The Harvard skiing team improved on an 11th place finish at the Vermont Carnival on Jan. 12 at the St. Lawrence Carnival at Whiteface and Mount von Hovenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y., racing to finish ninth out of a field of 16 on Saturday.
The Crimson accrued 314.5 points, sitting behind host St. Lawrence University’s 445.0 points and ahead of St. Michael’s College and its 219.5 points. The top three teams at the Carnival were the University of Vermont, with 1013 points, Dartmouth College, with 788 points, and the University of New Hampshire, with 748.5 points.
“The college races start two weeks later than they did this year and so some of the other programs like UVM get in a lot more skiing than we do early in the season,” Harvard coach Tim Mitchell said. “They had a bit more of an advantage than normal coming into these first collegiate races. We’re right on track right now.”
Harvard saw its highest finishes in the women’s Giant Slalom, where the team was seventh out of 14, and men’s cross-country, where they registered a fourth place finish in the 20k FS event.
Junior Rebecca Nadler was fourth in the Giant Slalom with a combined time of 2:03.93 over her two runs, just .0052 behind the overall winner, Kate Ryley of Vermont. Nadler finished her second run only .001 slower than Ryley.
“That was a pretty good finish, a step in the right direction from last week,” Mitchell said. “All of the women that finished in front of her are currently on or recently were on their respective national teams. Being behind one current Canadian national team athlete, one former Canadian national team athlete and one former Norwegian national team athlete is not too bad.”
Nadler was followed by teammates senior Catherine Sheils, who posted a 31st place finish, sophomore Liz Strong, who was 43rd, and freshman Samantha Udolf, who rounded out the group in 49th.
“We’ve all been trying to translate the things we are working on in practice onto the race hill,” Udolf said. “As a result of those efforts, the girls put down solid runs at Whiteface.”
The Crimson squad also competed in the Slalom event, where Nadler notched a 10th place finish.
“I definitely felt better about my results this week than last week,” Nadler said. “I think I can still do better but it was definitely a much stronger week for me.”
The Nordic team had top-15 finishes in both of the men’s events. Sophomore Akeo Maifeld-Carucci raced to 14th place out of 87 entrants in the 3k Prologue FS with a time of 8:13.2 During the 20k FS, senior Anthony Ryerson, who was 35th in the 3k event, finished the course in 50:17, placing him 15th out of the 84 competitors. Ryerson was closely trailed by Maifeld-Caurcci who netted 18th place and a time of 50:32.
Freshman Annie Harvieux was the Crimson’s top finisher in both women’s cross-country events. Harvieux began with a time of 45:15.5 in the 15k FS event to place her 29th out of 85 skiiers. On the second day of the Carnival, she placed 42nd in the field with a time of 10:07.1 in the 3k Prologue FS. Harvieux was followed by junior Jen Rolfes and senior Alena Tofte. Rolfes was just one second behind her teammate and finished in 45th, just edging 48th-place Tofte by .004 seconds.
The men of the Alpine team also saw race time. While freshman Matthew Mansson did not finish the Giant Slalom event, he did compete in the Slalom event, finishing in 40th place with a time of 1:30.61.
“It was really tough for the guys right now,” Mitchell said. “The course conditions were actually very good and you’d think that would make it easy for them to move up. Unfortunately because the snow conditions were very good and the course set was not overly difficult, a lot of people put down very solid, clean, fast runs. When you’re back in the high 80s or low 90s, you have to beat a third of the field to even qualify for the second run.”
-- Staff writer Cordelia F. Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.