skiers in the first run advance to the second one). On top of that,Andrew was on his way to what his mid-way split time indicated could have been a top-30 result on the first run before hooking a ski tip just shy of the finish… In the end,Matt led the way in 35th, Ian was 43rd with Dan Rittenhouse nipping at his heels in 44th, and Jack Stobierski punched in a 46th despite going down on his hip and losing a few seconds.
The women had a bit of a rough day in the slalom, but certainly not for lack of effort. Liz was skiing well in the first run, but got tossed out of the course on the exit of a flush just before a large knoll. Becca, Catherine, and Samantha Udolf all skied quite well on their first runs and were set up well to make a move on the second run. Unfortunately, an injury that Catherine has been doggedly fighting through all season flared up just before the second run, making it impossible for her to even click into her skis, let alone take her second run. Becca was skiing her best slalom run of the season and on her way to a top-5 result but caught an edge four gates before the finish. Freshman Samantha Udolf had to "hold down the fort" for the team, battling from the 70th start spot to lead the team on the day in 44th place.
The team is enjoying a much deserved three days off snow and is using the time to set up their class schedules as it is the beginning of the new semester. They will be recharged and ready to go at the USCSA St. Anselm's Carnival this coming weekend at Crotched Mtn, NH (it's a rest week for EISA alpine). As always, we hope to see you at the races, or follow the results live at www.live-timing.com.
Nordic Race Report:
The racing at Colby Carnival ended on a high note this Sunday morning with sophomore Akeo Maifeld-Carucciposting a top-ten finish, the highest nordic placing yet this year and the best men's finish in a distance (non-sprint) race in many years.
The competition began Saturday morning with a 5k (women) and 10k (men) classic race. The brand new race venue at Quarry Road in Waterville, Maine is an exciting addition to the circuit. It's just a mile from the Colby campus and was designed by Morton Trails in their signature swooping style. Unfortunately, this week it had thin snow cover and exposed rocks in many places, including on a particularly challenging downhill corner where the race organizers placed alpine crash netting and several old Christmas trees to serve as padding for errant racers. Freshman Annie Harvieux led the women's team in the 5km classic, placing 42nd. Senior captain Alena Tofte (51st) and junior Jen Rolfes (55th) also scored points for the team. Akeo led the men in their 10km, finishing the 4-lap race in 25th. Junior Chris Stock (31st) and captain Tony Ryerson (39th) were seconds behind Akeo to complete Saturday's scoring.
Sunday's 4- (women) and 5- (men) lap races used a longer course but included the same screaming downhills as the previous day. For the first time this year, Alena led the Harvard women in the 15k skate race, coming in 41st. Annie suffered a broken pole early in the race and had to ski her way back up to a 55th place finish. Jen(67th) once again delivered the women's third score. Akeo and Chris skied most of the 20k race within sight of each other. Akeo, leading a group of skiers, made a break for the next pack as he was going into his final lap and he raced to an incredibly hard-fought 10th place. Chris finished close behind in 17th.
Next week the nordic squad will head up to race at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont for a 5/10k SK and 10/10k CL at the UVM Carnival.
Emily Hannah '16 Represents US at Junior World Champs
Last week Emily Hannah competed at the Junior World Nordic Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic. WJ consists of four races: a sprint, a skate distance race (5km), a skiathlon, and a relay. Emily was selected to racein the skate events. She helped the US to a 10th place finish in the relay and was the third of four US skiers in the 5km Skate. We're proud of Emily for the work she did to be able to ski at the international level while also managing the demands of being a freshman at Harvard!
Junior Women's 5k Skate
1) Victoria Carl GER 12:35.3; 2) Teresa Stadlober AUT 12:39.6; 3) Anastasia Sedove RUS 12:46.7; 33) Mary O'Connell USA (Dartmouth) 13:40.4; 45) Sloan Storey USA (Utah) 13:52.2; 51) Emily Hannah USA (Harvard) 14:01.1; 52) Anika Miller USA (Payette Lakes) 14:04.0
Women's 4x3k Relay
1) Sweden 35:41.1; 2) Russia 35:43.3; 3) Germany 36:31.4; 10) USA 38:25.0 (Heather Mooney, Mary O'Connell, Emily Hannah, Corey Stock – the sister of our own Chris Stock!)