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In its first season as a club sport, MIT’s Alpine Ski Team is already back to business [almost] as usual. The team lives in New Hampshire during IAP, training four days a week and racing two days a week in a season of ten intercollegiate carnivals comprising five giant slalom and five slalom races. While the division scores 3 women and 5 men, MIT has fielded 2 women and 4 men and so receives a penalty in their team results for every race. Despite the difficult team circumstances, every individual member has already made personal improvements since the 2009 season.

Last Friday and Saturday, the team raced two giant slalom events at Mount Sunapee with the Women finishing 10th and the Men finishing 9th in their division. Women’s captain Jillian R. Reddy ’11 earned her spot in the first seed for the women, and as the first MIT skier down the racecourse she was an important leader for the rest of her teammates. She finished 63 on Friday. Behind her, sophomore Sarah J. Laderman ’12 finished 65, and simultaneously beat her personal best USSA point total for all of last season. The duo finished 59 and 61 on Saturday.

It was an equally eventful weekend for the Men’s team. Jason D. Pier ’13 started things off finishing 32 on Friday, then ended up with a top-25 individual finish on Saturday — an important achievement for post-season qualification. Michael J. Yurkerwich ’11 was the Men’s second finisher on Friday (36), but earned a DNF in his first run on Saturday. Next, the Men’s team captain Ian C. Wolfe ’10 clocked in consistent finishes: 46 on Friday improving to 43 on Saturday. First-time racer Kevin A. Rustagi ’11 rounded out the field on both Friday and Saturday finishing 65 then 55. His Saturday results beat his Friday performance by the equivalent of nine seconds per run, a huge improvement.

Next week the team will compete in two slalom races at Cranmore.