On Sunday, January 13th, many of Berkshire School’s USSA racers compete in a slalom race—for U21’s, U18’s, and the so-called “automatic U’16s,” who are invited to participate with older athletes—at Bousquet Ski Area, just outside of Pittsfield, MA. Dense fog combined with unseasonably warm temperatures to produce very challenging conditions for everyone, and yet the Berkshire Bears turned in respectable results.
Our girls were particularly strong. IV-former Elise Chauvel ‘15 proved unbeatable, finishing first among the U16’s and in 9th place overall, besting many older racers. Right behind her was Eliza Stitcher ’16, who earned not only second place in the U16’s but also the 13th best time overall. Then came Krissy Govertsen ’15, followed by Julia Slyer ’14, who had to hike on her first attempt but turned in a strong second run to finish in 39th place. Emily Barclay ’15 rounded out the girls’ side, starting each run with strength and confidence but ultimately falling victim to the tricky conditions and placing 49th.
The boys, too, had to figure out how to square their typically aggressive style with the need to ski carefully in the limited visibility and on the unpredictable surface. Nate MacKenzie ’14 seemed to have mastered the course on his first run, turning in the fifth best time, but, unfortunately, he disqualified on the second. George Frick ’14 did the opposite, hiking on the first run but nailing the second, to finish in 26th place. Nate and George were followed by Bryce Schuler ’15 in 30th overall, and Ian Rasmussen ’14, who unfortunately was not able to finish on his first run. In order to place these results in perspective, the coaches note that 60 boys skiing on Sunday, only 34 of them managed to finish both runs—thus, it was a tough day for everyone.
Eastern skiing is infamous for such unforgiving conditions. But we believe our races get stronger and stronger as a result. Go Bears!