The start of February marked the beginning of an action-packed month for the nordic ski team. The team, which has already participated in three races this season, will be competing every weekend this month, starting this Saturday in Stowe, Vermont at the University of Vermont Carnival.

The event, which is combined with the TD North Eastern Cup, draws skiers from throughout the Northeast and is expected to provide many challenging and highly competitive races for the Polar Bears.

The team is coming off an encouraging showing in last Sunday's Broomhall Cup, where it finished third out of six schools. Although unable to beat winner Colby and runner-up Bates in the overall standings, the Bowdoin team featured strong finishes by many of its individual members.

Powerhouse Hannah Wright '13 was again the top finisher for the team in fifth place, and received First Team All-State honors.

"Hannah is a great tactical skier, and it was awesome to watch her do so well," said women's captain Elissa Rodman '10.

On the men's side, Scott Longwell '12 came back from a rough start to take sixth place, followed by Spencer Eusden '12, Niko Kubota '10 and Chris Sanville '12 in seventh, eighth and ninth place, respectively. All four of the top-finishing men were awarded Second Team All-State honors. Also, Jessica Caron '13 and Jeff Bush '10 had their best races of the year, finishing 17th and 18th, respectively.

"Overall, I was really happy with the way our team skied," said Coach Nathan Alsobrook. "They've been giving a great effort every week, and they keep getting better, so we're fired up for the rest of the season."

The Bowdoin team has ambitious goals for its future.

Kubota, captain of the men's team, said he is "hoping to see us get three skiers in the top 30 in an EISA carnival race, and place seventh for our team score." He said the upcoming 10-kilometer skate race at UVM is a good opportunity for the team to make this idea a reality.

Rodman showed a similar confidence in the women's team.

"I have to say that this is the strongest team we've had in some time, and it's really exciting," she said. "Right now, I'd really love to see us beat Harvard. When we're skiing well, we're definitely in striking distance. Overall though, I just want to see the girls having fun. The more fun you have, the faster and better you can ski."

Although the Bears' relative youth can at times put the team at a disadvantage, Alsobrook said he sees great potential in his growing team.

"Our biggest advantage right now is that we feel a sense of possibility with every race," he said. "The team is steadily raising its level of skiing, and every week we expect to have another breakthrough."