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Monday, Feb 26, 2024

Despite no Middlebury Carnival, the ski team is shining

Jack Christner ’25 competes in the Williams Carnival.
Jack Christner ’25 competes in the Williams Carnival.

With the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) not scheduling Middlebury to host races this year at the Snow Bowl, Middlebury students lost their annual chance to conveniently watch one of Middlebury’s only Division I teams compete.

Traditionally, Middlebury students head to the Middlebury Snow Bowl during Winter Carnival and watch the school’s alpine ski team race. This year, during Middlebury’s 100th Winter Carnival, there were no ski races because the EISA altered its scheduling rules.

But disappointment at scheduling has not stopped the team from excelling on the slopes this year.

“Staying in our own rooms is always a big help when we are on our own hill, plus not being able to take advantage of home hill advantage will always be a setback,” said alpine skier Brad Underhill ’25. “The lack of the carnival has only slightly affected morale, but we have been prepared to take it to other teams on their own hills.”

So far this season, the alpine team’s success has been extraordinary, coming in at least fourth place in every carnival they have competed in. The team’s best performances came at the University of New Hampshire Carnival and the St. Michael’s Carnival; at both events, the team came in second place.

Middlebury’s nordic ski team has likewise posted outstanding results this season and hosted races at the Rikert Outdoor Center this past weekend where they finished in second place. Just like the alpine team, the nordic team placed in at least fourth place at all races this year. Younger nordic racers Logan Moore ’25 and Shea Brams ’26 both stand at the top for freestyle nordic skiing rankings for men and women respectively. They represent just two of the countless younger skiers who have been driving the success of both Middlebury ski teams.

The alpine team’s younger skiers have also dazzled in individual performances this season. Sophia Tozzi ’26 ranks fifth among EISA skiers in the women’s slalom, Axel Bailey ’25 and Underhill place 16th and 18th respectively among EISA skiers in the men’s giant slalom and Alexandra Cossette ’25 is ranked sixth among EISA skiers in the women’s giant slalom. Middlebury alpine skiing continues to dominate, and they have the potential to dominate the EISA for the next few years.

“Our goals for the remainder of the season are to win our final carnival of the year and to qualify a full team to NCAAs,” Underhill said. “We have had a tough year on the men's side, as we have struggled with finishing and putting down clean runs, so we are working towards a strong finish with fast results at our last carnival.”