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MIT Skiiers Win Two Regional Titles

By Dave Michael
head coach

Jeffrey Doering '99 screamed to a first place finish in the men's regional freestyle ski championships Sunday. Lynn Cornell '96 skied aggressively to finish second in the women's freestyle race.

Two days of racing at Lapland Lake, N.Y. - part of the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association's Mideast Conference Championships - included 15-km men's and 7.5-km women's classical races, and 10-km men's and 5-kilometer women's freestyle races.

Overall, the men's team placed second behind Cornell University in Saturday's classical race. Strong finishes by Doering, captain Christian Lund G, and Jiri Schindler '96 secured the men's finish. Cornell's Ben Young won the classical race with a time of 49:04. Doering finished third with 51:30, and Lund fifth with 52:52. Schindler broke the top 20 for the first time, finishing 17th in 1:03:58.

"I think it went pretty well; I felt strong going uphill," said Lund.

On Saturday, the women's team placed third overall following Cornell and the U.S. Military Academy. MIT skier Cornell finished in fifth place, Adrienne Slaughter '98 took 10th, and Erin Lavik G 14th.

The snow conditions were more difficult on Sunday. With a delayed race start, the sun warmed the snow into a slushy race course. Also, the wave-style starts made these races competitive. Typically, the skiers start at intervals of 30 seconds. But this weekend, eight to 12 skiers started at one time, allowing them to compete with each other directly.

"I really liked the wave starts because it allowed me to judge my competition's response to the difficult trail conditions," said Doering. "Otherwise, I might have gotten frustrated with my own skiing. Instead, I just skied to beat the competition."

The women's team also skied into third place overall on Sunday in the freestyle race, behind Cornell University and USMA. MIT skier Cornell finished second, and Slaughter and Lavik also scored for MIT.

"It is challenging to ski against such a gifted team as Cornell," said MIT skier Cornell. "But the racers give us incentive to work harder."

The men's team took fourth place overall Sunday. After Doering's first place finish, Lund came in ninth, and Jeff Breidenbach '96 took 26th place. Schindler rounded out the team, placing 34th.

This week the Nordic ski team will compete in the USCSA Nationals, to be held at Mount Snow, Vt. The races will include men's and women's classical races Wednesday, freestyle races Friday, and a 3x5-km relay race Saturday.