WATERVILLE, Maine - After the opening day of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) season was pushed back one day due to inclement conditions on Saturday, the Saint Michael's College Nordic skiing team kicked off its 2018 campaign at the Colby College Carnival at Quarry Road Recreation Area on Sunday.
With the Nordic portion of the event abbreviated to one day, the Purple Knights are 13th among 13 schools with 52 points, just six short of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The Alpine portion of the carnival, which will determine colleges' final placements, will be contested next Saturday and Sunday.
First-year Ale Legate (Anchorage, Alaska/West Anchorage) led the women by placing 47th in the 5K classic at 17:37.3, registering a historic finish in the process. Her placement was the best by a Purple Knight female first-year since current senior Emma Barnes (Amherst, Wis./Amherst) twice cracked the top 45 in 2015, but it's believed to be the best showing in a college debut since a trio of women were in the top 47 during the 15K classic on Jan. 23, 1999: Kiersten Lippmann '02 (16), Megan Morrisey '02 (45) and Sarah Coombs '02 (47).
Barnes was the second Saint Michael's finisher on Sunday, nabbing 66th at 18:30.4, while sophomore Aimee Sala (Carrabassett Valley, Maine/Kents Hill School) was 81st. The women scored 12th-place points but came within six of 11th-place Université Laval. On the men's side, first-year Alex Warner (East Montpelier, Vt./U-32) placed 90th in the 10K classic in a time of 34:00.6, followed by sophomores Mitch McDonald (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) and Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) at 92nd and 93rd, respectively.
Nordic skiing hosts its second Saint Michael's Carnival in four years next Saturday and Sunday at Sleepy Hollow Ski and Bike Center in Huntington. Events kick off both days at 9 a.m.