The 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.
The Crimson pulled in 268 points as a team, trailing host Colby College’s 386 points and topping St. Michael’s College’s 238 points.
The University of Vermont was the overall victor, with 962 points. Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire rounded out the top three.
Harvard saw its strongest result overall in the women’s giant slalom. Junior Rebecca Nadler clipped nearly the whole slate of skiers for second place. She posted a total time of 1:45.71 over two runs.
Her first run, at 52.50 seconds, was one of four sub-53-second finishes in the whole race.
“Conditions were extremely cold and extremely icy, so it was very, very challenging, and that suits Rebecca very well,” Harvard coach Tim Mitchell said. “She’s an extremely strong technical skier, and her skiing has been coming along week-by-week, getting a little bit better, a little bit better. It was encouraging not just that she finished second but [also that] she did that even with a couple of pretty good-sized mistakes.”
Battling the weather, Nadler yet again came up short against University of Vermont junior Kate Ryley, who won last year’s national title in the Slalom.
Ryley’s two runs were a combined 1.13 seconds faster than those of Nadler.
“I was definitely happy with my results,” Nadler said.
Nadler had the benefit of prior experience when she took to the slopes. “I actually skied at the hill where we raced for a year, so I had a little bit of a home-court advantage,” the Ottawa native said. “It was fun to be back, and I really like racing on that hill.”
Catherine Sheils was the next finisher for the Crimson. The senior, who has recently been battling a back injury, notched a combined finish of 1:52.32. Sophomore Elizabeth Strong was the final Harvard racer, placing 40th.
Nadler was unable to record a high finish in the women’s Slalom event due to a major error in her second run. While a first run of 46.61 seconds placed her well within the top half of skiers, Nadler hit an edge towards the end of her second run and had to hike back up part of the mountain before finishing the course. Her time for the second run was 1:09.12, setting her back towards the end of the field. Freshman Samantha Udolf posted the top finish in the event for Harvard skiers, coming in at 44th.
“She is skiing exponentially better than she ever has at any point in time in her previous ski racing,” Mitchell said. “She’s kind of one-upping herself every single time she’s out there, and so it’s really exciting to see her on such a steep improvement curve right now.”
The Crimson also penetrated the top-ten team finishes in the two men’s cross-country events. In the 20k Freestyle MS on Sunday, Harvard’s two racers cracked the top 20 for 61 team points and a seventh place finish. Sophomore Akeo Maifeld-Carucci finished the course in 48:12.3 for 10th place, while junior Chris Stock trailed by 42.2 seconds for 17th place.
The day before, Maifeld-Carucci posted a team-high 25th place in the 10k Classic event with a time of 27:05 ,while Stock came in just 10 seconds later for 31st place in the field of 93. The Crimson also saw finishes from senior Anthony Ryerson and freshman Soren Anderson, who were 39th and 81st, respectively.
Three freshmen on the men’s Alpine team completed tricky runs in the men’s Slalom event.
“They did phenomenally well this weekend under some extremely challenging conditions,” Mitchell said. “In the Slalom, we actually had four guys qualify for the second run and that was tremendous.”
Along with junior Ian Anderson, freshmen Matthew Mansson, Dan Rittenhouse, and Jack Stobierski all finished the event. Mansson was the team’s top finisher in 35th place with a total time of 1:32.94 over two runs. Anderson and Rittenhouse finished side by side in 43rd and 44th, respectively, while Stobierski closed the group in 46th place.
“The guys are starting to see the fruits of their labor,” Mitchell said. “They’re starting to put it together. Having four guys get into the second run, having some solid results was really encouraging under extremely difficult circumstances, so I was really happy with their performance.”
—Staff writer Cordelia F. Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.