Team dynamic to drive or hinder ski team’s season


In pursuit of their seventh straight Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association title, UVM skiing prepares for a new season.

The Catamounts open the season at the St. Lawrence Carnival in the Adirondack Mountains of New York Jan. 20. The nordic team will race at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, while the alpine team races at Whiteface Mountain.

Last season saw great amounts of success for the Catamounts. They finished first or second in every EISA meet they participated in, won their sixth straight (and 36th overall) EISA title, and finished seventh at the national championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Bill Reichelt, alpine coach and director of skiing, said that success this year requires not dwelling on the past.

“We put it behind us and move on,” Reichelt said.

This winter has seen an increase in the amount of natural snowfall, something that affects races, he said.

“More natural snow actually makes it more of a challenge to get a good racing surface,” Reichelt said. “But Stowe Mountain Resort and the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club do an amazing job preparing our race hill.”

According to nordic team coach Patrick Weaver, the increase in snowfall also has a psychological effect on the team.

“When it looks and feels like winter, it helps keeps the morale high,” Weaver said. “We are winter outdoor athletes, so when there is natural snow on the ground, this is a good thing.”

With a number of newcomers to the nordic program, Weaver wants to keep expectations low heading into the first race of the year, he said.

“With eight new skiers on the team, we are not putting too many expectations on the first races,” Weaver said.

The team should be ready for the first carnival, Reichelt said.

Reichelt singled out alpine skiers first-year Paula Moltzan, senior William St-Germain and junior Sandy Vietze as having had large amounts of success in pre-season training.

According to Reichelt, Moltzan could have a terrific first season at UVM.

“You will be hearing Paula’s name a lot this year,” he said. “Paula will be a force this year, no doubt.”

Weaver said that the team dynamic will be key to the nordic team’s success.

“The entire team is important,” he said. “Without the support from the entire team, the top results would not be there.”

The Cats will participate in five carnivals prior to the EISA championships, which take place in Newry, Maine, Feb. 24 and 25 and are hosted by Bates College. UVM hosts a carnival Feb. 3 and 4 at Stowe Mountain and Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.