Skiing: NCAA invitations
Inclement weather this weekend forced both alpine and nordic events to be postponed by one day. The alpine events, contested at the Middlebury College Snowbowl, followed the usual format with giant slalom races on Saturday and slalom races on Sunday. In alpine, the Mules were a little bit off their top form, with the absence of top scorer Vincent Lebrun-Fortin '11 especially. Joshua Kernan '10 led the Mules in fifth place, followed by Brian Morgan '12 in 13th and Marc Massie '13 in 28th. The women also struggled,
Saturday's slalom, usually a strong event for the Mules, followed a similar pattern. The men were led by Kernan, who was in fifth again, followed by Justin Sperry '13 in 28th. For the women, Maddie Strachota '13 led with a strong 29th place finish, although no other Colby woman placed inside the top 30.
The nordic races, held at the Rikert Touring Center, featured a 5/10km individual start classic on Saturday and a 15/20km mass start freestyle on Sunday. The weather was extremely difficult on Saturday, with conditions changing rapidly between sunshine and heavy, wet snowfall, which made for tricky waxing and some variation in the results. Lucy Garrec '12 led the way for the Mules in the 5km, finishing 12th, 1:24 back from winner Katie Bono of Dartmouth. Olga Golovkina '13 followed in 24th, continuing a string of strong performances from the first-year skier.
The men's 10km classic featured similar conditions, and many competitors chose to use special no-wax skis. Wyatt Fereday '11 led the way for the Mules in eighth, his best result of the season in the classic technique. Sam Mathes '10 and Jake Barton '13 in 16th and 26th rounded out the scorers, while Jared Supple '13 had the best race of his career in 47th.
Sunday's 15/20km freestyle races saw some very strong performances from a number of Mules. Fereday's second place finish led the Mules to a third place finish in the event overall. Sam Mathes was 15th, and Jake Barton 21st to close out the Mules' scorers. Corey Park '12 had the best race of his career, finishing just behind his teammate in 22nd. Assistant Coach Ryan Kelly said, "Corey and Wyatt shared performance-of-the-day honors on Sunday. Wyatt also skied a really smart race to finish second."
For the women, Garrec again led the way, this time cracking the top-10 with a sixth place finish. Without Missy Krause '12, the women's score was not as high as usual, but Golovkina skied strong to place 27th, while captain Jennie Brentrup '10 was the final scorer in 37th.
The Mules now look forward to next week's NCAA Division I Tournament in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Strong performances this weekend meant that five Mules will make the trip. Joshua Kernan '10, Vince Lebrun-Fortin '11 and Dana Breakstone '10 will represent the alpine team, while Wyatt Fereday '11 and Lucy Garrec '12 will each make their second trip to the national tournament. Nordic coach Ryan Kelly said, "I have no predictions for NCAA's, but both our skiers seem to be peaking at the right time. It's always challenging to ski out west at altitude, but we hope to ski fast and enjoy the experience."