Ski team captures division crown

From the start of the season, Spartan coach Chris Eder’s goal was to claim another McBrine Division title.After dominating the competition this past weekend, Castleton answered its coach’s prayers and repeated as division champions.

The Spartans opened up strong in the slalom race at Pico Ski Resort, sweeping the women’s podium and boasting six of the top ten skiers to win the team competition.

Senior Nicole Kondziela won her fifth race with a time of 1:28.98, followed by runnerup Lindsey Wilken and third-place finisher Brenna Nolan. Freshman Heather Patterson finished in fourth place, Emma Harvey took sixth and Colleen Pruss rounded them out in eighth.

The men had similar results in slalom and also won the team competition, defeating Wesleyan University by 42.5 seconds.

Sophomore Justin Schwartz led the pack in third place with a time of 1:20.20, Greg Towle came in fourth, and Tom D’Errico and Corey Gray finished in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Castleton also had top-ten performances from Tim Rogers in eighth place and Ryan Dunleavy in ninth.

In the giant slalom, Castleton once again swept the team competitions while having a pair of first-place finishers.

Patterson won her first women’s race with a time of 1:25.59, barely beating out runnerup Nolan. Wilken took the bronze, Kondziela finished in fourth place, and Harvey and Pruss claimed sixth and seventh, respectively.

On the men’s side, Towle also won his first race, finishing with a time of 1:16.77. Evan Vomacka claimed the final spot on the podium with a third-place performance.

The Spartans had five more top-ten finishers: Schwartz took fourth, Dunleavy finished in fifth, junior captain Gray came in sixth, D’Errico finished seventh and Bobby Dreissig pounded out ninth.

With the McBrine championship in their pockets, the Spartans will compete in the Eastern Regional Championships at Waterville Valley, NH on Feb. 24 and 25.

While the team’s performance won them another title, Eder enjoys hearing compliments about the way his team meshes together, especially from other coaches and racers.

“I am very happy with the way they work together and help each other out,” he said. “I’ve been proud of our results and accomplishments, but I am just as proud of the way our team handles themselves during practices and races.

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