Sparked by the return of Nordic captain Chris Ferner, the Harvard ski team climbed to a sixth place finish at the Middlebury Winter Carnival in Middlebury, Vt. last weekend.
The Crimson-last place finisher in both the Dartmouth and Williams carnivals earlier this month-thereby maintained its Division I ranking and only missed qualifying for the NCAA championships by one and a half points.
"It was quite a reversal." coach Bill McCollom said yesterday. "This was the toughest competition of any of the carnivals and I think we surprised a few teams."
Harvard was settled in fifth place-the cutoff point for the NCAA's-before the University of Vermont out-pointed the Crimson in the jumping on Saturday afternoon and moved past them in the team standings.
Ferner and Jim Platz, who both quit the team before the carnival circuit began, returned at Middlebury to give the Crimson points in the jumping for the first time this season.
Ferner was sixth individually while Platz was 25th. Senior Rowley Hazard finished 19th.
John Rikert had his best time of the year in the cross country race Friday, finishing 16th out of a field of 60, and Dick Compton came in 27th.
In the Alpine events, Harvard was fourth as a team in the downhill and fifth in the slalom. Captain Alan Watson paced the Crimson in the downhill with a fifth place finish and Jay O'Rear had the best Harvard finish in the slalom-12th.
Greg Murdock also did well in the Alpine events, collecting a 17th in the slalom and an 18th in the downhill. Brot Coburn was 13th and 20th in the same events.
Middlebury won the team title on its home course, with Dartmouth, UNH and St. Lawrence following in that order.
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