HANCOCK Mass.- The Harvard ski team concluded its regular season this weekend, competing in the Williams Carnival. The team was led by an 11th place finish out of 26 teams in the men's nordic 3x5k relay (James Kitch, Rémi Drolet, William Rhatigan), bringing in 46 points. On the alpine side, sophomore Jack Despres placed 26th in the men's giant slalom, missing the top-20 by just nine-tenths of a second. The team brought home a 10th place finish, collecting 314 points.
Day one of the Williams Carnival at Jiminy Peak brought single-digits wind chills, with aggressive gusts of wind at the start of the day. Although the day was cold, the weather produced a great course surface. Due to repeated course maintenance throughout the day to keep it as solid as possible, racing took place well past 4:00 p.m., something that rarely happens in EISA alpine events. Despres was able to recover from a huge mistake made early in his first run to qualify for the second run of the day, allowing him to bring home the 26th place finish. Senior Carter Kendig was the only other men's skier to qualify for run two, taking home 47th.
Junior Nellie Ide finished in the middle of the pack, placing 31st out nearly 50 competitors in the women's giant slalom. Similar to the men, sophomore Emma Ryan would be the only other Crimson athlete to qualify for run two, placing 47th. Ide and Ryan brought in 21 points for the squad.
Competing in Lake Placid, N.Y., the nordic squad raced at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, the Olympic venue for cross-country, biathlon, and sliding sports. Cold was the name of the game, delaying the races two hours to allow temperatures to climb up to zero degrees. The sun was out with blue skies and no wind, creating ideal racing conditions. Kitch led the Harvard pack with a top-20 finish, bringing in 25 points for his team. Sophomore Liam McInroy followed right behind Kitch, sliding in at 23rd. Senior Mackinley FitzPatrick was the last athlete to bring in points for the team, placing 33rd and tallying 15 points.
Senior Tegan Thorley brought in the highest amount of points for the women, placing 41st while grabbing 15 points. Sophomore Ursula Volz came in right behind Thorley at 43rd, while first-year Lily Brunelle grabbed a 54th place finish out of the 85 racers. The women brought in 39 points.
Day two of the carnival was another cold one at both sites, with highs in the teens at Jiminy Peak and highs in the single digits at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Hagen, Volz and Thorley placed 14th in the 3x5k relay out of 29 teams, recording 39 points. The second men's relay team (Everett Sapp, McInroy, FitzPatrick) crossed the finish line in 22nd.
Three Crimson athletes qualified for run two in the men's slalom, again led by Despres, who finished 36th. Kendig finished two-tenths of a second behind Despres, placing 37th, while senior Dillion Smith collected five points with his 48th place finish.
On the women's side, Harvard again had three Crimson skiers qualify for run two. Ide recorded yet another top-15 finish, grabbing 26 points for the team. Ryan managed a 27th place finish (1:43.1), recording 18 points for her team and marking the second-best performance of her career. Senior Courtney Clark was the last skier to be awarded points for the group, coming in 39th out of 50 competitors.
- The Williams Carnival marks the end of the EISA Regular season.
- Kitch led the Crimson in the nordic races, placing 20th in the 10k classic.
- The 3x5k relay races were contested for the first time this season.
- Ide placed 15th in the slalom races, marking a top-20 finish in every regular-season carnival.
The Crimson will take a week off, before returning to competition Feb. 28-29 at the Middlebury Carnival/EISA Regionals in Hancock, Vt.