NCAA Ski Championships Report

Last week, we concluded our 2014 season at the NCAA Ski Championships at the 2002 Olympic venues in Park City and Soldier Hollow, Utah. We qualified an unprecedented four athletes for the Championships: seniors Becca Nadler, Chris Stock and Jen Rolfes and junior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci. Becca’s sixth in the women’s GS on the first day was the highlight of our results there, along with strong nordic performances by Jen, Chris and Akeo. Read on for details in our Alpine and Nordic reports.

Alpine Report: GS and Slalom at Park City

Becca Nadler, our senior captain, represented Harvard Alpine at the 2014 NCAA Skiing Championships this year. The University of Utah hosted the event and the alpine races were contested on the 2002 Olympic venue of Park City.

Becca Nadler, second from right, on the women's GS podium on Wednesday.

The theme of the week was warm weather and soft snow conditions. In fact, in the four days leading up to Wednesday’s GS race, we were only able to get in a single training run on the race hill. This meant a massive advantage for the western schools, and Utah specifically, which trains and races on that hill frequently. Nonetheless, Becca attacked the hill on race day as she has attacked every race during her four years at Harvard: full throttle! She skied a solid first run, and then put the hammer down on her second run to move from a start number of 13 into sixth place for the race. This is particularly noteworthy because start number played a huge role in the way the race took shape. The first three starters, for example, all finished in the top four overall. Becca had one of the biggest move-ups of the day, so this was quite a successful performance on a number of levels. It should also be noted that four of the top five finishers were all previous NorAm winners in GS (NorAms are only one level of racing below the World Cup level), so it was one of the strongest fields the Championships has ever seen.

Friday’s slalom was postponed to Saturday due to unskiable conditions, as the snow was so crumbly the gates wouldn’t stay in the snow. Colder temperatures on Friday night produced the best racing surface of the week for the slalom on Saturday. Starting with bib 32, Rebecca skied a solid first run to move into the “flip-30″ for the second run, where she took full advantage of a better start position, notching 10th place on the run with some very aggressive and motivated skiing, and ending the day in 20th position.

We are very proud of Becca and all she has accomplished in her four years at Harvard.

Nordic Report: 5/10k Classic and 15/20k Skate at Soldier Hollow

Like our alpine counterparts, the nordic contestants at NCAAs had to contend with unusually warm and soft conditions for the championships this year. It was quite something to pull up to the venue for our first course preview on Tuesday and see the entire 5k ribbon of manmade snow highlighted in contrast to the brown mud on the surrounding terrain. Soldier Hollow knows how to organize a top-level race series in the face of challenging conditions, however, and they did a fine job this time around of making sure everyone was able to race on a fair, safe course.

Chris Stock climbing Hermod's Hill during the 10k classic. Photo: Peter Hoenig.

2014 was the NCAA Championship debut of all three nordies who qualified this year. The individual-start 5/10k classic was our first race, and senior captain Jen Rolfes led the way with an impressive 17th as the fifth finisher from the Eastern region, just 14 seconds outside the top-10 in a very talented field.

Senior men’s captain Chris Stock led the way in the 10k with a 31st, followed by junior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci in 36th. Chris had finished the EISA season feeling a little tired, and went into the championships wanting some redemption. As the eighth Eastern finisher of the day, we consider his classic result mission accomplished. Akeo didn’t quite have the race he was hoping for, but skied as well as he thought he could have on that day.

After one rest day between nordic events, the 15/20k mass start dawned on the final day of the championships slightly ahead of schedule. Organizers moved start times up by an hour to avoid the extremely soft, slushy conditions that would inevitably develop on course by late morning.

Akeo Maifeld-Carucci in the 20k skate.

The men started at 9:00 am on rocket-fast, icy snow for what was a very tactical 20k at altitude. By the end of the race the course was getting slushy, and Akeo, wearing bib 21, skied smart within his pack and finished 30th, only 1:36 outside the winning time. Chris finished his career for the Crimson in 38th, starting at the back of the race but gradually moving up and winning a battle with UNH’s Per Lindgren in the middle kilometers.

Jen had another outstanding day in the women’s 15k, which started after the snow transformation at 10:30 am. Rather than play the tactical game, the women took the pace out fast right from the gun. Jen started in bib 21 and held her position for the entire race, finishing 23rd. She skied at or near the front of a pack for the first lap and on the second lap tried to bridge a gap to the group in front of her. By the time she caught and passed the next skier the race had strung out, but she made a strong push in the final lap, scampered up the legendary Hermod’s Hill in the final kilometer and held off a closing MSU skier through the finish to complete the best 15k of her career.

Jen Rolfes during the first lap of the 15k skate.

With the combined points from Harvard’s four athletes, the Crimson finished thirteenth as a team at the Championships.

In addition to NCAAs, sophomore Hanna Barnes and freshman Maile Sapp competed in the U20 division of the 2014 Junior National Championships in Stowe last week. The plan was for both athletes to compete in only the first two of four races at the event. Hanna led the way for Harvard in the 5k classic on day one, taking 15th, and Maile wasn’t far behind in 21st. Both women qualified for the classic sprint heats on day two; Maile was 17th and Hanna took 20th. Complete results from JNs are available here.

And with that, we conclude our 2014 season. Thank you to all of our alumni and fans for following our progress along the way.

The NCAA team with coaches at Park City after Becca's second slalom run on Saturday.


Middlebury Carnival/EISA Regional Championship Report

The Middlebury Carnival took place this weekend at the college’s Snow Bowl and at the Rikert Touring Center. These last races also served as the EISA Regional Championship – it’s hard to believe the regular season is already over! Highlights from this weekend included Rebecca Nadler’s eighth place in the women’s GS, Jen Rolfes’ 12th in the 5k classic and Akeo Maifeld-Carucci’s 15th in the 20k skate. With the conclusion of this last carnival, we had two athletes named to the All-East team, qualified four athletes for the NCAA Championships next week, and Coach City was named 2014 EISA Nordic Coach of the Year. Read on for details!

Alpine Report: Slalom and GS

Middlebury hosted the alpine portion of the NCAA Eastern Regional Championships on its Snow Bowl ski area, just up the gap from the Rikert Touring Center where the nordic races took place. The weekend was marked by warm temperatures, but most notably by a fast-moving thunderstorm that drenched the slalom on Friday, where two of the chairlifts at the ski area were actually struck by lightning! This resulted in the cancellation of the second run of women’s slalom (still counting as a one-run race). In that one-run race, Harvard’s Rebecca Nadler led the team in 16th place, with Katie Gibson our second points-scorer in 33rd. Samantha Udolf and Liz Strong finished right next to each other in 50th and 51st respectively.

In the men’s slalom (both runs completed), James Stevenson led the scoring effort for the team in 52nd, with captain Simon Merryweather nipping at his heels in 54th. Dan Rittenhouse put together two solid runs for 61st on the day as our third scorer, with Danny Fowler and Matt Mansson just behind in 64th and 65th.

Becca Nadler skis during the second run of the Middlebury GS. Photo: Dustin Satloff/EISA.

Saturday’s GS race greeted the racers with mostly sunny skies and fantastic racing conditions. Rebecca again led the Crimson’s effort with an 8th place finish, her best finish ever on the quirky Middlebury GS hill. Katie had a strong showing in GS in 29th, with Samantha in 48th and Liz in 52nd to round things out.

On the men’s side, Simon led the team with a 51st and James was just behind in 54th on the day.

That marks the end of the eastern collegiate racing for the season. Rebecca was named to the 2014 All-East Team, an distinction for the top 10 skiers in the league, and she will represent Harvard for the fourth consecutive year at the NCAA National Championships (Park City, UT).

Our other skiers continue to train for upcoming races where they aim to improve their FIS ranking points in an effort to better their start positions for next year’s collegiate races. The Crimson will see our alpine atheltes competeing at a number of FIS and USSA races through the end of March, including but not limited to: Le Relais, Quebec; Ragged Mt., NH; Waterville Valley, NH; Cannon Mt., NH; Killington, VT; Burke, VT; Sunday River, ME; Nakiska, Alberta; and Squaw Valley, CA.

Nordic Report: 5/10 k Classic and 15/20 k Mass Start Skate

Harvard’s nordic squad finished an historic carnival season this weekend at Middlebury College. The EISA Regional Championship was the last chance for skiers to move up on the NCAA ranking list and qualify for the National Championship next week at Soldier Hollow. Two Harvard nordies, Akeo Maifeld-Carucci and Jen Rolfes, were well inside the qualifying cutoff going into the Middlebury races and a third skier, Chris Stock, was just inside the bubble. We want great performances at the end of the carnival in any event, but we definitely felt some added pressure to maintain Chris’ position. Needless to say, it was an exciting weekend!

Chris Stock in the 10k classic. Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA.

Racing began on Friday like it often does at Rikert: in the midst of a freshly-falling wintry mix alternated with clear skies. Chris led the men in the individual-start 10k classic with a solid 17th-place finish. Freshman Ian Meyer really stepped up as our second scorer in 33rd, his best finish of the year by 10 places, and senior Tony Ryerson rounded out our top-three in 38th.

In the women’s 5k classic, Jen led the charge for the Crimson once again, taking 12th. Freshman Rachel Hampton finished 29th for her season-best result in the event, and freshman Maile Sapp finished her strong rookie season in 38th as our third scorer.

The weather improved for the 15/20k mass start skate race on Saturday to sunny skies and spring-like temperatures. With many bubble skiers fighting for those NCAA spots, the main pack was densely populated for much of race. Akeo, who had rested on Friday, gave a great effort despite a cold and skied a very smart race. He was in 20th through the 15k mark but picked off five skiers over the next few kilometers to finish 15th. Tony, in the last race of his college career, came through in 36th as our second scorer at the front of a small Harvard pack. Ian was seven seconds behind Tony in 38th, another season-best for him, and Chris finished 39th, two seconds after Ian. Chris maintained his position on the NCAA rankings list and is headed to Soldier Hollow with Jen and Akeo!

Jen Rolfes in the 5k classic. Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA.

As the second race of the day, the course significantly softened for the women’s 15k, making an already-difficult course even more challenging. Jen was our top scorer again in 27th. Sophomore Hanna Barnes and Rachel went two-three for the Crimson in 43rd and 45th, respectively.

After the races at Rikert were over we headed over to the Snow Bowl to watch the alpiners finish their second run and to see Jen named to the 2014 All-East Team.

Athletes weren’t the only ones to receive an award this weekend — Harvard’s head coach Chris City was honored by his fellow collegiate coaches with the 2014 EISA Nordic Coach of the Year award. Congratulations Chris!

We have a rare weekend off coming up to allow for recovery and travel to Utah. The nordic races at NCAA Championships take place at Soldier Hollow, site of the 2002 Olympics, on March 6 and 8. Races will be broadcast live online this year at NCAA.com.

Two of our U20 skiers, Hanna and Maile, are also still racing. The pair of New York natives will compete for the Mid-Atlantic region in the USSA Junior National Championships next week in Stowe, VT.

Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, 15th in the 20k skate. Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA.


Williams Carnival Report

Last weekend we competed in the Williams Carnival, the last race on the calendar before the upcoming Regional Championships. Highlights included individual top-10s from Rebecca Nadler, Chris Stock and Jen Rolfes, and a fourth-place finish from the men’s nordic team in the skate relay. Read on for more detailed alpine and nordic reports.

Alpine Report: Slalom and GS

Rebecca Nadler finished seventh in the Williams GS on Saturday. Photo: Dustin Satloff/EISA.

Harvard’s alpine team braved the drive out to Jiminy Peak, Mass., for the Williams College Carnival this past weekend for the last regular-season collegiate races of the season. Additionally, the coaches braved the daunting task of digging out of the new snow and re-setting the safety netting that lines both sides of the entire slalom and GS hills at Jiminy on both days! Once the hill was in good and safe shape, athletes attacked the variable conditions. The soft snow on top of glare ice made things tricky for even the best skiers in the field.

Friday’s slalom saw Matt Mansson and Simon Merryweather qualify for second runs. Matt led the way, moving up from a start position of 73 to capture 37th, with Simon close behind in 42nd. The women finsihed all four starters, with Rebecca Nadler linking two solid runs for 16th, Katie Gibson moving up to 33rd, and Sam Udlof and Liz Strong rounding things out in 48th and 49th, respectively.

Saturday’s GS was always going to be a bumpy affair, given the recent snowfall, but the Crimson did their best to punch in results on what was universally described as a “gnarly course.” Rebecca Nadler skied a solid first run, but found another gear in the second run to finish 7th (2nd place on the second run). Samantha Udolf threw caution to the wind in the bumpy conditions and attacked her way from the back of the back to 44th, with Katie Gibson and Liz Strong just behind her in 50th and 54th.

The men qualified one athlete for the second run, but what an impressive day it was for Matt Mansson, moving from a start position of 79 to finish in 34th, the largest improvement in the entire field!

Nordic Report: 3×3.2k Skate Relay and 5/10k Classic

Much like the Olympics, nordic racing returned to Prospect Mountain for the first time in four years last weekend for the Williams Carnival. Few athletes had skied the venue before — a rare circumstance these days — so the weekend offered the excitement of the unknown on top of already-heightened anticipation of the chance to shine as a team in the relay.

Over a foot of fresh snow fell on Thursday night, but the team handled it well. The 3x5k was shortened to 3×3.2k two hours before the start, the trail was only one skier wide in places, and the snow on course was very soft, but as they say: everyone had to deal with the same conditions.

Rachel Hampton climbing one of several steep hills on the relay course.

Senior captain Jen Rolfes scrambled for Harvard’s A-team and skied well through the powder to put us in seventh place after the first leg. She tagged to freshman Rachel Hampton, who proceeded to steamroll past two skiers on the second leg to tag off to freshman Maile Sapp in fifth place. Unfortunately, Maile caught a ski in the deep powder during her leg and fell, but rallied to bring it home for Harvard in 12th place. Harvard’s second team, Emily Rogers, Hanna Barnes and Annie Harvieux, finished 13th.

The men’s relay proved to be an exciting race. Junior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci scrambled for Harvard’s A-team and skied well through the powder to put us in fourth place after the first leg. Senior captain Chris Stock skied a gutsy second leg and held onto his position despite taking a spill. He tagged to senior Tony Ryerson close enough to give Harvard a fighting chance at the podium going into the last lap. Tony absolutely crushed his leg; he skied the fifth-fastest split of the day to bring the Crimson home in fourth behind Dartmouth A, Dartmouth B and UVM. With Dartmouth in the top two spots Harvard actually claimed third in the team scoring. Our second men’s team also skied a great race; Devlin Shea, Ian Meyer and Soren Anderson took 13th.

Harvard brought home two more individual top-10s in the 5/10k classic the next day. Amidst more freshly-falling snow, Jen kicked things off in ninth in the women’s 5k, just six seconds from the top-5. Rachel skied a strong race in 31st and Maile finished in 38th, 17 seconds behind Rachel.

The men skied two laps of the 5k course and had the added challenge of skiing on tracks that broke down over the course of the preceding women’s race. Chris led Harvard in tenth, skiing a great second lap to move up five places in the final half of the race. Akeo took 18th and Tony finished 30th. Together the men finished fourth on the day, one point ahead of Middlebury.

Tony Ryerson skied the fifth-fastest split of the entire field during the men's relay.

Speaking of Middlebury: next weekend they host the EISA Regional Championship on their home course at the Rikert Touring Center (nordic) and Middlebury Snow Bowl (alpine). As always, you can follow the results live online, or better yet, make the trek up to Vermont and cheer us on in person!

As a reminder, our annual Friends banquet will be held on April 5 at 6 p.m. in the Murr Center Hall of History. Invites will go out later this month. We hope to see you there!


Dartmouth Carnival Report

Things heated up this weekend at the Dartmouth Carnival, where the Crimson competed at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and at the Dartmouth Skiway. The carnival circuit played host to the professional domestic circuit this weekend, so the alpine and nordic fields were the deepest we’ve ever seen them. Read on for the nordic and alpine reports.

Nordic Report: 5/10k Skate and 15/20k Classic

Dartmouth was another groundbreaking weekend for the Crimson, this time with three individual top-10s and a third-place women’s team score on the second day of racing at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

Akeo, 7th in the 10k skate. Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA.

Junior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci kicked things off on Friday with a seventh-place finish in the men’s 10k skate on Craftsbury’s challenging homologated course. Senior Tony Ryerson bounced back from a recent cold to finish 20th, while freshman Devlin Shea broke into the top 40 for the first time in his rookie season with a 37th, just 15 seconds outside the top 30.

Senior Jen Rolfes continued her recent strong results with an eighth place in the women’s 5k. With a handful of World Junior/U23 competitors back from Italy for the first time in a few weeks, this was perhaps a stronger result for Jen than her fifth last weekend at UVM. Freshman Rachel Hampton had another solid race in 30th and sophomore Annie Harvieux was Harvard’s third scorer in 40th.

Beautiful bluebird skies and perfect tracks greeted us on Saturday for the first 15/20k classic race of the year. Akeo led the men again with a strong race in 13th, senior Chris Stock was Harvard’s second scorer in 22nd and Tony crossed the finish line in 39th.

Jen skiing to a new PR of fourth in the 15k classic. Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA.

The final race of the weekend, the women’s 15k, was the highlight for the Crimson at Dartmouth. Jen led the team with a new personal best, finishing fourth in the college field, 30 seconds off the podium. She skied an incredibly consistent race, posting the fourth-fastest split on each of her three laps. Jen has all but solidified her ticket to NCAAs; she now sits in sixth on the EISA ranking list. The dynamic freshman duo Rachel and Maile Sapp brought it home with 23rd- and 25th-place finishes, respectively, helping the women hold off Colby by a single point and cap off the carnival with a third-place finish as a team.

After the races was the annual Carni Crush exchange of valentines among the teams. In serenading the Dartmouth women, our guys showed that they’ve got top-10 voices, too:

Alpine Report: Slalom and GS

The alpine crew took to the historic hills of the Dartmouth Skiway this past weekend, taking part in the annual Dartmouth Carnival races. With NorAm races having just been completed the previous day, most of the top national team skiers from the US and Canada (as well as a few Europeans) that are not currently competing in the Olympics in Sochi stuck around to race in the Dartmouth races. This made these races probably the deepest, fastest, and most challenging collegiate races on record. As a result, many teams did not even qualify skiers for the second run of the race due to the cut-60 rule that only allows the top 60 skiers from the first run to compete in the secong run. The conditions on the race hills were amazing, so everyone was going for it, pushing their line and ability to the absolute maximum.

Katie Gibson during the first run of the women's GS. Photo: Dustin Satloff/EISA.

In the GS on Friday, the Crimson qualified two athletes for the second run, with Katie Gibson and Liz Strong both skiing solid runs, moving up quite a bit from their start positions to finish in 36th and 37th respectively.

In Saturday’s slalom, the team punched in with some better results; Becca Nadler, fresh off a very hard crash in the GS, punched in a 19th place, and Katie continues to improve week by week, with a 31st on the day.

The men had to battle the deepest field I have ever seen at a collegiate race, with a number of athletes regularly racing on the World Cup. Nonetheless, Dan Rittenhouse led the way for the team, moving up from his start position of 101 to finish in 52nd. Close behind were Simon Merryweather and James Stevenson in 53rd and 54th.

We had a question this week from an alumnus about the field size in our races. There are 13 alpine and 13 nordic teams in our league. Each team fields a carnival team of up to 6 men and 6 women, so there are as many as 78 starters in each race. As you can see from this week’s reports, there are frequently a handful of non-collegiate open skiers admitted via NENSA or FIS quotas. In some nordic races, colleges may enter additional “open” non-scoring skiers either directly in the carnival or in a simultaneous event, such as an Eastern Cup. We report the placings of our top three racers (our scorers) against the other carnival racers – the eligible scorers from other teams. Complete collegiate and overall results are available at EISA.

As a reminder, our annual Friends banquet will be held on April 5 at 6 p.m. in the Murr Center Hall of History. Invites will go out later this month. We hope to see you there!


UVM Carnival (Nordic) and St. Anselm (Alpine) Report

Our hearts are with the Dartmouth Ski Team, which lost an athlete on Saturday. Torin Tucker, a junior, passed away while competing in the Craftsbury Marathon in Vermont. News of his passing reached his teammates racing the UVM Carnival at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe partway through Saturday’s sprints and the competitive race scene immediately changed to one of support and camaraderie. The college ski community is a close one and our sympathies go out to Torin’s family, friends, and team.

Nordic Report: UVM Classic Sprint and 5/10 k Skate

Jen Rolfes, fifth in the 5k skate. Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA

In Saturday’s sprint event, Freshman Rachel Hampton led Harvard in the sprints by qualifying in 21st overall (16th collegiate) to move onto the senior quarterfinals, where she ended up in 19th in the carnival field. Sophomore Hanna Barnes qualified for the junior sprint brackets, finishing fourth overall in the junior field. Freshman Devlin Shea led the men in qualifying in 33rd, also qualifying for the junior heats. Akeo Maifeld-Carucci placed 37th and freshman Ian Meyer placed 54th in his carnival debut as Harvard’s third man.

Senior Jen Rolfes led Harvard in the women’s individual start 5k skate on Sunday, placing fifth for a new career best. Freshman Maile Sapp was 40th and Rachel finished close behind her in 44th. Senior Chris Stock led the men’s team in 22nd in the 10k, followed by Ian in 43rd and Devlin in 47th. The nordic team travels back to Vermont next weekend for the Dartmouth Carnival (held in conjunction with a SuperTour weekend) at Craftsbury.

Alpine Report: St. Anselm (USCSA) Carnival

Alpine used its break week in the EISA season to compete in the St. Anselm Carnival, a USCSA event at Crotched Mountain (NH). The weekend kicked off with a Slalom race on Saturday for both the men and women. Freshman Katie Gibson won the race with the leading first run and a strong second run. Junior Liz Strong and sophomore Sam Udolf finished 5th and 7th, respectively. On the Men’s side there was some great skiing out of sophomores Simon Merryweather (4th overall) and Jack Stobierski (7th). Also skiing into the top 15 was sophomore Dan Rittenhouse.

Sunday’s GS was a different story in terms of conditions for the men’s and women’s giant slalom. Managing to hold off the rain on the first run of the men’s and women’s courses, Sam took 5th place with some of her best GS skiing of the season. Liz and Katie also finished in the top 10. For the men, Simon and Jack displayed some great GS skiing in sections of the first run. On the second run, the rain started, making conditions a bit more difficult.

Also over the weekend, senior Rebecca Nadler headed to Sunday River, ME to take part in two Nor-Am Cup GS races. On a tough race with strong competition she displayed fast split times throughout the course, showing she can compete with the top women on the circuit.

We look forward to the return to EISA competition at Dartmouth this week.


UNH Carnival and UVM Slalom Report

Winter temperatures dropped at the venues of the UNH Carnival this weekend (Jackson, Attitash and Cannon), but Harvard rose to an eighth-place overall league finish. This marks the first time the current class of seniors have finished higher than ninth in the EISA — an incremental step, but one that represents the hard work every athlete in both disciplines has done this year and one we look to build on in the coming weeks. Alpine continued their weekend of racing at Burke on Sunday with the postponed Slalom from the UVM Carnival. Read on for the alpine and nordic reports.

Nordic Race Report: 5/10 k Classic and 15/20 k Skate

Chris Stock, seventh in the 10k classic. (Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA)

For the second week in a row, the nordic squad tallied multiple top-15s. Senior captain Chris Stock led the men to fourth as a team in the men’s 10k individual-start classic race. Chris skied an impressive second lap to move up six places in the last 5k and finish seventh in the college field, his second top-10 of the season and just 14 seconds off the podium. Junior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, who started 30 seconds ahead of Chris, crossed the finish line with him as our second scorer to place 15th. Senior Tony Ryerson was 30th, putting all three scorers inside the top 30.

In the women’s 5k classic, senior captain Jen Rolfes continued her strong senior campaign with a 12th place finish, a new career best. Freshman Maile Sapp scored her first top-15 five seconds behind Jen, taking 14th. Freshman Rachel Hampton was Harvard’s third scorer in 33rd, a 19-place improvement over her classic race at Colby.

Saturday was the 15/20k skate, the long mass-start event rescheduled from Colby. Akeo had high expectations after placing fifth in the skate race last weekend. With several top skiers away for World Junior/U23 Championships this week, the stage was set for an exciting race. Akeo skied comfortably in the lead pack, which included two professional skiers, into the last of four laps. He tried to cover a break by a UVM skier at the start of the fourth lap but couldn’t hold on. He finished a stellar fourth, just nine seconds off the college podium, setting a new personal best and positioning himself in fourth on the current NCAA qualifying list. Chris skied a strong, consistent race to finish 25th, and Tony crossed the line just behind him in 26th after both were battling in the lead pack for the first few laps.

Jen Rolfes, 33rd in the 15k skate.

In the women’s 15k, Jen led the Crimson again in 33rd, a finish that required moving around 15 skiers seeded ahead of her. Rachel and sophomore Annie Harvieux each had strong races as Harvard’s second and third scorers, taking 41st and 50th, respectively. Junior Emily Rogers, Harvard’s fourth woman, also had a notable race in 58th, her best 15 k result by 15 places.

A big thanks goes out to David Rand ’79 and the Drifters Ski Club for hosting us this weekend! It was a treat to have home-cooked meals and to be based around the corner from the race venue.

The nordic team competes at Trapps Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt., next weekend for a combined UVM Carnival and NENSA Eastern Cup.

Tony Ryerson (right) and Akeo Maifeld-Carucci ski in the lead pack early in the 20k skate. (Photo: Ian Nesbitt/EISA)

The team, after the skate race. (Photo: Gil Talbot)

Alpine Race Report: UNH Slalom and GS, UVM Slalom

This past Friday through Sunday, Harvard’s alpine team competed at three different venues. On Friday the team was at Attitash for the GS portion of the UNH Carnival, on Saturday we were at Cannon Mountain for the SL portion of the UNH Carnival, and on Sunday the team finished up at Burke with the rescheduled SL portion of the UVM Carnival from earlier in January.

In Friday’s GS race, the team was anchored by Becca Nadler’s 10th place result, a costly mistake in the second run derailing her chance for a podium finish. Simon Merryweather was the the men’s team’s best finisher moving up from a start position of 88th to finish 34th on the day. Cold temps and howling winds greeted all the teams for Saturday’s SL races at Cannon on the historic Rocket trail above Echo Lake. The men’s team qualified four athletes for a second run, which was great, and in the end it was Matt Mansson leading the way for the team in 33rd from a start position of 75. Ian Anderson and James Stevenson were close behind contributing a solid amount of points in 38th and 40th respectively. The highlight for our women’s team at Cannon was Samantha Udolf coming from a start position of 82 to notch a career-best 31st place, with Katie Gibson punching in another solid finish in 35th.

On to Burke, which turned to be not quite as windy as Cannon, but even colder! Becca kicked her slalom skiing into gear with a 12th place finish from the 32nd start spot, and Sam continued to ride her recent slalom form to another impressive 33rd place with Katie nailing down enough points in 39th for the women’s best team finish of the season in sixth place.

The men again qualified more skiers for the second run than has typically been the case for us in the past, and at the end of the day it was captain Simon leading the way in 42nd, Matt nipping at his heels in 43rd, and James as the team’s third scorer in 49th. EISA alpine action takes a break this week, but our racing contiues this coming weekend with a guest entry to the St. Anselm’s Carnival at Crotched Mountain, so stay tuned!

Becca in the UNH slalom. (Photo: Dustin Satloff/EISA)

Katie Gibson in the UNH GS at Attitash. (Photo: Dustin Satloff/EISA)