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Doering's Second Place Finish Leads Cross Country Ski Team

By Jessie Donavan
Team Coach

This weekend the cross country ski team finally showed the Eastern College Athletic Conference their true colors. The team took full advantage of the perfect conditions to end the weekend on top. For the first time, all of the members of the squad were present to compete in the third Eastern College Conference race. This weekend's race resulted in a series of pursuit where the skiers started the second day's race in the order that they finished the first day's race.

Saturday's race began at 9:30 a.m. with the men's 7 kilometer. With the track fast and icy, the waxing conditions called for last minute preparations. Jeff Doering '99 skied a strong race by skiing out with the lead pack from the beginning. He held his position throughout the race and finished third, only seconds behind the leader, Curtis Stevens of Clarkson University. Jim Berry '99 also skied a strong race, sprinting across the finish in a pack of five skiers separated by only five seconds. Rookie Derek Southwell '01, finished his first race of the season in 18th place. Andrew Grimm '01 double poled his way to a strong 21st place. Not far behind was Chris Bruce '98, who skied the entire race with no wax.

On the second day's race, Doering shot out of the start and made up his thirty seconds on the leader within a few kilometers. He battled for first place with West Point's David Dyrenforth for the final kilometers and finished just meters behind, leaving him with the fastest skate time of the day. Berry was able to move up three places. Southwell posted the fifth fasted time for the day which brought him to 15th overall. Grimm and Bruce drew also finished with strong results.

The women's race started at about 10:30 as the temperature warmed up, causing last minute alterations in the waxing. Jessica Kleiss '00 powered her way through the grueling 7 kilometer to a seventh place finish, just under four minutes behind the leader, Katie Johnson, also from Clarkson. Adrienne Slaughter '98 skied the most courageous race of the day as she fought the pain of a recovering broken ankle to cross the finish line in 11th place. Unfortunately, as a result of the pain in her healing ankle, Adrienne was unable to compete in Sunday's pursuit which left Kleiss to pull the team to victory on her own. Kleiss showed her strength in skating and sheer determination by posting the second fastest time of the day, finishing in second place.

The weekend's success has brought the team confidence. The team hopes to continue strengthening in the upcoming weeks and challenge Clarkson University and Cornell College for the Eastern Collegiate title.