Winter is here and the Dartmouth Ski Team is on the road in Silver Star, BC and Summit County, CO for preseason training camp.
It was a big rush for everyone to finish their fall term projects, papers, and exams before zipping home for Thanksgiving before camp started. The alpine team flew directly out to Colorado on Friday after the holiday while the cross country team took a slightly more leisurely approach, waiting until after the weekend before traveling to British Columbia.
Since our arrival, bitter cold weather has descended upon on the west with some of the coldest air in three years. Temperatures have been below zero every morning with highs only in the single digits. The front end of the cold snap brought about a foot of light powder snow, which has been a visual blessing as we start the winter season. Let’s hope the same good fortune falls on Hanover soon!
Both teams got a jump start on this year’s competition season with the first races this past weekend. The alpine team met up with some of their western rivals in a set of open FIS-U races at Loveland. In addition to collegiate athletes, the fields were also stacked with U.S. Ski Team members, top juniors and independents, and many foreign athletes, all of whom have been training in Colorado for the last six weeks. Given that our team has only had 10 days of training so far, it was a challenging environment in which to score big results. However, our focus was to approach the races as an opportunity to work on executing good skiing, and to fine-tune our race-day routines before next week’s Nor-Ams at Vail. For the men’s team, Hunter Black ’15 led the way with a 13th place in the Slalom and First-Year Thomas Woolson moved up from bib 39 to finish 21st. In the GS, Sam Macomber ’16 was the best for the Big Green in 33rd. For its part, the women’s team had a challenging day in the Slalom. Sara Kikut ’16 led the team in 7th place, but the whole group struggled to ski cleanly all the way to the finish line. The GS was a different story with a number of bright spots, chief among which was First-Year Meg Currie’s move from bib 28 to lead the team in finishing 5th overall.
To the Northwest, the nordic team is tucked away in Silver Star, BC, Canada skiing in a winter wonderland. Early season NorAm racing over the weekend featured Women’s 10 km and Men’s 15 km Freestyle events followed by Classical Sprint events the next day. These events were important qualifying races for a full contingent of Canadian racers, so the fields were highly competitive. As the Dartmouth Team jumped in for early season preparations, Patrick Caldwell led the men’s team with a pair of 2nd place Junior Men’s performances. Annie Hart paced the women’s team with 10th and 12th place finishes in the Senior Women’s events. Emily Hannah earned a 6th place performance in the Junior Women’s 10 km Classic and Oscar Friedman posted an 8th place in the Junior Men’s Sprint.
After an exciting weekend of preseason racing, things have now returned to normal and the teams are back to a typical training routine. Next up are Nor-Ams for the alpine team and Eastern Cups for the nordic team before everyone heads home for a holiday break.