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Ben Steele Storms National Qualifier, Sparkles in Slalom

By Timothy Carlson

Harvard ski captain Ben Steele placed second in the eastern regional slalom at Killington Monday and thus qualified to race in the U.S. Nationals slalom at Pat's Peak, Vt., this Thursday.

Steele was the only member of the Harvard squad to make the nationals. He lost by only .02 seconds to U.S. National B team member Karl Anderson.

Big Margin

In the qualifier at Killington, Steele's second run beat the rest of the field by .80 seconds, a large margin in the slalom event. Harvard coach Peter Carter termed Steele's run "phenomenal," although Steele himself said he was not aware that his run was exceptiooal while he was racing.

"It was on the steepest course we've run this year," Steele said, "and I do much better on steep courses." He said he concentrated on not making mistakes, "not catching a tip, not letting my edges slide out." Steele said that many of the other competitors leaned into the gates and found themselves slipping off line.

Steele said that he had more trouble on flat courses like the Williams Carnival at Brodie Mountain because he had to push off and skate to maintain speed between turns.

The Nationals

In the slalom at Pat's Peak, Steele will be racing against 80 competitors from seven regions throughout the U.S. Scheduled to compete are members of the U.S. National, a squad returning from World Cup competition in Europe, including Bobby Cochran, Cary Adgate, Ron Biederman, Geoff Bruce, and Craig Gorder.

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