Skiing Preview

By Colin McIntyre

Nordic captains: Stella Holt ’15 & Heather Mooney ’15

Alpine captains: James Clifford ’15 (men) Mary Sackbauer ’15 (women)

The nordic ski teams spent Thanksgiving break at training camp in Quebec. Stella Holt ’15 and Heather Mooney ’15 were the only nordic team members to compete at last year’s national race where they helped the combined teams place 12th. All-American Ben Lustgarten ’14 was unable to race last year and has since graduated, leaving behind a young nordic team. The nordic team competed in a time trial against other schools in the east, and Holt commented, “[Mooney] won the women’s race by 12 seconds over a strong field of UVM and other EISA skiers. After skiing with her for part of the race, I can say she is looking incredibly strong going into this season and that this likely won’t be the last time we see her toward the top of the results this winter.” Kelsey Phinney ’16 finished 6th in that time trial and Holt finished 10th. On the men’s side, Patrick McElravey ’17 and Adam Luban ’17 finished 10th and 12th in the time trial.

The alpine team spent their Thanksgiving vacation in Colorado — “one of the most successful and fun camps that Middlebury has ever had,” according to captain Mary Sackbauer ’15. The Panthers return key racers in Yina Moe-Lange ’15, the lone Panther woman at nationals last year; Christopher McKenna ’17, who competed on the men’s side at nationals, and Rob Cone ’17, who has spent the last few years with the U.S. team. The men’s team graduated Hig Roberts ’14 and Nick Bailey ’14, also national racers, but looks to come back to the success they have had in recent years. Last year marked the end of a two-year winning streak in men’s slalom. The teams start the eastern carnival circuit on Jan. 16 with the Bates carnival. 

“We have serious potential to be a major threat on the circuit and hopefully win a carnival,” Sackbauer said. 

The season includes the Middlebury carnival on Feb. 13, the EISA championships the following weekend at St. Lawrence, and the NCAA champions in Lake Placid.