The Harvard snowmen skied to their second straight tenth-place finish in last week's winter carnival at Williams. The University of Vermont buried the rest of the field by more than 80 points, triumphing in all four events.
The alpiners had their first solid all-around weekend, finishing sixth in the giant slalom event and fourth in the slalom, and amassing 87 of Harvard's 106 point total. But the nordic events, especially the cross-country, proved to be big disappointments, coach Dave Hubbard said yesterday.
The surprise for Harvard came in the giant slalom, when Phil Duff placed 11th in only his second Harvard ski race. Eric Jewett managed a 16th despite a fall.
Peter Anton, the alpine captain, turned in the best Harvard finish of the carnival season, placing eighth in the slalom, less than three seconds behind the winner.
The Crimson received a damaging blow when Eric Jewett, coming off a fine first run in the slalom, hooked a tip in the second run and separated his shoulder. He is listed as "doubtful" for next weekend's crucial carnival at Middlebury.
The cross-country skiers managed only 17 points last weekend compared with the 26 they collected at Dartmouth two weeks ago. "If we could have equalled the Dartmouth output, we would have moved up two places in the final standings," Hubbard said.
Andy DeMars, who finished in 28th place in the 15-kilometer race, was the highest Harvard finisher in that event.
The jumpers also failed to equal their previous week's output. David Rand did "a creditable job," finishing 28th, but coach Hubbard thought he should have finished higher. Hubbard criticized the judges' determination of Rand's style points, which figured in his lower finish. "Judging is an arbitrary thing that varies from judge to judge, and we felt David got shafted on style points this time," Hubbard said.
Harvard must improve its standing next week at the Middlebury carnival in order to retain its Division I status next year. The cross-country skiers plan to go to the carnival site tomorrow to get two days advance training, which should help.
"It would be ideal if we could get 30 or 35 points out of the cross-country event," Hubbard said.
Jewett will probably not ski this weekend, but Hubbard said the alpiners are in the best form they have been in all year.
The team needs to avoid another tenth-place finish to avert a slip back into Division II, where they were mired until this year.
Individual performances will also determine what team members will qualify for the NCAA finals in Colorado in March. Alpiner Peter Anton seems sure to qualify, Hubbard said.
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