Skiing Battles at Middlebury Carnival, Dartmouth Make-Up Races

Emily Hannah led the Harvard women's classic race competitiors at Middlebury last weekend.

Freshman Emily Hannah and junior Chris Stock led the Crimson in the classic race at the Middlebury Carnival, while sophomore Akeo Maifeld-Carucci and junior Jen Rolfes scored top rankings in the skate race.  On the alpine side Matt Mansson,Rebecca Nadler, and Catherine Shiels had top performances in a weekend that included both the Middlebury Carnival and a make-up race at Dartmouth.

Nordic Race Report – 5/10k CL and 15/20 SK Mass Start

The conditions were quite challenging on Friday for the 5 (women) and 10 (men) kilometer classical race at Middlebury College's Rikert Nordic Center.  Expecting to see the glazed tracks and sheer ice that covered the course on Thursday afternoon, the coaches arrived early Friday morning to find the tracks filled with fresh powder, throwing all of their original waxing plans immediately out the window. The snow was initially wet and klister-y, but then briefly dried out enough to make kick wax competitive before the temperatures warmed it up again into klister.  We had various skiers racing on each of klister, hard wax, and "zeroes."  Emily delivered the fastest time for the women's team, finishing 30th in 17:36.1. Freshman Annie Harvieux and senior captain Alena Tofte finished close together and not far behind Emily in 36th and 37th.  Chris lead the men's team with a 14th place finish. Captain Tony Ryerson had his best classic performance of the season, placing 21st, and Akeo (32) completed the men's team scoring.  It was our best classic day of the season for both the men's and women's team, and not far off our best overall day in either technique.

The men's field began slow and relaxed in the 20k mass start skate race, but following an early crash the pace picked up considerably around the 5-kilometer mark.  Akeo worked his way up through the crowd of racers to finish in 18th, passing Tony (29) and Chris (41) on his way.  The women's mass start was much more aggressive than the men's and there were multiple crashes on the course's tricky corners. Jen expertly avoided a 9-woman pile-up and led the women, sprinting to the finish line to score in 39th place. Annie (44) and freshman Hanna Barnes (50) furnished the Crimson's final points for the day. It was one of the best skate results of the season for both Jen and Hanna. Injuries during the race took out both Emily and Alena.

This weekend the Nordic team will head to Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine for the Bates Carnival/EISA Championships, the final races of the regular season. With EmilyChrisAkeo and Tony in the running for NCAA qualification, it should be a dramatic weekend of racing.

Alpine Race Report – Middlebury Carnival and Dartmouth make-up SL

The Middlebury Snowbowl played host to the alpine events of the Middlebury Carnival this past Friday and Saturday.  Good conditions and aggressive skiing were themes of the weekend.  In Friday's slalom, Matt led the Crimson with a 34th place, nearly halving his start position.  Rebecca led the women's squad with a very solid 11th place, followed by Catherine in 35th, Liz Strong in 38th, and Samantha Udolf in 44th.

Saturday's GS was a tightly contested affair, with the times stacked closer together than normal.  On the strength of a great second run, Becca took 9th on the day to lead the Crimson, with Catherine having her best GS result of the season in 23rd.Liz was the team's third scorer in 48th position.  For the men, Matt nailed down his best GS result of the season as well, moving from a start position in the 70′s to end the day in 35th.

The team also raced on Sunday at Dartmouth Skiway for the rescheduled portion of the Dartmouth Carnival slalom that was postponed last week. The day was marked by the same high winds that forced the original postponement, and eventually the ski lift was forced to close. Nonetheless, the race went on, with athletes hiking to the start or getting towed on a rope behind snowmobiles and snowcats.  Catherine led the women's team with a 23rd place on the day, with Rebecca running into issues in an offset hairpin, forcing her to hike, but still scoring for the team in 44th.  The men's race again saw a fierce battle just to qualify for a second run. The Crimson punched two athletes into the top-60 after the first run, and they both notched solid second runs, with Matt the team's top finisher in 42nd, and freshman Jack Stobierski close behind in 46th.