It is easy to gauge the true character of a sports team by its level of performance in its final event of the season. Some teams bow to their fatigue and slip out of the season in mediocrity, while others rise to the occasion and end on a high note. The Nordic ski team clearly proved itself to belong to the latter category at the Middlebury Carnival in Vermont this past weekend, pulling out its best performance of the season and raising the bar high for next year.

Adverse weather conditions led to a day's delay and made it difficult for the skiers to select the best wax for their skis in Saturday's Classic. On the women's team, a mid-race snow squall made things difficult for later starters.

However Hannah Wright '13, Erin Hatton '12 and Maren Askins '12 delivered strong performances, finishing 48th, 49th and 60th, respectively, to lead the Bowdoin women.

The men had a slightly easier time with the weather, and sophomores Spencer Eusden in 28th place and Scott Longwell in 34th place had their best Classic performances ever. Overall, the men ended the day in ninth place, and the women in 11th.

Although Bowdoin logged some solid performances in the Classic, the Sunday Freestyle is where they truly shone. The team pushed through the soft, slow snow caused by the day's warm and sunny conditions to place five skiers in the top 30, a first for Bowdoin, which previously had never seen more than two skiers in the top 30 of any race.

Wright once again led the women in 28th, followed by Hatton in 42nd and Elissa Rodman '10 in 50th. The women ended the day in 10th place. On the men's team, Eusden pulled out an impressive 13th place, followed by Chris Sanville '12 in 23rd, Longwell in 28th and Niko Kubota '10 in 30th.

All of the top-four men had personal best finishes, as did Matt Bowers '10 in 51st place. Sanville's finish was especially impressive, given the fact that his previous personal best was 48th place.

The men's team was eighth overall, beating Williams College for the first time in two years. The Bears also saw seven skiers receive EISA All-Academic Honors.

"Overall, this was a great way to end the season," said Coach Nathan Alsobrook. "I've known all year long that our team was capable of this kind of performance, but to see it all come together so perfectly was almost too good to be true."

The results of the Middelbury Carnival are encouraging for next season, and many of the team's best skiers will be returning in the fall.

"Of the top five skiers, I'm the only one graduating, and the rest are sophomores with tons of potential. Look for some great results in the years to come," said Kubota, co-captain of the men's team.

However, the end of the season is bittersweet for both students and coaches.

"This group gave us great leadership all season long—they set a good example for the younger skiers on our team and helped keep the atmosphere fun and welcoming," said Alsobrook. "It'll be hard to replace what they brought to the team—I miss them already!"