Alpine, Nordic teams finish strong at regional races

Alyssa Fairbanks

Credit: Vanderbilt
Credit: Vanderbilt

The Alpine and Nordic Ski teams both raced to an awesome finish last weekend (Feb. 19-21) in their respective West Regional Championship races. The Alpine team competed at the Mt. Rose Ski Resort near Reno, Nevada and the Nordic team competed at the Auburn Ski Club near Truckee, California.

The Alpine team men and women competed in both the slalom and giant slalom races.  

On the first day of racing, the Whitman College women’s team placed 35th with top thirty races by sophomore Liza Allen, and first-years Polly Evans, Torey Anderson and Lexie Drechsel. Allen finished 22nd with a time of 2:13.39 for her first two runs.  

Day two of racing saw Drechsel in 26th for the women’s giant slalom with a two-run time of 2:08.19. Drechsel was closely followed by teammate Anderson who finished 28th with a time of 2:09.24. The second day of racing came to a close with the Whitman women placing 26th in regionals.  

Anderson was extremely hopeful going into the regional competition.

“We’re all really excited going into Regionals. This is our last race of the season and we’re all hoping to end with our best results of the year. We have a really good chance to do well this weekend, because our start positions are moved up quite considerably compared to where we start during our regular races.”

The Whitman College men’s team fared well on the first day of racing with an overall finish of 26th. The second day of races saw an amazing finish for first-year Chris Machesney who placed 28th in the men’s giant slalom races with a time of 2:05.61. Machesney was followed closely by sophomore teammate Tim Bak, 38th with a time of 3:00.46. The Whitman men had a strong overall finish as they placed 25th at regionals.  

In their two day West Regional Championship races, the Nordic Ski Team also had a strong finish and strong individual races.

Going into the final competition of the season, Nordic Coach Calisa Schouweiler expressed her ambitions for the team.

    “It is my hope that the team continues to improve and has their seasons best results here in Truckee,” she said.

The first day featured the Nordic Classic Races: the men’s 10-kilometer and women’s 5-kilometer races. The Whitman Nordic men finished 24th overall. Junior Warren McDermott placed 39th with a time of 32:00.9. First-year Tyler Abery followed McDermott along with juniors Bailey Arend and Jack Strauss who placed in spots 40 through 42.

Day two saw the men placing 24th overall in the 15K freestyle race. Again, McDermott led the way with a 36th place placement and a time of 40:35.5. Straus and Arend followed McDermott placing 37th and 38th respectively.

McDermott cited one of the advantages to competing into the spring.

“We started the season in -20 degree weather in anchorage and are finishing the season in 50 degree weather. That’s a 70 degree difference: pretty sweet,” he said.

Similarly, the Nordic women placed 25th after the first day of racing. Sophomore Eloise Zimbelman placed 38th with a time of 18:01.3. Other Whitman placers included senior Lindsay Records, sophomore Paige Devlin and first-years Angela Raso and Kira Peterson.  

The Nordic women finished 25th in their 10K freestyle race. Zimbelman was Whitman’s top finisher at regionals with her 25th place finish and time of 32:33.0. Also in the top forty were Devlin, Raso and Peterson.  

 “I was looking forward to regionals because the team had some good finishes last race weekend so I was excited to see how everyone would do this weekend. It is really exciting to have a strong end of the season. Overall, it has been a good weekend and it was nice to have a bit larger team at this race,” Devlin said.

Schouweiler even has hopes of extending the season to national competition.

“After regionals a portion of the team will be racing at USCSA nationals. While there, I hope we can attain podium finishes and be one of the top teams,” she said.