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Nordic Finishes with Impressive Showing at Bogus Basin Meet

By Derek Southwell

TEAM MEMBER

The MIT Nordic ski team has returned from Boise, Idaho, where it finished one of its most successful seasons in recent memory.

Under first-year head coach Michael Johnson, the team competed in a weeklong series of races held at the Bogus Basin ski resort. Although slushy spring conditions and a high-race altitude made for very difficult skiing, several racers came through with some of their best performances of the year.

After a week of strong races, the men’s team placed fourth overall behind Whitman College, the University of Wyoming, and Clarkson University. Samuel T. Coradetti ’02, Timothy G. Garnett ’02, and Christopher M. Testa ’03 were all honored with All-American finishes in what were some of their best races.

The competition began the morning of Monday, Mar. 5 with a 1.5 kilometer sprint. The skiers had yet to acclimatize to the thin mountain air, but Garnett, Coradetti and Derek G. Southwell ’01 still made it through the first elimination round. However, all were knocked out in the next round.

Southwell, this season’s conference sprint champion, managed to post the second-fastest split of the day. Southwell’s time was good enough for ninth place overall.

In the women’s event, Marissa L. Yates ’03 also made it to the second round before she was eliminated, coming in with a respectable 10th-place finish.

Following a rest day spent training and waxing, the team returned to the trails on Wednesday for the mass-start skate race.

Yates, MIT’s only competitor in the women’s race, skied strongly and smoothly at the start of the 10k event. The high altitude slowly began to take its toll, forcing Yates to drop out at the fifth kilometer.

Noting the warming temperatures and the sloppy conditions, the men knew they were also in for a painful experience.

Southwell led the team through the first few kilometers and found a comfortable pace behind the front pack of racers. Shortly after the first set of climbs, though, he began to fade.

At the fourth kilometer, Testa passed Southwell in pursuit of the front pack. Coradetti and Garnett, both coming off relaxed starts, followed closely behind.

Throughout the following lap, Coradetti continued to pass skiers, making his way up into fifth place by the end of the 15 kilometers.

Testa and Garnett both managed to stay strong and skied to ninth and 10th place finishes, respectively. Meanwhile, Southwell was left gasping for oxygen, falling back into a disappointing 23rd.

MIT takes second after two events

The team returned on Friday ready to improve upon the skate results. The team, led by Coradetti, did exactly that.

Having spent the previous evening alone in front of a romantic fire at the condo, Coradetti was obviously mentally prepared for a tough race. As he entered the hills in the last few kilometers, Coradetti’s incredible double-poling pushed him ahead into an astounding second place.

Garnett also came through with a remarkable finish and took fifth. Testa and Southwell also placed well, taking 11th and 13th, respectively.

In the women’s race, Yates bounced back with a much better day and finished in 11th place.

These strong performances earned MIT second overall in the classic discipline, pushing them into a second-place tie with Clarkson University after two events.

MIT moves to fourth in last event

Saturday brought more sunshine and slushy conditions for the final and deciding event, the three-person relay.

MIT’s team of Southwell, Garnett and Coradetti began the race with Southwell skiing the opening classic leg. After slowly losing ground to the top teams, Southwell tagged off to Garnett in fifth.

Garnett quickly passed one skier, and finished his leg in fourth place.

With the top three teams in front by a sizable margin, Coradetti set off in pursuit. Skiing one of the quicker legs of the day, Coradetti managed to make up some ground on the leaders, but his heroics were not enough to bring the team out of fourth place.

Lacking enough teammates for an official relay, Yates skied on a mixed team, leading it into an impressive second.

The team would like to thank and credit coach Michael Johnson for a successful season.