Look out on the slopes

The team finished second in every Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnival in the 2006-2007 season, behind the national champions, Dartmouth.The Cats have a strong outlook going into the 2007-2008 season, returning a solid group of both alpine and Nordic skiers.”With a healthy mixture of under and upperclassmen we look for this year’s team to pick up where they left off in the [2006-2007] EISA carnival season,” director of skiing Bill Reichelt said.Seniors Greg Hardy and Zac Brown and reigning EISA Alpine Male Rookie of the Year, sophomore Erik Gilbert, lead the men’s alpine team. Hardy, one of the team’s most consistent performers, secured a top-three finish in five out of six carnivals last year.Brown finished eighth at the NCAA championships in the alpine slalom event. The NCAA All-American in 2007 earned seven top 10 finishes last season.On the women’s side, the alpine team returns their three strongest skiers: senior Ashley Spina and sophomores Kate Bragg and Kara Crow, a First Team All-East notable in her freshman season.Each carnival consists of four events, two alpine races, slalom and giant slalom, and two Nordic races, cross-country skiing of differing distances.The men’s Nordic team is returning all but one skier and is being led by First-Team All-East juniors Anders Folleras and Juergen Uhl.The women’s Nordic team will have some big shoes to fill, losing their top two skiers from last year to graduation.The UVM ski team is distinguished as having a top five finish in the nation every year since 1999.UVM’s five-time national championship program has not grabbed the title since 1994.The team is faced with high expectations as they open the season on Jan. 11, 2008 in the Bates Carnival at Sunday River in Bethel, Maine.