Skiing Places Ninth in Season Opener

This weekend, the Harvard skiing team kicked off its 2015 campaign at the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association’s Bates College Winter Carnival. The two-day event was held at the Sunday River and Black Mountain ski resorts in Maine, attracting many of the country’s top collegiate teams.

The event was also the first collegiate race for many of the Crimson’s freshmen.

“We’ve done a couple of non-collegiate races earlier this month, and that helps to kind of knock some of the rust off,” said Harvard Alpine coach Tim Mitchell. “A [regular season] race is always a little bit different. For the freshman, it was good. They got a good taste of what [the collegiate] level is like.”

The Crimson participated in six events in the 16-team carnival and placed ninth as a team. Vermont won the competition, while Ivy League foe Dartmouth placed second. On the men’s side, Harvard was led by senior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, while it was sophomore Rachel Hampton leading the way for the Crimson women.

“I think it was a really good weekend for me,” Hampton said. “I was aiming to be aggressive this weekend and really sort of test myself and see how far I could push myself up toward the leader. I think that [staying with the top pack] really paid off, and I was able to hang with them. I think it was a strong start for me, but I definitely feel like there’s more to improve on.”


Harvard partook in two Alpine competitions and four Nordic ones over the weekend. In her first collegiate action for the Crimson, freshman Kelly Steeves placed 33rd in the women’s giant slalom and 36th in the women’s slalom.

Junior Samantha Udolf placed 42nd in the women’s giant slalom. Harvard’s two female Alpine skiers earned the Crimson 10th place in the giant slalom and 13th in the slalom. On the men’s side, juniors Jack Stobierski and Simon Merryweather did not finish.  

“In general, I thought I was a little bit more pleased with what I saw Saturday,” Mitchell said. “I thought that that was closer to what I think we’re capable of…. I don’t think any of the guys on the team or the girls are particularly satisfied with how they skied, which is good. They know they’re all capable of more than that.”  

The cross country events for the Bates Carnival were split over Friday and Saturday. The men skied the 20-kilometer race on Friday and the 10-kilometer one on Saturday. The women had their 15-kilometer race on the first day and their five-kilometer one on the second.

In the 20-kilometer race, Maifeld-Carucci placed ninth after finishing in an hour and 15 seconds. Freshman Connor Green placed 36th in his collegiate debut. The team’s score on the first day was good enough for eighth.

On Saturday, Harvard had five of its six skiers improve their finishes. Maifeld-Carucci finished second overall in the 10-kilometer race—the best finish for a Crimson skier over the weekend. Green placed 38th while freshman Haakon Sigurslid moved up 22 spots from Friday to finish 54th and sophomore Devlin Shea moved up 17 spots to 56th. The team also finished eighth on Saturday.

On the women’s side, Hampton finished 15th, sophomore Maile Sapp 34th, and juniors Annie Harvieux and Hanna Barnes took 44th and 48th, respectively, in Friday’s 15-kilometer race. Harvieux moved up to 18th, Hampton finished 20th, Barnes 44th, and Sapp 47th. Senior Emily Rogers took 41st. The team placed ninth on Friday and sixth on Saturday.

“I think it was a really solid performance by pretty much everyone on the team,” Hampton said. “It was a good way to start the season off. I think we still have some work to do and get our feet underneath us, but it was a really strong start, and I think we showed everybody that we are definitely a team to be reckoned with this year.”

—Staff writer Stephen Gleason can be reached at


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