The Crimson ski team barely squeaked into the NCAA championships by finishing fifth in the Eastern Championships at Williams this weekend. The team's six-event total of 256 points was a scant 2.8 points ahead of sixth-place St. Lawrence.
Strong finishes in cross-country and slalom plus several costly mistakes by St. Lawrence compensated for weak Crimson performances in jumping and downhill. Co-Captain Kim Chaffee's 14th in the slalom on Saturday led the alpine squad to a fifth-place finish in that event. Chaffee's total time for the slalom runs would have been much better but for a fall in the first heat which cost him at least ten seconds. His second run was fourth best in the 46-man field.
In the alpine combined a score which is calculated on basis of both the slalom and downhill team performances, the Crimson finished fifth, in spite of a disappointing seventh in the downhill Friday.
Harvard ski teams are chronically weak in the jumping event because they lack a practice hill. This year's squad is no exception, but valiant leaps by Bill Gray and John Schell were good enough to salvage a seventh for the snowmen last weekend. Added to the Crimson's startling second place cross-country finish Friday, the jumping score gave the team a commendable fourth place in the Nordic combined.