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Ski team moves on to championships

By Becky Dumas

The MIT men's ski team, defending NCAA Division II champions, won last weekend's meet hosted by Skidmore College at West Mountain, NY, for the alpine event and the Putney, VT, for the nordic. The team did this without top nordic racer Steven K. Bull '90 in the individual race. Bull raced Saturday at the Dartmouth Carnival placing 12th among Division I skiers to qualify for the Nationals in classical cross-country.

Despite Bull's absence, the combined alpine and nordic teams destroyed their competition. MIT scored 255 points compared to Colby's 214, St. Michael's College's 202, Bowdoin's 192, Harvard's 164, and Johnson State's 152.

The trail to victory began on Friday on the strength of Paul M. Zackin '90's first and Gregg K. Motonaga '92's third place finish in the slalom. Alexis P. Photiades '91 was MIT's third top finisher with a 15th place. Scoring only included the top three finishers per school, yet Peter O. Rexer '91 and Jason C. DeSantis '91 skied solidly, finishing 19th and 20th, respectively, out of a field of 60.

In the men's cross-country individual 15K loop, Terry C. Totemeier '91 placed 6th, Douglas P. Rodger '93 14th, and Andrew F. Parsons '91 18th. MIT won the cross-country 10K relay the next day with Bull returning to ski the fastest relay leg.

Back in New York, giant-slalom specialist Motonaga skied two sizzling runs. He was the fastest skier on both the first GS course and the more open second course. Motonaga's win was followed up by an 8th place for Zackin and a 17th place for Photiades.

The women's team did not fare as well as their male counterparts. With nordic captain Heidi Gibson '92 out with a knee injury, MIT could not field a three-member relay team. However, in the 10K individual race Kathleen A. Bergeron '93 finished a strong 7th and Wendy J. Rowell '91, in her first racing season, finished 18th.

The alpine racers have had problems skiing two slalom runs cleanly. Since scoring combines the time of two different runs for an overall finish, each racer has to ski two courses error-free for a good finish.

Rebecca L. Dumas '90 was in good position after the first run (19th), but fell on her second run. Wendy E. Krause '93, after a first run mishap finished 17th in the second run to move up to 21st overall. Cynthia G. Madras '91 and Betty Chang '91 both finished in the top 30. In the giant slalom, Krause was the top MIT racer, finishing 16th overall.

The ski team will defend its 1989 Division II title this Friday and Saturday at Mount Snow (alpine) and Putney, VT (nordic). This year, under a new format, the champion will be determined by combining scores from all four categories --men's and women's, alpine and nordic events.

(Becky Dumas '90 is captain of the women's alpine ski team)