CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard nordic ski team leads the charge into the 2018 season with the Colby Carnival from Saturday, Jan. 13 to Sunday, Jan. 14. The cross-country ski races will take place at the Quarry Road Recreation Area beginning at 10 a.m. The Crimson alpine ski unit will compete in the Colby Carnival at Sugarloaf Mountain, Carrabassett Valley, Maine, next weekend.
Harvard is flush with experienced skiers this season. Returning on the women's side are Nina Armstrong, Charlotte Cole, Clara Cousins, Hannah Hardenbergh, Lily Koffman, and Tegan Thorley. The men retain Mackinley FitzPatrick, Connor Green, Jacob Meyerson, William Rhatigan, and Haakon Sigurslid. Freshmen Isabel Cole and Christopher O'Brien will make their debut for Harvard this weekend. The squad recently completed a training camp in Craftsbury, Vt.
The competition will feature many NCAA Championship participants. Headlining the women's side is All-American Alayna Sonnesyn. Sonnesyn took second in the 15K freestyle race (29:42.7) and third in the 5K classical race (15:15.3) at the 2017 NCAA Championships. The men's side returns five of the top-20 finishers in the 10K classic and four of the top-20 competitors in 20K freestyle from the NCAA title races.
Both the Individual Start Classic on Saturday and Freestyle Mass Start on Sunday will be contested on a 5.1-kilometer loop including the North and South Koons Trail (course map link). The course features two major up-hills and four shorter climbs, with a total climb of 180 meters. The trail is at its highest (91 meters) near the three-kilometer marker and at its lowest (30 meters) when departing/approaching the start/finish line. The maximum climb is 49 meters. For more information on the Quarry Road Trails, including current conditions or parking, please visit the organization's website.
Last Time at Colby Carnival
The Crimson last competed at the Colby Carnival in 2016, taking 10th with 306 points. Rachel Hampton led Harvard in the 15K classic mass start (9th – 52:07.0) and along with Annie Harvieux in the nordic team sprint freestyle (15th – 22:04.7). Ian Meyer paced the Crimson men in the 15K classic mass start (35th – 44:55.9). Duo Devlin Shea and Haakon Sigurslid were the men's fastest team sprint entry (19th – 18:21.6).
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U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Harvard junior Nina Armstrong will represent the United States at the Junior World Biathlon Championship for the second consecutive year. The Lake Placid, N.Y., native placed second in both the 7.5-km sprint (28:40.7) and 6-km sprint (24:33) at the U.S. trials in Coleraine, Minn. in December. The event will take place from Feb. 26 through March 4 in Otepaa, Estonia.
Keep the Student in Student-Athlete
Seventeen members of the 2017 program earned U.S. Collegiate Ski Coaches Association (USCSCA) National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team honors. To be recognized, student-athletes must maintain a cumulative 3.5 gpa and have competed in the NCAA Regional. Rachel Hampton '17 was Harvard's Winter Academic All-Ivy Team representative.
Harvard competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA). Other member schools are Bates College, Boston College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Colby-Sawyer College, Dartmouth, University of Maine – Presque Isle, Middlebury College, University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State, St. Lawrence, Saint Michael's, University of Vermont, and Williams College.
Next weekend (Jan. 20-21), the Harvard nordic ski team will compete at the St. Michael's Carnival in Jeffersonville, Vt. The Crimson alpine skiers will head to Sugarloaf Mountain for their portion of the Colby Carnival.