Over the past two years, Harvard’s top skiers, sophomore Rebecca Nadler, junior Alena Tofte, junior Catherine Sheils, and sophomore Chris Stock, have made several breakthrough performances to put the Crimson jacket in unfamiliar places, most recently on the top of the alpine podium last weekend.
But this weekend, it was the supporting cast leading the charge, with Harvard getting boosts from new faces in its ninth place finish at the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships, hosted by Middlebury.
On the Nordic side, those jolts of energy came from freshman Akeo Maifeld-Carucci and junior Esther Kennedy. Maifeld-Carucci took 15th place in Saturday’s 20k classic race, his best finish of the season. Kennedy impressed in the skate event with a 17th-place finish in the 5k free event.
“She’s jumped up quite a bit [this season],” said Nordic coach Chris City ’94. “That reflects a lot of technique she’s been doing on the skate side and a lot of hard training and also just coming at it with a really good competitive fire. She came into this season really looking to make a mark, and she’s pushed herself. There’s a group of skiers fairly close together. Last year she was at the back of it. This year she’s at the front end of that group.”
As usual, leading the charge in both women’s Nordic events was Tofte, the only skier on the Nordic side to qualify for the NCAA Championships. The junior placed ninth in the 15k classic and ninth in the 5k free.
“She was leading the [15k] race for a little while,” City said. “She’s comfortable she can ski there. I think it bodes well; I think she could have a really good NCAAs.”
Stock came into the weekend two spots away from a trip to Montana for NCAAs, but his 40th in the 10k free and 31st in the 20k classic were not the finishes he needed to move up in the standings.
But while Stock may not have been able to advance in the EISA Championships, his season as a whole was one where he was consistently within striking distance of the top group of skiers.
“He was skiing consistently in the top 20,” City said. “Last year we were jumping up and down when he made the top 20.... I’m really proud of the way he worked all last summer. He made a huge jump in his skiing. He was not even close [to NCAAs] last year; he was right on the cusp this year.”
Meanwhile, the women’s alpine team got a boost from freshman Cate Kistler’s 16th-place finish in the slalom. Kistler was the top Crimson finisher in that event, with Nadler’s 19th good for second. Sheils, meanwhile, was on her way to a good run when she hooked a turn and took herself out of the race.
“She’s been skiing so fast,” alpine coach Tim Mitchell said. “Her results have not been indicative. I just feel really bad for her. It’s a bummer; sometimes it’s just how it goes.”
Nadler led the charge on the giant slalom with a 12th place finish. Mitchell noted that the flatness at the beginning of the course disadvantaged the small Nadler, especially with a stiff headwind.
“Not to make excuses, and I know she won’t make excuses, but it’s probably the worst course for her,” Mitchell said.
The finish put her second in points for the season behind the University of Vermont’s Kate Ryley, also a sophomore. Ryley won both the giant slalom and the slalom, and the Catamounts won their second straight EISA title in a row.
“If you’re going to lose to someone, [Ryley’s] the real deal,” Mitchell said. “She’s really, really good.”
Skiing Propelled By Women’s Alpine TeamA lot of skiers have come through Harvard in the last 30 years, but never once in those years did the Crimson women’s alpine ski team place sixth in the giant slalom, as it did this past weekend at the University of Vermont Winter Carnival in Stowe, Vt.
Nadler, Women's Alpine Propel Ski TeamIn her first giant slalom race on the collegiate carnival circuit, rookie Rebecca Nadler was nearly unbeatable.
Skiiers Take Charge at NCAAsRebecca Nadler ended her season as she began it: as one of the best in the field. The freshman alpine ...
Skiing Starts its Season at Vermont CarnivalKey performances from rookies helped the team kick off the season when the alpine skiers made the trek this weekend to Stowe, Vt. to begin its EISA competition at the Vermont Carnival, where the team took 11th place out of 13 teams.
Skiing Finishes 9th of 16The Harvard ski team raced to a ninth-place finish at the Colby Carnival, its third EISA competition of the season this weekend at Sugarloaf, Maine, and Waterville, Maine. The result was the second 9th-place finish in a row for the team, which competes in a field of 16.
Nadler Leads Skiing At EISA ChampionshipsThe Harvard ski team finished in ninth place at the joint Bates Carnival and EISA Championships in Newry, Maine this weekend. Junior Rebecca Nadler, the defending national champion in the giant slalom, was the lone Crimson skier to qualify for this year's NCAA championships.