The William Smith Ski Team recently finished first out of 12 teams in the US Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA) Mideast Conference Regional Championships, qualifying for a spot in the national championships which will be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., March 10-14. The Hobart team finished in third place out of 12 teams, just missing qualifying for nationals.
William Smith Ski Team Qualifies for National Championships
Individual achievements went to Carly Fischer ’21, who earned first team all-conference honors, and Caraline Gray ’23 who was named to the all-conference second team; Alex Hesketh ’22, of the men’s team earned first team all-conference honors.
“Regionals were pretty amazing because they showed us how good our team comradery is— everyone stayed out cheering for every single one of our members of the ski team,” says Lindsey Crowell ’22. “Qualifying for nationals is amazing and our whole team has skied so well this entire season and especially at regionals which led to this weekend’s results.”
Gray came in first place out of 55 competitors in the individual combined results with 34.60 points. She placed fifth in the giant slalom. Gray clocked her first run at 57.33 and her second at 56.63 for a combined time of 1:55.87. She then placed first out of 43 finishers in the slalom race with a first run time of 1:02.79 and a second run time of 1:01.93 for a combined time of 2:04.72.
Crowell took second in the combined results. She led the way in the giant slalom, claiming fourth place out of 47 finishers. Her first giant slalom run clocked in at 57.33 and her second was 57.61 for a combined time of 1:54.94. She finished second in the slalom with a combined time of 2:06.37.
In the giant slalom, Camila Goclowski ’22 took 13th (1:58.25), while Kaitlynn Sockett ’20 was 19th (2:01.10) and Fischer was 28th (2:06.04). In the slalom, Goclowski finished eighth (2:10.03), and Fischer finished in 11th place (2:11.58). Sockett logged a 20th place finish (2:20.12).
On the men’s side, Hesketh led the team in the combined results, finishing eighth out of 57 competitors with 83.93 points. He placed 11th in the giant slalom after his first run of 58.27 and second of 56.09 gave him a combined time of 1:54.36. Hesketh was the top HWS finisher in the slalom. He registered a first run of 59.72 and a second of 1:02.08 for a combined time of 2:01.80, which put him 10th out of 37 finishers.
“We had a big crowd of students and parents as fans, and we’re always the loudest cheering on our teammates from the finish,” says Hesketh. “After the giant slalom on Saturday, both the men and women were in second place out of 12 teams and were set up well for the slalom on Sunday. After the first run, the women were in first with a sizable lead over second place Cornell. But the men’s team had fallen into third.”
In the giant slalom, Sean King ’22 led HWS taking sixth out of 46 finishers with a combined time of 1:50.81. Eric Bonewald ’21 was next in eighth place (1:51.82). Will Thompson ’21 finished 14th (1:54.92) and John Lloyd ’23 came in 19th place (1:57.34). With the men pushing the limit to try to climb the standings, Hesketh and Samuel Mason ’21 were the only finishers for HWS in the slalom. Mason claimed 12th place with a combined time of 2:05.63.
The men’s team finished just behind second place Colgate. Cornell earned the win on the men’s side. This year only the top two teams earned a spot in the national championships.
There is also still a chance Hesketh could qualify for nationals individually. The league takes one male and one female racer from the teams that did not qualify. Currently, Hesketh is an alternate, so if the racer ahead of him decides not participate he would take his spot for a chance to compete against a handful of former professional world cup ski racers.
The women’s team is excited to continue their season together and represent HWS at the national championships.
“This past weekend was a blast. It was a really great opportunity to spend time with the team,” says Gray. “I have a lot of fun competing with this group of amazing people and making nationals just means that we get to ski together more.”
“I’m really looking forward to spending a whole week together with the team in Lake Placid,” adds Crowell. “Qualifying for nationals is something that is very important to both the team and me, and I cannot wait to go represent HWS and have lots of fun while doing it!”