Alpine Skiing starts strong

The Colby men’s and women’s alpine skiing teams have enjoyed impressive seasons thus far.  Since kicking off the winter season at the Bates Carnival in January, both teams have continued to record solid results. The men’s best finishes this year have been fifth place in the slalom at the Colby Carnival and fifth in the giant slalom at the Vermont Carnival. The women, led by All-Americans Mardi Haskell ’17 and Sierra Leavitt ’16, have two third places finishes in the giant slalom and a second place finish in the slalom.

The Bates Carnival was held at Sunday River on January 15 and 16.  One of the top giant slalom racers in the East last year, Haskell picked up right where she left off, finishing fifth with a time of  2:19, while Leavitt finished 9th with a time of 2:20. Paige Whistler ’16 and Destrey Enders ’16 also posted strong showings, coming in 20th and 24th, respectively. The men’s team had a rougher showing, with Jack Ferri ’18, the Mules’ only scorer, in 36th place.

The women showed their depth in the slalom on the second day, with Whistler and Leavitt finishing 13th and 24th, respectively, to propel the team into sixth place. Ryanne Daley ’18 finished 26th and Sophie Wood ’19 finished 28th to round out the Mules’ scoring. The men bounced back to tie Williams College for 7th place, thanks to the efforts of 19th-placed Jack Auty ’19 (1:54.81) and Max Richard ’18 (1:57.13), who finished in 25th.

The Mules hosted their own carnival at Sugarloaf on January 22 and 23 and aimed for the podium on their home mountain. In the giant slalom, Haskell posted her best-ever finish with a time of 2:06, which was good for second place overall. Leavitt took eighth at 2:08, followed by Enders (15th), Daley (20th), and Wood (31st) to power the Mules to third overall. On the men’s side, Michael Boardman ’17 posted the team’s first top-ten finish of the year, finishing tenth with a time of 2:03. Auty came in 24th to help the Mules to 6th overall.

Haskell was the star again in the slalom, as she earned another podium finish in third place with a time of 1:33.42. Leavitt and Enders finished 20th and 21st and the women once again finished third overall. Auty and Boardman finished 17th and 18th for the men, but it was the strength in depth displayed by Richard (28th), Cam Price ’18 (33rd), and Ellis Grubman ’19 (43rd) that bumped the Mules into the fifth spot overall.

Next up was a trip to the Vermont Carnival, where both teams finished  in fifth on the first day. Leavitt finished in tenth and Haskell in 12th in the giant slalom. Only three Colby skiers on the men’s side finished both runs, including Boardman (11th), Auty (16th), and Sam Glaisher ’16 (38th). The women fared much better the next day, recording a season-best second overall finish. Haskell led the way in fourth, followed by Leavitt (11th), Daley (16th), Enders (20th), and Wood (21st). Unfortunately, the men again had only three skiers finish, and fell to eighth place.

The alpine team will travel to Hanover, New Hampshire next weekend for the Dartmouth Carnival in their penultimate race before the Eastern Championships on February 26 and 27.

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