Chris Stock was one of two Crimson men to post a top-10 finish in the 5/10 k classic (Photo: EISA).
This weekend's racing at Colby Carnival saw some of the best Nordic team finishes in years with three individual top-10 finishes and an overall third-place team finish for the men. Up the road at Sugarloaf, the alpine team battled through challenging snow conditions that prevented over half the field from finishing on each day.
Nordic Race Report: 5/10 k Classic and 10/15 k Skate
Harvard's Nordic squad just completed one of its most successful weekends in recent memory at the Colby Carnival in Waterville, Maine, on Friday and Saturday.
Friday's 5/10 k classic was held in falling rain on tracks that alternated between icy and soft. Organizers had almost been forced to relocate the event due to low amounts of snow, but managed a decent 2.5 k loop of snow. In the classic race, a combination of great wax and personal best-level skiing added up to a fourth-place team showing for the men and fifth for the women. Junior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci and senior captain Chris Stock led the Crimson by taking sixth and eighth, respectively. Akeo's time was only 11.7 seconds off the EISA podium. Senior Tony Ryerson rounded out the men's scoring with a solid performance in 33rd.
The women had several breakthroughs of their own as well; senior captain Jen Rolfes took 18th, a personal best for her, and freshman Maile Sapp was right behind in 19th for an impressive carnival debut. Sophomore Hanna Barnes also set a personal best in 37th as Harvard's third scorer.
Due to minimal snow coverage, the 15/20 k mass start skate was shortened to a 10/15 k individual event (UNH will hold the mass start this weekend). Akeo bested his classic result by finishing fifth. Tony skied to a personal-best 14th and Chris finished a strong 24th; together the three of them scored 91 points to bring the nordic men to a very exciting third-place team ranking on the day behind UVM (124 points) and Dartmouth (106 points). Also of note, freshman Devlin Shea finished 54th to wrap up his league debut.
In the women's 10 k, Jen led Harvard in 23rd place. Freshman Rachel Hampton improved by 11 places over her 5 k finish to place 41st as the second Crimson scorer and Maile completed the top three for the team in 49th. The nordic squad now heads to Jackson, NH for the UNH Carnival on Friday and Saturday.
Alpine Race Report: Slalom and GS
The Harvard Alpine team took to the Narrow Gauge trail at Sugarloaf, Maine, this past Friday and Saturday for the Colby College Winter Carnival races. The theme of the weekend was the incredibly difficult snow conditions. The previous week's rain and warm temperatures, combined with the recent cold snap up at Sugarloaf led to incredibly icy and treacherously bumpy conditions, made worse by thick fog. As a point of reference, less than half the field finished each day in both the men's and women's races.
The Crimson had a particularly rough go of it, with only two finishers each day. Liz Strong and Katie Gibson held down the fort for the Crimson, each battling through the conditions to put the alpine team on the board. Liz skied through visibility that had her seeing only one gate in front of her in the GS, but managed to climb the finish order to an impressive 24th place, with Katie only a few spots behind in 28th. In the slalom, it was Katie's turn to lead the charge, putting together two very solid, clean runs to end the day in 29th, with Liz adding some points in 43rd.
On the plus side, snow conditions should only get easier from here! The alpine team is back at it training this week in the lead-up to the UNH Carnival at Attitash & Cannon mountains this Friday and Saturday, followed up by the rescheduled UVM slalom which will be held at Burke on Sunday.