The season began on Friday for Bates skiing in the familiar conditions of Sunday River at the Bates Carnival. Bates’ Nordic and alpine teams combined to place seventh out of 17th teams at the event, as veterans and newcomers alike performed impressively.

Junior captain Kelsey Chenoweth led the Bates women in the giant slalom competition on Friday, finishing 10th out of 60th skiers and tying a career-best carnival finish. Chenoweth’s first run was timed at 1:08.50, while she finished her second run in 1:12.17, good for a combined time of 2:20.67. Sophomores Sierra Ryder (19th place, 2:22.98) and Hannah Johnson (26th, 2:26.00) were close behind. On the men’s side, senior captain Tanner Dirstine also raced well, coming in 25th out of 65 skiers with a time of 2:18.84. First-year Michael Cooper was just one spot behind Dirstine at 2:19.20, an outstanding college debut.

In Saturday’s women’s slalom, sophomore Hannah Johnson’s opening performance indicates that she’s poised to build on the promise she showed last season. Johnson finished 13th out of 70 competitors in a combined time of 2:06.10, while fellow sophomore Sierra Ryder placed 20th in 2:08.91. The men had two athletes complete both runs, first-years Cooper and Max Lash. Lash came in 28th with a 2:01.15 total time, and Cooper finished 35th in 2:06.07.

The weekend’s race were just a warm-up for the intense action to follow for the Bobcats in the coming weeks. First up is the Colby Carnival on Friday and Saturday at Sugarloaf Mountain.