The Harvard skiing team recorded its fifth consecutive tenth-place finish this past weekend at the Middlebury College Winter Carnival in Middlebury, Vt.
With 10-inches of fresh powder, the course conditions were ideal for the Crimson contingent, as the weather was sunny, with temperatures ranging in the mid-20s.
“The weather was phenomenal,” said men’s Nordic captain Dave McCahill. “It was perfect skiing conditions, and we were psyched to be there.”
“It was absolutely gorgeous,” added women’s Nordic captain Anna Schulz. “It was the best day of skiing all year.”
Yet even with the great conditions, the Crimson was unable to improve on its string of 10-place finishes.
On the men’s side, junior alpine captain Chris Kinner notched two top-30 finishes over the weekend.
After starting in the 43rd position, Kinner was able to claim 16th-place in the Giant Slalom event. In the Slalom event, Kinner placed 23rd, a 36-place improvement over his 59th starting position.
Three young skiers joined the captain in the alpine scoring columns. Freshman Kevin McNamara improved eight places from his 51st starting position to finish 43rd in the Giant Slalom event. Sophomore Brad Alvarez joined Kinner and McNamara in the Giant Slalom scoring, improving 22 places on his starting position of 72nd to place 50th overall in the race.
In the Slalom event, McNamara narrowly missed a top-30 finish, placing 33rd after starting in the 61st position. Between Kinner, McNamara and sophomore Alec Boardman, who finished in 44th position after starting the race in 75th, the men’s Slalom squad scored 48 points, Harvard’s highest total of the weekend in an individual event.
In the men’s 10K MS event, McCahill finished 51st, followed closely by junior Trevor Petach in 53rd.
With freshman Joe Tofte unable to compete due to illness, freshman Torin O’Brien stepped up to fill Tofte’s place and finished 58th.
The trio of McCahill, Petach, and O’Brien also brought home a 19th-place finish in the Men’s 3x5K Free Relay, earning the squad a second to last place finish in the twenty team field.
Despite the disappointing finish in the relay event, McCahill was proud of the performance of the men’s Nordic team, which is still unable to field a full roster of six skiers.
“We had some good kick on the skis,” McCahill said. “It was great for [Torin] to be able to get experience in a top tier event.”
For the women’s team, freshman Caroline McHugh was the lone Crimson skier in the alpine events. She placed 32nd and 41st in the Giant Slalom and Slalom events, respectively, as she moved up over 10 spots in each race.
Sophomore Cara Sprague, who has consistently been placing in the top-30 to score NCAA points, once again led the women’s Nordic team.
Sprague finished 27th in the 10K MS event.
Sophomore Alyssa Devlin and junior Audrey Mangan both fell barely short of top-30 finishes in the event, placing 34th and 37th, respectively.
Sprague, Devlin, and Mangan also comprised the 12th-placing Women’s 3x5K Free Relay squad.
“It was the best relay finish in years,” Schulz said.
The team now turns its focus to next weekend, when it will compete in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships in Sugarloaf, Maine.
“We’re saving it for this weekend,” McCahill said. “We’re psyched.”
“Hopefully this will be our best weekend yet,” Schulz added.