Continuing last year’s pattern of consistent ninth-place finishes, the Harvard men’s and women’s skiing teams once again settled into that familiar spot at this weekend’s UVM Winter Carnival in Vermont.
The alpine and Nordic teams combined to score 180 points and placed ahead of Bowdoin and St. Michael’s. Middlebury won the carnival with 628 points.
“I think that we’re kind of in a building stage and that’s why we’ve been ninth in the past and we’re still there,” captain Jay Teng said. “We’ll definitely improve in the future.”
“This year’s looking good, I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to get up to seventh or eighth by the end of the season,” sophomore Trevor Petach added.
This weekend’s UVM carnival came after an intersession training trip to New Hampshire. The alpine team trained throughout the week in Mount Washington Valley while the Nordic team prepared for its races at Jackson.
“We’ve been training like crazy and everyone looked great in New Hampshire,” Teng said. “I hope that we can transfer that to our carnivals in the coming weeks.”
The alpine team was forced to compete with the absence of three skiers. Freshman Brad Alvarez sat out due to a shoulder injury he sustained during the Bates Winter Carnival, freshman Margie Thorp competed individually in another ski event, and sophomore Gabrielle Rubenstein was ineligible to race.
In the alpine events, sophomore Chris Kinner placed 17th in the Slalom and 27th in the Giant Slalom, while freshman Alec Boardman finished 31st in the Slalom. Teng took 34th in the Slalom and 44th in the Giant Slalom on the women’s side.
“This weekend was at Stowe, VT, one of the most challenging races in the country, let alone the most challenging course in collegiate races,” Teng said. “We saw a lot of individual improvement over the day—people were stepping it up between the first run and second runs.”
Unlike the alpine team, the Nordic side was able to race a full team of 12 skiers.
“I think we had a solid showing this weekend,” Petach said. “The biggest thing is that the team has a lot more depth now and we had strong finishes from the whole team. Everyone raced hard and everyone’s making progress from last year.”
Petach placed 32nd in the Free Sprints and 53rd in the 10K Classic for the men. Captain Oliver Burruss finished just one spot ahead of Petach in the 10K.
“The first day was the 10K Classic race and that did not go so well for the guys team and not so well for me,” Petach said. “The sprint was quite good—I was racing fast and quite good.”
Sophomore Audrey Mangan placed 27th in the 10K Classic, while freshman Alyssa Devlin notched 26th in the Free Sprints, qualifying for the sprint elimination round.
Many of the top finishes from both the men’s and women’s teams this weekend came from freshman and sophomore skiers.
“The younger athletes are looking really strong,” Petach said. “They bring a lot of strength and a lot of racing experience.”
—Staff writer Lucy D. Chen can be reached at email@example.com.