It was a good weekend to be a Mule at the Williams College Winter Carnival. Strong races from men's Nordic and alpine skiing led the team to a sixth place finish in the overall competition, which takes into account both days of racing for both the men and women in Nordic and alpine.
Friday featured Giant Slalom action on the slopes of Jiminy Peak. The men had one of their best showings of the year in this event although it is typically their weaker race. The Mules were led by Brian Morgan '12 in tenth, followed by Vincent Lebrun-Fortin '11 in 14th and Joshua Kernan '10 in 17th, for a fourth place finish. The women struggled, with only Dana Breakstone '10 placing in the top-30 with a strong 13th.
Nordic action at Prospect Mountain kicked off with 5/10k races in the classic technique. Tricky waxing conditions led to some interesting results. On the women's side, the Mules were led by Lucy Garrec '12 in 19th, followed closely by Olga Golovkina '13 in 20th. The two were separated by less than a second, but were almost two minutes off the time of 15:37 set by Dartmouth's Ida Sargent. Melissa Krause '12 was the third Mule scorer in 39th.
The men, who have struggled all year long in the classic technique, were led by Wyatt Fereday '13 in a strong 16th. The final two scorers were Jake Barton '13 in 29th and Sam Mathes '10 in 33rd.
Saturday, however, was a new day for the Mules. For the Nordic men, Wyatt Fereday proved that he still has the form he showed as a freshman, placing second in the 10km freestyle event, less than one second behind Dartmouth's Eric Packer. Fereday said, "I guess I kind of surprised myself with that one. I was pretty shocked when I got a split telling me I was in first. One second to the win, but I really can't complain about a second."
Two other Mules had their best performances of the season, with captain Sam Mathes in eigth, only 39 seconds off the pace, and Jake Barton '13 in 13th, less than one minute out in the strongest performance of his collegiate career. Fereday explained "I'm pumped for our team especially. Sam and Jake backed me up and we got our team goal of a podium." The Mules finished a season's best second in that event, behind only Dartmouth.
In the slalom race, held that same morning at Jiminy Peak, Joshua Kernan posted the time to beat in 1:28.58, placing first overall. Teammate Vincent Lebrun-Fortin was not far behind in third. Rounding out the Mules scorers was Brian Morgan in 12th. The Colby men, who have been dominant all season in slalom, again won the event.
The alpine women, also stronger in slalom, put three inside the top-18 on Saturday, led by Dana Breakstone in fifth. Breakstone was followed by Maddie Strachota in 16th and Cassady Roberts '13 in 18th.
The Nordic women, without their top two skiers starting, were led by Melissa Krause in 31st, followed by captain Jennie Brentrup '10 in 40th. Kaitlyn Bernard '13 scored the first points of her collegiate career, placing third for the team, and 43rd overall.
Both teams will wrap up their regular seasons next week at the Middlebury Carnival, which also serves as the EISA Championships.