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The Harvard ski team first broke free from its usual double-digit finish at the 2009 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association championships, coming in ninth place. Nothing has changed ever since, as the Crimson has been stuck in at the same spot for 11 straight carnivals.
The Dartmouth Winter Carnival this past weekend in Hanover, N.H. was more of the same, and the Harvard squad found itself in ninth place, sandwiched between two Saints—just ahead of St. Michael’s and behind St. Lawrence.
The Big Green—the only other Ivy League school competing—finished second, behind the University of Vermont.
In specific events at the meet, the Crimson earned two seventh-place team finishes—one in the women’s giant slalom and the other in the women’s 15k classic mass start.
Harvard also got eighth-place finishes in the women’s 5k freestyle, the women’s slalom, and the men’s 20k mass start.
“Overall, there were a lot of positives,” freshman Rebecca Nadler said. “Hopefully we can keep building.”
For the second straight weekend, sophomore Catherine Sheils posted the Crimson’s top individual finish, this time with an 11th-place result in the women’s slalom. Sheils ended only .07 seconds behind 10th-place finisher Laura Rozinowicz from the University of New Hampshire.
Rozinowicz used a strong second run to propel herself past Sheils and into the top 10.
Sheils’ consistency allowed her to stay ahead of 12th-place finisher Lyndee Janowiak from the University of Vermont. Janowiak posted a stronger second run than Sheils did, but the Harvard skier’s first run was enough to keep her ahead.
“[It] was really great that she could get that consistency,” Nadler said. “She’s skiing really, really well. I think she was pretty happy. We were [also] really happy about her result.”
The Crimson’s other top individual finishes came from sophomore Alena Tofte and Nadler.
Tofte, Harvard’s most consistent racer this past weekend, took 16th in both the 5k freestyle and the 15k classic mass start. Nadler posted the same result in the giant slalom.
“I would’ve liked to do a little better,” Nadler said of her result. “It wasn’t a bad result, but I know I can do better.”
Tofte earned her 16th-place finishes by tiny margins. In the 5k, she defeated Williams’ Sarah Tory by .1 second, and in the 15k, she topped UNH’s Kathryn Williams by .4 seconds.
“She came into the stadium [at the end of the course] even with [Williams] and double-poled ahead of her over the last few yards,” said Nordic coach Chris City ’94.
Junior Kevin McNamara and freshman Ian Anderson were the top finishers for the men’s alpine team. McNamara took 35th in the giant slalom, and Anderson earned a 41st-place finish in the slalom.
Rookie Chris Stock, who finished in 31st place in the 20k classic mass start, and sophomore Tony Ryerson, who took 32nd in the men’s 10k freestyle, led the way for the men’s Nordic team.
City was impressed with his athletes’ ability to adapt to Dartmouth’s challenging course.
“Last year the Dartmouth carnival got moved to Stowe. Many of my skiers are freshmen and sophomores,” City said. “They hadn’t seen the course before—it’s a pretty intimidating course. It’s got a very steep and long climb...People didn’t get intimidated.”
And while the men’s team didn’t have anyone scoring as high as Tofte, City was impressed with the depth the team demonstrated this past weekend, especially in the 20k.
“Kevin Sprague had his best race of the season [on Saturday],” City said. “I think it was his first time scoring points for us this season. He just skied really well. [Freshman] Tanner [Wiegand] had a good day. That was one of Tony’s best classic races...The guys are starting to come around.”
—Staff writer Christina C. McClintock can be reached at email@example.com.
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