This past week saw numerous personal and team bests for the men’s and women’s Alpine ski teams at the St. Michaels and Colby Carnivals respectively.
Senior captain Sierra Ryder ‘18 led the way, posting a personal best 13th place finish in Giant Slalom (GS) at the Colby Carnival at the beginning of this week.
“The Colby Carnival was interesting this year because the Slalom (SL) got canceled and pushed to today (Jan. 28) at Sugarbush after the St. Michaels Carnival. But both the GS and SL of the Colby Carnival were great. The women’s team did amazing in both GS and SL. At the St. Michael’s Carnival, at the SL we had three girls in the top 11 which is so good especially competing with so many division 1 schools (Dartmouth, UVM, UNH) that bring in some of the best skiers in the country but we are right there with them and it’s so great to see,” says Ryder. “There is a lot of young talent this year and it’s exciting to see what they are doing already. It’s definitely tough for the younger guys having to compete with skiers who are up to 25 years old but they all have great attitudes and I love seeing their positive energy on the hill.”
She couldn’t be more right, as first-year Hannah West ‘21 brought that exact young talent to the table with some amazing runs. With a combined time of 2:08:01 in GS and 1:39.23 in SL, West cinched ninth and eighth place respectively. West’s skills weren’t limited to the Colby Carnival. At this weekend’s St. Michaels carnival (Stowe, VT), Hannah placed 16th out of the 75 skiers in the GS race, and was the third fastest athlete from a Division III school. Her strength was not missed in Slalom either, where she placed 24th, leading the women’s alpine team to a fourth place finish. “Carnivals have the best student-athletes in the east, and every race is very competitive. The racers in the carnivals are all so determined, athletic, and all have a passion for ski racing,” says West. “Even with the tough competition, carnivals are very fun! Ski racing is a very individual sport, but when I came to college, I’ve learned that it’s more about the team doing well as a whole, and it’s so much fun when you come through the finish line to see your whole team there cheering for you.”
The team also placed sixth in the GS standings from the St. Michaels carnival.
Though there was definitely some female domination, members from the men’s alpine team weren’t lacking in good results by any means. The power was again seated in the first-years, as Calvin Wilson ‘21 made his mark in both the Colby and St. Michaels carnivals. Wilson placed 33rd out of 71 participants in GS (2:06.08) and 18th out of 74 participants in Slalom (1:29.12) in the Colby Carnival. He also had solid finishes at 34th in GS, and 40th in SL in Vermont for St. Michael’s. Sophomores Ryan Clermont ‘20 and Tagert Mueller ‘20 both played significant roles in the men’s results, with Mueller nipping at Wilson’s heels at both of the Carnivals, finishing 36th and 35th in GS at the two meets.
“I can say from experience that it can take a little bit to find your groove in the Carnivals and deal with the pressure of competing with top skiers in the USA, Canada and a few internationals. But overall I think everyone is trying their best and the results are showing, ” remarks Ryder. “The rest of the season I am hoping will be good, with ski racing anything can happen on any given day, there will be setbacks, there will be good results and bad results, but as long as we keep the positive vibes going I think we will see success down the road.”
The men’s and women’s teams head off to Stowe, VT again this weekend for the UVM (University of Vermont) Carnival.