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Harvard's ski team staged a stunning performance in the final two events--the sladom and the 45-meter ski jump--to finish third behind perennial Eastern powers Dartmouth and Middlebury in the 33rd Williams College Carnival this past weekend.
Viewing the Williams Carnival as a warmup for this week's E.C.A.C. Championships at Middlebury, Crimson coach Richard Friedman told his skiers to "let out the reins" and his strategy paid noticeable dividends.
Harvard placed its top slalom finishers in the third, fourth, and fifth spots to emerge for the first time ever with team honors in a major Carnival event. Sophomore Jay O'Rear, Captain Peter Carter and his younger brother Larry pushed the Crimson to a one-half second victory over Middlebury. The margin might have been greater if Crimson star Willie Draper, who finished fourth in the NCAA slalom last year, had not fallen.
With Dartmouth sweeping three of the top four places in the ski-jumping competition to surpass Middlebury in the overall team standing, Harvard's best jumping effort of the season--the Crimson finished second behind the Big Green--got lost in the flurry.
Sophomore Jim Platz broke the Dartmouth monopoly by finishing third with leaps of 116 and 143 feet. Platz's performance was the finest ever by any Harvard jumper. Sophomores Chris Ferner and Rowley Hazard finished eighth and twelfth.
During the opening day of the Carnival, Harvard immediately jumped into contention for the team trophy by finishing a strong runner-up behind Middlebury in the Giant Slalom.
Sophomores Alan Watson, Larry Carter and O'Rear led the Crimson assault by finishing third, fifth and eighth respectively. Watson's time was only three-tenths of a second behind the winner, Paul Reed of Middlebury, while Carter trailed the winning time an additional one-tenth second.
A disastrous performance in cross-country, typically Harvard's weakest event, dropped the Crimson from title contention to fifth place at the close of the first day. Steve Hinkle puffed home eleventh, trailing the fifth-place competitor by just more than a minute in an unusually tight race. Nordic Captain Jim Wolfe ran his best race of the season to finish 20th. Ferner followed in 21st place
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