Alpine Squads Begin Ski SeasonBy Jonathan S. Shefftz
The alpine squads of the ski team started off their competitive season last Sunday with a slalom race at Mt. Sunapee in southern New Hampshire. In a ski season thus far characterized by warmth, wetness, and lack of snow, Mt. Sunapee did not disappoint.
Fortunately, any heavy rain held off until the end of the day, and the ski area did manage to conjure up enough snow for the race course. The warm weather resulted in some soft snow.
Fellow collegiate conference member Boston College was also in attendance in addition to schools from other conferences, like Dartmouth College and Colby-Sawyer College.
Co-Captain Geoff Johnson '97 turned in a solid first run but had to discontinue his second run because of a premature binding release.
Co-Captain Nate Kushman '98, despite some excellent high-speed training runs on Thursday and Friday, unfortunately had to sit out this race to nurse a temporarily injured knee.
Mike Protz '97, after a first run best characterized as rough yet tenacious, skied well through almost all of the second run, only to crash hard near the bottom (yet still admirably manage to finish). Dan Zelazo '99, debuting in his first competition, started off carrying some impressive speed on the steeps but leaned in and crashed on his first run.
Top honors for the day went to Jeremy Gerstle '99, who finished the two with two clean runs, all the more impressive in a race marked by a high rate of attrition from both the collegiate and junior competitors. Also appreciated were the helpful efforts of assistant coach (and former captain and four-year letter winner) Ari Gerstle '96.
The team is already training hard, last weekend at nearby Wachusett Mountain, although the limited snow cover is constraining training space.
The team is looking to getting returning veterans back up to speed and sorting through the talent among this year's rookies. Dave Kurd '98, after several-year hiatus from competition, should be giving a strong challenge to the team's veterans as well as to opposing colleges.