Alpine and Nordic ski teams enjoy a cold weekend

After varied finishes in the Vermont Carnival at the end of January, the Colby Ski teams continue to carve out respectable seasons. With the Eastern Championships less than two weeks away, the Mules traveled down to the Dartmouth Carnival in Hanover, New Hampshire on February 12 looking to gain momentum as the season reaches its final slope.

The first day saw only the giant slalom competition as the severe cold froze any chance for a Nordic Race. The alpine Mules were unfazed by the nipping front as the Women finished fourth and the Men fifth. Mardi Haskell ’17 finished second place in the Giant Slalom with an impressive overall time of 1:53, gliding Colby to a strong 101 point finish, placing just behind the hosts, Dartmouth (109). The fifth team, Middlebury, salvaged a fair 72 points, but the Giant Slalom turned out to be a four-team duel with Vermont edging out New Hampshire, 116 to 112. Colby’s strong performance is a testament to their depth, as all five skiers finished in the top 31, with Sierra Leavitt ’16 and Ryanne Daley ’18 surging into the top 20 (12th/20th) with times of 1:55 and 1:57, respectively. The men’s fifth place, 67-point performance squeaked past the 65-point St. Lawrence team thanks to Michael Boardman ’17’s 15th overall finish (1:51) and Colby’s All American, Sam Glaischer’s ’16 19th place finish (1:53). The men’s Giant Slalom had a similar narrative, as the top four teams dominated the completion with the Big Green hosts taking fourth with 96 points and the University of Vermont again gliding to first with an impressive 135.

The second day covered the slalom competition and the Nordic team’s sole race. Haskell continued to dominate the women’s race, finishing again in second (1:38), and only trailing behind University of Vermont’s Laurence St-Germain, a Canadian National Team member and a seven-time World Cup race starter (1:35). All of Colby’s top five once again finished in the top 30, propelling the Mules to a 95-point second place finish, edging out Dartmouth (93 points).  St-Germain and her New Hampshire team finished their carnival run with a decisive 122-point first place finish. The Colby men’s  team unfortunately could not replicate the women’s second day successes as they sauntered into tenth place with 33 points.  Despite the poor result, Boardman finished in the top 25 with a time of 1:42 to cap off a polarized weekend.

With the temperature icing Friday’s race, the Nordic Mules looked to capitalize on the extra day of rest and a one-race weekend. Olivia Amber ’17 did just that in the 15 km race, as she raced to a collegiate-best second place finish (45:03) to lead the women’s convoy to a strong fifth place finish in which they scored 182 points. Amy Bianco ’17 tailed Amber to a top-ten place finish (46:14) but the Mules’ lack of depth showed as the remaining 4 skiers finished deep into the field, with the third and fourth Colby racers finishing 43rd and 58th. Dartmouth garnered 214  points to beat out Middlebury’s 206 and take the their only victory at home. The men’s team scored 152 points and was met with the same fifth place finish as the women but had the opposite process. None of the Mules finished in the top ten, but  Zane Fields ’19 and Silas Eastman ’17 both skied into the top 20 (14th, 48:49/ 19th 49:14) and Jeff Tucker ’16 pulled in at a respectable 26th (50:10).  The University of Vermont ended their successful weekend with a 248 point victory over Dartmouth (228).

The Colby Ski teams travel to the Williams Carnival this weekend in their last test before the Eastern Championships on February 26 and the NCAA championships on March 9. With varied but respectable results, the Mules are primed to place strongly in the upcoming races.

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