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MIT Nordic Ski Team Finishes Season in Vermont

By Karl McLetchie

Last weekend the MIT Nordic Ski Team wrapped up a highly successful regular season at the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association Regional meet, held at Prospect Mt. Vermont.

The racing began early Saturday morning with the men’s 10K freestyle race. The race started as a frantic mass start, but the MIT men managed to get out in front of the pack without any pile-ups. Scoring for MIT; Sam Coradetti ’02 took 1st place by a large margin, Derek Southwell ’01 skated into 4th, and Jim Berry ’99 finished closely behind in 6th place. Tim Garnett ’02, Jeff Doering ’99, Andrew Grimm '99, and Karl McLetchie ’02 also finished strongly, and helped MIT's score by displacing the other team's finishers.

The women’s 10K freestyle race followed immediately after the men's race. In a close race, MIT’s Jessica Kleiss ’00 took 2nd place to her long time Clarkson rival, Katie Johnson, and Teresa Hung ’02 finished closely behind them in 7th place.

Competition continued the next morning with the men’s and women’s 10k classic races. The knowledgeable Nordic coaches Bill Holland and Jessie Donavan, with help from adviser Pete Schneider, chose the perfect kick-wax, and the team had another successful day. In the men’s race Sam Coradetti double poled into 2nd, Jim Berry took 4th, and Tim Garnett finished in 10th place. After the scores were tallied up for the race MIT had tied Clarkson for first place, 16 to 16. To break this tie officials added up the combined times for the day. Clarkson wound up edging out MIT for the win by a mere 8 seconds. What made this scant deficit especially galling was the fact that all of it and more would have been erased had it not been for a fluke spread-eagle taken by Jim Berry just yards from the finish line. Thanks to a heftier margin of victory in Saturday’s skate race, however, the MIT men still managed to prevail in the overall standings for the weekend.

For the women’s classical race, Jessica Kleiss powered her way into 4th and Teresa Hung glided into 8th place. Unfortunately no third racer was present to form an official woman’s team this season, but Kleiss and Hung succeeded as individual skiers. Hopefully next year, with some new female recruits, they will be able to represent MIT as part of a full woman’s team.

This weekend of races rounded out a very successful season for the entire team. When scores from all of the previous races were combined with last weekend’s results, the team emerged the 1999 league champions. Nordic head coach Bill Holland attributes the team's success to “a strong work ethic, great team camaraderie, and the arrival of three very accomplished freshmen: Sam Coradetti, Tim Garnett, and Teresa Hung.”

On March 8, four men and two women from MIT will travel to the USCSA Nationals in Mammoth, California, where they stand a good chance of winning the national championship.