Alpine overtakes Williams in rankings
Strange weather patterns and snow conditions plagued this weekend’s carnival at the Middlebury Snowbowl, but the Colby alpine ski teams still turned in strong performances that propelled them forward in the rankings.
“On Friday [the men’s and women’s slalom] was interesting,” Matt McKenna ’14 recalled. “It was fifty degrees out and changed from rain to sun. The snow sucked, and it was a bad day for most of us.” Marc Massie ’13 managed to pull off two fast runs and finished only one-and-a-half seconds behind the winner—Kevin Drury from the University of Vermont (UVM)—in thirteenth place. Will Randall ’14, Colby’s second fastest men’s skier, finished in 28th place. Drury’s winning time was 1:32.73, while Massie clocked in at 1:34.35 and Randall finished in 1:42.27.
Also fighting a slushy course, the women’s team recorded three top-thirty finishes; Natalie Biedermann ’12 finished 17th (1:36.21), Brittney Ziebell ’14 took 25th (1:42.40) and Devon Engle ’14 finished 27th (1:43.72). Annie Rendall from Dartmouth College won the women’s race with a total time of 1:33.76. Overall, both Colby teams earned sixth place in the slalom.
After the race on Friday, temperatures dropped drastically and the entire hill froze before the next day’s giant-slalom race (GS). “The conditions,” McKenna said, “were much better. The snow was perfect.” Massie added that “Saturday was also a great day because our three first-year men led the team as they all got top 20 for college. [That] was awesome to see.” UVM’s Drury won again on the second day of the carnival, with a combined time of 1:59.36. Jim Ryan ’14 (2:02.32), Randall (2:02.87) and McKenna (2:02.90) were 14th, 19th and 20th respectively. The three top-twenty finishes pushed the men’s team into fifth place for the GS.
UVM swept the women’s results on the second day of competition when Kate Ryley won the women’s GS with a time of 2:05.30. Cassady Roberts ’13 was Colby’s fastest women’s skier, finishing in 18th place (2:08.48). Biedermann was not far behind in 22nd (2:09.34), and Katie Houser ’13, with a time of 2:10.05, captured 25th. The women ended the day in eighth place overall.
Going into the Middlebury Carnival, Colby was ranked sixth behind UVM, Dartmouth, Middlebury College, the University of New Hampshire and Williams College. By the end of the weekend’s races, the Mules overtook Williams, narrowed the gap between themselves and fourth-place Middlebury and remained ahead of St. Lawrence University, Bates College, Harvard University, St. Michael’s College, Bowdoin College and the University of Maine – Presque Isle.
Although the Mules ended up with a respectable fifth-place finish (out of twelve teams) at the Middlebury Snowbowl, they hope to improve on their performance next weekend during the last regular season races. The Bates Carnival will take place at Sunday River. Thus, as Ziebell pointed out, “Colby has an advantage [at the carnival] because it’s a hill that most of the team is familiar with and excited to race.”