NCAA Championship Report

This was the second consecutive Championships for senior Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, while sophomore Rachel Hampton made her NCAA debut in Lake Placid. We’re told this was the first time NCAAs had been held at Lake Placid since the early 1980s.

In the women’s 5 k skate race, Rachel attacked the challenging Olympic course early and significantly improved over her performance on this course at Regionals. She finished 36th overall, less than 10 seconds out of the top 30. On a day when many of the East’s best women skiers slipped in the results, Rachel had one of her strongest skate races of the season.

As a top seed from the East in skate technique, Akeo was one of the last starters on course for the men’s 10 k. Like Rachel, Akeo attacked the course even as conditions warmed and slowed. Five kilometers into the race, he sat inside the top 15 and just a couple of seconds from the top 10. Unfortunately, Akeo couldn’t quite find the second-lap gear that he’s enjoyed in his best races this season. He slipped to a very-respectable 25th, which was only 10 seconds out of the top 20 (and 20 seconds out of the top 15) in a tightly-packed field.

The weather returned to cooler temperatures for the classic races, which were held in more abrasive, icy conditions. Rachel moved up from her starting position in the 15 k mass start (bib 36) and finished 31st overall, a strong result that saw her place ahead of a mix of mostly West and Central region skiers.

In the men’s 20 k classic, the binder on one of Akeo‘s skis disintegrated early in his race; even so, he managed to hold his starting position and even ski away at the end from two skiers who were with him through 15 k. Akeo also placed 31st.

We were thrilled to see Patrick Caldwell of Dartmouth win his first individual NCAA title in the 10 k skate. Paddy is the son of our alumna Margaret (Waters) Caldwell ’84!

The Championships had an alumni flavor this year. Audrey (’10) and I had race day help from Ollie Burruss ’08, while former Harvard nordic coach Peter Graves and alumnus Dave McCahill ’09 provided great commentary for the NCAA video coverage of the races. Thanks also to faculty advisor Jim Stock (P ’14) for his support. And thank you to the many friends of skiing who sent good luck wishes or let us know you were watching the races from afar.

St. Lawrence Carnival/EISA Championship Report

The Crimson completed the regular season last weekend in Lake Placid, N.Y., at the EISA Championships, hosted by St. Lawrence. Harvard Skiing placed tenth overall, with the men’s nordic squad taking sixth as a team in the 10k skate. Freshman Kelly Steeves led the alpine squad with a personal-best 21st in the giant slalom. On the nordic side, senior captain Akeo Maifeld-Carucci and sophomore Rachel Hampton both punched their tickets to NCAA Championships, which will be back in Lake Placid next week.

Nordic Report

For the first time in many years, both nordic races at St. Lawrence took place on the fabled Ladies’ 5k at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, a course characterized by punishing climbs and whip-fast descents from start to finish. Conditions could not have been better for a Regional Championships; the corduroy was pristine, the tracks were solid, and the sun was shining all weekend.

The nordies finished the regular season with some of the their best racing of the year, producing multiple personal bests across the board. To start things off on Friday, Junior Annie Harvieux skied an incredible race in the women’s 5k skate to lead the Crimson, landing back in the top-20 with a 17th-place finish. Rachel Hampton was our second woman in 33rd, and senior captain Emily Rogers had the race of her career in 40th for her penultimate race in the Harvard uniform.

The men’s squad had its best all-around day of the season in the 10k skate, taking sixth as a team. Akeo Maifeld-Carucci led the way in 22nd and sophomore Ian Meyer was close behind in 26th, a breakthrough race for Ian and his first carnival top-30. Freshman Connor Green, recently recovered from illness, was back in form in 33rd as our third scorer.

EISAs concluded with an exciting 15/20 k mass start classic, again on the Ladies’ 5k course. Akeo skied a smart race, gradually moving up from 22nd on his first lap to ultimately finish 14th and lock down his second trip to NCAAs. Ian skied a similarly steady race on a challenging course, moving from 33rd after 5k up to 22nd at the finish, his second personal best of the weekend. The award for biggest breakthrough of the day went to our third scorer, junior Soren Anderson, who started with bib 51 and went on to finish 33rd, his best race to date by a huge margin.

The women’s 15k classic was the last race of the day, and with it came Rachel‘s last chance to defend her position on the EISA ranking list and move on to NCAAs. Defend it she did; she held off a charging Grace Wright (Bates) and skied exactly the race she needed to with a 14th-place finish, and will be back in Lake Placid next week for her NCAA debut. Annie had her best-ever classic race, finishing 21st. Not far behind her was sophomore Maile Sapp, who skied a gutsy race and finished 25th and her best finish of the season.

And with that, we conclude the carnival season. Onward to NCAAs!

Alpine Report

The alpine team visited Whiteface mountain, site of the alpine events of the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. Befitting an Olympic venue, the race hill was challenging both days; steep pitches, lots of terrain, and tough course sets tested the athletes for the NCAA Eastern Regional Championships.

Freshman Kelly Steeves posted her best collegiate result to date, with a 21st in Friday’s giant slalom. Sophomore James Stevenson and captain Simon Merryweather also had point-scoring results in 51st and 54th, respectively.

Saturday’s slalom race saw probably the most consistent showing by our alpine team this season. Kelly moved up from a start spot of 54 to finish 32nd, and the men had a 100% finish rate, with freshmen Pieter Weemaes leading the way in 37th from bib 63. Simon punched in another solid result in 42nd, with James just behind in 44th, and junior Dan Rittenhouse skiing a strong race to move from bib 70 to finish the day in 45th.

The team will continue its season with several non-collegiate USSA and FIS races through the end of March; a lack of snow will certainly not be the limiting factor for spring races this year!

Middlebury Carnival Report

The Middlebury Carnival took place this weekend at the Rikert Touring Center and Middlebury Snow Bowl. Harvard Skiing took 10th overall with 244 points, led by senior captain Akeo Maifeld-Carucci‘s sixth place finish in the 10 k skate on Saturday and freshman Kelly Steeves‘ 33rd place in the GS.

Nordic Report

Subzero temperatures and freshly-fallen snow greeted us on day one at Rikert, where the nordic athletes were treated to a three-hour start delay to allow for the temperatures to climb into race-legal territory. Classic racing got underway in the afternoon under bluebird skies and on rock-solid tracks. Akeo Maifeld-Carucci headlined for the Crimson with a 19th-place finish in the men’s 10 k classic. Sophomore Ian Meyer continued his consistency this season with a 38th place, and junior Soren Anderson notched a career-best carnival result in 42nd.

Sophomore Rachel Hampton led the women’s squad in the 10 k classic, placing a solid 25th, with sophomore Maile Sapp in 31st just 1.8 seconds outside the top 30. Junior Annie Harvieux followed in 36th as the Crimson’s third woman.

To contrast Friday’s bright sun Vermont sun, Saturday’s skate race took place in high humidity, cold temperatures and intermittent snow. Akeo skied a well-paced race and was back in the top 10 with a sixth-place finish in the men’s 10 k. Ian and fellow sophomore Devlin Shea were a close 2-3 punch for the Crimson, 0.2 seconds apart in 42nd and 43rd, respectively.

In the women’s 5 k skate, it was Annies turn to lead Harvard. She has been consistently finishing in the top-30 all season and produced another strong result at Rikert in 29th. Rachel wasn’t far behind her in 32nd and senior captain Emily Rogers came through in 46th as our third woman.

With our fifth carnival in the bag, the team is looking forward to a weekend off in preparation for the final race of the regular season, the St. Lawrence Carnival/EISA Regional Championships at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Alpine Report

The alpine team traveled to the Middlebury College Ski Bowl this past weekend, competing on the famed Ross and Allen trails for the slalom and GS portion of the Middlebury Carnival. Cold temperatures were the biggest factor this weekend, dipping below zero both days. With the cold, the snow was very abrasive and quite slow, making the generally slower speeds and exaggerated terrain, hallmarks of the Middlebury races, even more “quirky” than usual.

Friday’s slalom saw two Harvard men punch their tickets to a second run; captain Simon Merryweather led the way with a very solid 43rd from a start spot of 69, with sophomore James Stevenson one spot behind in 44th from bib 73. James has been coming on strong in slalom training lately and was really close to linking it together in the race; with a lot more speed left in the tank, he will be looking to put things together for the upcoming regional championships. Freshmen Kelly Steeves anchored the women’s performance, coming from bib 53 to finish the day in 39th.

In Saturday’s giant slalom, freshmen Pieter Weemaes narrowly missed qualifying for the second run, finishing in 61st. This was a solid performance, especially given a large mistake that cost him nearly a full second just before the finish which would have surely have seen him solidly into the second run.

Kelly gained some valuable experience on a GS hill that can often stymie racers. The course never has more than two or three turns on the same pitch/gradient/terrain, as it is constantly undulating the whole way down. Kelly managed a 33rd on the day; very solid for a first attempt at the Middlebury hill.

The athletes are now looking forward to a solid two weeks of training leading into the regional championships at Whiteface Mountain, N.Y.

Dartmouth Carnival Report

The storied Dartmouth Winter Carnival took place this weekend at the Dartmouth Skiway (Alpine) and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (Nordic). Harvard tied for ninth place overall with St. Michael’s College, led by Akeo Maifeld-Carucci and Devlin Shea on the nordic side, who both had top-20 finishes, and by Kelly Steeves from alpine, who notched two more top-30s.

Nordic Report

At the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, we joined a large SuperTour and NENSA Eastern Cup field for two days of skate racing. We started off on Friday with our first and only sprint of the year. (For those not familiar with the sprint format, sprints consist of an individual start qualifying race over a 1.4 to 1.6km course, followed by elimination heats in groups of 6. Only the top 30 skiers advance from qualifying to the heats.)

Including the professional skiers in the SuperTour field in the sprint this year made advancing from the qualifier quite a challenge, but our skiers made a strong showing among EISA skiers. Sophomore Devlin Shea came within three seconds of moving on to the heats, finishing 19th in the college field to lead Harvard and tally his first top-20 college finish. Senior captain Akeo Maifeld-Carucci was close behind in 21st among EISA skiers, and freshman Haakon Sigurslid took 37th. In the women’s sprint, junior Annie Harvieux led the Crimson in 23rd of the college field, the best sprint race of her career, sophomore Maile Sapp took 31st and junior Hanna Barnes finished 41st.

On Saturday, the 10 k skate was held on the very same 5 k loop that we spend hours training on during our Thanksgiving and January camps. Akeo, recovering from recent illness, led the team in 18th. Sophomore Ian Meyer continued his steady improvement since his return from rowing and finished 38th, while freshman Connor Green had strong race in 41st.

In the women’s 10 k, sophomore Rachel Hampton, whom we rested for the sprint, led the Crimson in 24th. Annie had another strong skate race in 33rd, and Hanna skied to a new skate personal best in 35th.

Alpine Report

The Harvard Alpine team took to the fabled trails of the Dartmouth Skiway this weekend. Unfortunately, the team was thinned by injury and illness this week and only a few athletes were ready for competition by Friday. Freshman Kelly Steeves anchored the team, finishing 30th in giant slalom, and 29th in the slalom. Captain Samantha Udolf made a great move from a start position of 71 to finish 44th in the slalom to add to the team’s point total.

On the men’s side, the racing continued at the same blistering pace it has all season, with Robby Kelly, fresh off the World Cup, smashing the competition again this weekend. The men truly have a tall task in front of them in trying to stay within striking distance of one of the best skiers in the world and shooting to qualify for a second run. Freshmen Pieter Weemaes narrowly missed making the second run in the giant slalom and slalom, while James Stevenson and Dan Rittenhouse both had moments of brilliance in the first run of the slalom, just missing out on second run qualification.

With the team’s health rounding into form over the last few days, we are looking forward to the upcoming Middlebury Carnival this weekend!

St. Michael’s Carnival Report

With our third weekend of racing now in the books, we’re halfway through the regular season. Harvard Skiing headed back to Vermont this weekend for the St. Michael’s Carnival at Sleepy Hollow and Smuggler’s Notch, where the Crimson finished 10th as a team and we saw several personal-best performances from individual skiers. Nordic captain Akeo Maifeld-Carucci led the team with a ninth-place finish in the 10 k classic and freshman Kelly Steeves had her best race of the year with a 20th in the women’s Giant Slalom.

Nordic Report

Akeo Maifeld-Carucci hammers the 10 k classic. Photo: Silke Hynes/EISA.

The nordic squad raced in Huntington, Vermont, for two days of classic racing at Sleepy Hollow. The course there is an old-school unhomologated 5 k loop, an unusual characteristic for college races these days. Akeo led the way for the Crimson once again with a solid ninth place in the individual start 10 k classic, consistent with his classic results all season and only eight seconds from the top five. Freshman Connor Green was our second scorer in 42nd and sophomore Ian Meyer made a marked improvement over his classic race last weekend to take 47th.

In the women’s 5 k classic, Rachel Hampton continued her strong sophomore campaign with a 13th place, just 10 seconds out of 10th. In her best race of the season thus far, Maile Sapp finished 32nd as our second woman. Five seconds behind her, junior Hanna Barnes also had a personal-best day in 34th.

On the second day of racing the EISA competed in an exciting 4 x 3k mixed relay, in which each school fielded three teams of two men and two women. There was more movement in this relay format than in a men’s- or women’s-only event, which kept things interesting throughout the race. Maile, Akeo, Rachel and sophomore Devlin Shea fought hard and finished 13th to lead the Crimson. Rachel in particular skied a great split, moving past four teams on the third leg to move us into 11th. Junior Annie Harvieux, Connor, Hanna and Ian also raced well in 19th, and Hanna skied an incredible third leg with the 11th-fastest women’s split of the entire day.

Alpine Report

The alpine squad headed to Smuggler’s Notch this weekend. Much like Sleep Hollow, the mountain is an old-school New England race hill that twists and turns and has some real serious pitch to it. It rewards good technical, tactical, aggressive skiing, and will send you for a ride if you aren’t on top of your game!

Friday was a very snowy, windy day that proved a challenge, with conditions varying from very soft in places to glare ice in others. The inconsistent conditions proved challenging for everyone, but freshmen Kelly Steeves was again the model of consistency, finishing the day in 20th place. Senior captain Simon Merryweather made a big move up in the first run, just missing the second run qualification by one spot.

Saturday’s slalom race was marked by single-digit temperatures and plenty of frostbite to go around for everyone. The team had one of its best days, showing some remarkable consistency and fight in the most challenging conditions we’ve seen all season. Simon made a huge move up from a start spot of 75 to finish 28th on the day, Dan Rittenhouse moved from a start of 87 to finish in 34th, and James Stevenson moving from a start of 79 to finish in 35th. The men’s team really were outstanding under very difficult conditions!

Kelly led the women in the slalom, starting 61st but finishing 28th, with captain Samantha Udolf punching into 31st place from a start spot of 75. Look for the team to try to capitalize on its recent success at the upcoming Dartmouth Carnival this weekend!

Full Results

UVM Carnival Report

Harvard Skiing was in Stowe, Vt., this weekend for the UVM Carnival, where the Crimson placed ninth overall and produced several individual personal bests. Senior captain Akeo Maifeld-Carucci led the way once more for the team with two top-10s, a fourth place in the 10 k skate and an eighth place in the 15 k classic. Read on for the nordic and alpine reports.

Nordic Report

Akeo in the 10k skate. Photo: Silke Hynes/EISA.

The course at the Trapps Family Lodge is always one of our favorites; the homologated 5k loop includes several wide, swooping downhills out of the start, perfectly banked s-turns through the woods, and a long, gradual climb to the finish that keeps racers fighting all the way to the line.

Akeo kicked things off on Friday with another impressive 10 k skate. With the exception of current EISA leader Paddy Caldwell (Dartmouth), the talented men’s field finished extremely close together in the individual-start event. Akeo paced things well and sat in fourth after the first lap, within a second of about five other skiers all fighting for second place. He ended up in fourth, only 0.2 seconds out of third. In the Crimson’s second scoring position, freshman Connor Green had another strong race in 46th to continue his strong debut season with us. Just 0.2 seconds behind him was sophomore Devlin Shea in 47th.

In the women’s 5 k skate, sophomore Rachel Hampton continued to impress with a 13th place finish to lead the Crimson, a seven-place improvement over her skate race last weekend and just 13th seconds away from the top 10. Junior Annie Harvieux skied a smart race and landed in 22nd, starting at a steady pace and skiing up through the ranks in the second half of the race. Junior Hanna Barnes finished a strong 56th as Harvard’s third woman.

On Saturday, we competed in our second mass start classic race of the season. In the men’s 15k, Akeo started off skiing comfortably in the lead pack and finished a solid eighth place. With two race weekends now under our belt, he sits in third on the EISA men’s NCAA qualifying list. Connor had another good classic race, finishing 44th, and Devlin followed up in 49th, 23 places better than his classic race at Bates last weekend.

Rachel skiing strong in the 5 k skate. Photo: Silke Hynes/EISA.

On the women’s side, Rachel skied a gutsy 10 k classic right out of the gate. She got off to a blazing start and skied with the lead collegiate pack through the first lap, sitting comfortably in sixth. She slipped a few places in the final kilometers, but still fought hard to the line to end up in 11th place, a new personal best and only one second outside the top 10. Hanna skied a great race and finished 44th, and sophomore Maile Sapp was Harvard’s third finisher in 60th.

Alpine Report

Harvard’s alpine team took to the famed trails of Stowe, Vermont, where conditions were firm, to say the least. We experienced bullet-proof ice on a hill that is steep, with lots of terrain; it was always going to be a battle of attrition!

In Friday’s GS race the hill and conditions took its toll on the team, with a number of DNFs on the first run, and one spectacular crash by hard-charging captain, Samantha Udolf (she’s OK, though!). Kelly Steeves led the way for the Crimson for the second straight week, skiing to 23rd place on the day for her best collegiate result so far.

In Saturday’s slalom race, Kelly again anchored the team’s results with a solid 27th, from a start position of 63. On the men’s side, we had three athletes qualify for a second run in the slalom; Dan Rittenhouse led the way in 38th place after the first run, with Jack Stobierski and Pieter Weemaes just behind. Dan skied an aggressive second run but crashed out in a very tricky section of the course that claimed a number of the top skiers. Jack punched in with a strong 30th place from a start position of 88, with Pieter a few spots behind in 36th. The men were on the verge of having three solid finishers, which, given the difficulty of the day, could have easily led to the men’s best team result in recent history. Needless to say, they are all motivated to give it another go this coming weekend at the St Michael’s Carnival at Smuggler’s Notch!

Links: Results | NCAA Rankings