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The Harvard ski team built on a strong start to the season with a seventh-place finish at the Saint Michael’s Carnival on January 21st and 22nd. Career-best performances were a dime a dozen for the Crimson, with junior Annabel Hagen, junior Emma Ryan, sophomore Liam McNamara, sophomore Elsie Halvorsen, and first-year Mads Groeholdt all having record days.
Despite delays due to negative temperatures, Harvard’s nordic squad made their mark. Groeholdt, who has placed top-25 in all three events of his career, led the Crimson in the 10k with a 14th-place finish. Senior James Kitch and senior Everett Sapp finished 27th and 28th respectively, pushing until the end to reach the finish line seconds apart. In the 5k, Sapp nabbed 19th place, followed by Kitch in 20th and Groeholdt in 25th. Not to be outdone, the women made their mark on the course as well. First-year Quincy Donley came in 36th in the 25k on Friday. This was followed by a successful 5k Saturday for Harvard, with Hagen leading the charge in 23rd and senior Ursula Volz following closely behind in 24th. Coupled with a 41st-place finish for Donley and 43rd place for sophomore Laura Appleby, they were able to cement a solid seventh.
“It was definitely fun to see your hard work actually pan out and get a good result,” Hagen said. However, she is looking to make progress. “It was nice to be top 25, but definitely have some higher goals.”
Harvard’s alpine group posted record times as well, with Friday’s giant slalom seeing senior Nellie Ide achieve a season-best 18th place. Halvorsen came in right after at 19th, with Ryan finishing in 30th. Saturday’s slalom events meant record days for Halvorsen and Ryan, with Halvorsen cracking the top-10 for the first time in her career at 10th, and Ryan coming in at a career-best 15th. Although Ide’s slalom resulted in a did not finish (DNF), Halvorsen and Ryan’s numbers still managed to place the women’s squad in seventh.
The men’s showing was also filled with standout performances. On Friday’s giant slalom, McNamara posted a career-best 12th, with junior Jack Despres representing the Crimson well in 19th. Although first-year Matt Ryan had his race result in a DNF, he was clocked in third halfway down the course on the split timer. Saturday’s slalom resulted in a 15th place finish for Ryan and a 21st place finish for McNamara, who has not missed the top 25 so far this season.
“We have a very small team,” said McNamara, “But everyone's been doing really well, performing really well. In past years we'd be lucky to get one or two people in the top 30 of these races..but we've gotten like four or five athletes in the top 30 in most races we've been to…we're small, but we're mighty.”
Next, the Crimson will head back to Vermont on February 4 to take part in the UVM Carnival, where Alpine and Nordic will compete in Stowe and Craftsbury, respectively.
—Staff writer Maddie B. Barkate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Mimi S. Koenig can be reached at email@example.com.
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