Almost a year after losing its varsity status, the alpine ski team has completed its first season as a club sport. Its six members did their best to live and train like nothing had changed; the season went according to plan and everyone is ready to work toward improving next winter.
There are many reasons IAP Training Camp the best time of the year for MIT skiers. The athletes ski six days a week. They must be in top shape to taking full advantage of every moment available to be on snow and running courses. In addition, training includes personal stopwatches, which allow both precise comparison between a series of one individual’s runs, and friendly competition between teammates. During competition, the team also has the opportunity to race among the top collegiate skiers in the country.
A special highlight of this season was racing against one athlete who was preparing for the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver this year. Dow Travers of Brown University is the first-ever representative of the Cayman Islands in the Winter Olympics. He will be skiing in the men’s giant slalom event at Whistler next week.
Closer to home, the MIT team members each finished with their own personal achievements. Michael J. Yurkerwich ’11 led the men’s team this season and was second in the individual qualification for the regional championships for the second year in a row. The team is confident that he will win a trip to regionals next season. Jason D. Pier ’13 made a powerful first impression in the division by repeatedly finishing in the top 30 as a freshman. Ian C. Wolfe ’10, men’s captain, had to miss half of the team’s races this season but nonetheless played a huge role in getting the club team off the ground while also racing to some of his personal best finishes.
This was the first competitive season for Kevin A. Rustagi ’11. Spectator for two years, he showed the greatest improvement of anybody on the hill. Jillian R. Reddy ’11, the women’s captain, found in herself a more aggressive skier this year while also managing club responsibilities. Sarah J. Laderman ’12 took the slogan “Hundies matter” to heart and started closing in on Reddy in giant slalom events.
Coaching the team through this transition season were alumni volunteers Benjamin A. Stewart ’07, James K. Backman ’09, Jessica R. Stanley ’08, and Gerald D. Adler ’07. They were also guided by Coach Todd O. Dumond ’01 and the coaches of the McConnell Division schools.
Looking ahead to next season, the Alpine Ski Team hopes to continue to compete at the level they’ve maintained, and to introduce the life of skiing to many more members of the team.