Doering Wins Cross Country Skiing RaceBy Jeff Breidenbach
MIT skier Jeff Doering '99 glided to his first college victory in the men's 15-kilometer classical race in the Cornell/Syracuse Carnival last weekend. With a time of 48:05, Doering is the first MIT Nordic skier in three years to win a division race.
The cross country ski team traveled to Osceola, New York for the Carnival, which also included Cornell, the United States Military Academy, Clarkson, Syracuse, and Alfred Universities.
Doering started with the first wave of skiers in the 15-second interval start. After taking off from the line, Doering skied alone until the 7.5 kilometer mark, when Cornell skier Steve Halasz from the second wave caught up. Revitalized, Doering pushed forward during the third and final lap, gaining 18 seconds over his Cornell rival - enough to win the race by a scant three second margin.
"During my first lap I wasn't very focused and had trouble maintaining a fast tempo," said Doering. "As a Cornell skier gained on me in the second lap, I concentrated on technique and set a faster tempo that I managed to maintain through the remainder of the race."
Jeff Breidenbach '96 finished in 20th place with a time of 1:03:02 just ahead of teammate Jiri Schindler '96 who came in 21st out of 34 finishers with a time of 1:03:15.
In the women's 10-kilometer classical race, Adrienne Slaughter '98 was the first MIT skier to cross the line, coming in 8th place with a time of 47:09. Lynn Cornell '97 placed 12th with a time of 49:30. Erin Lavik G, in her first-ever varsity ski race, finished in 16th place. Both the MIT men's and women's squads finished third place overall, behind Cornell and Army.
"It was a nice course but could have been groomed better. I was very lucky though because I had perfect wax," commented Slaughter.
Clarkson placed first overall in Sunday's 3x5 kilometer mixed-sex skating race, with a winning time of 41:25. MIT's first relay team came in 5th place, with a time of 45:17. The relay team consisted of Doering, Breidenbach, and Cornell. Doering started the race for MIT with the third fastest leg time of the entire relay. He spent the lap vying with two Cornell skiers, holding third place only 6 seconds behind the leader when the tag was made. Breidenbach reduced that gap to two seconds during the second leg as the first pack of skiers reshuffled. Cornell skied a strong third leg, holding off all but two teams.
Conditions were much faster in Sunday's skate relay. MIT demonstrated good speed, but could definitely use some improvement on the relay tags.
The next Mideastern Conference race will be held this weekend in Mt. Snow, Vermont. Saturday will be a 15k classic for men, and a 10k classic for women. Sunday, there will be a skating race, 10k for men and 7.5k for women. Monday will feature a 3x5k relay.