The Polar Bears rounded out their cross-country season this past weekend at the Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association (EISA) Championships with their best carnival performance this year.

The EISA Championships at Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine also doubled as the Bates Carnival. After weeks of consistently strong performances, but still not getting over the hump, the Polar Bears finally broke through and earned an eighth-place finish overall.

"Everyone was focused and determined, and the skiers showed impressive toughness fighting for every second," head coach Nathan Alsobrook '97 said. "They were just burying themselves out there, and I couldn't be more proud of them."

The men were led by junior Spencer Eusden and the women were led by first year Kaitlynn Miller.

On the women's side, Miller closed out her phenomenal first year campaign with an exceptional 14th place finish in the 15K Classic. She crossed the finish line with a time of 54:59.8. Sophomore Hannah Wright also had a great 15K Classic, finishing 30th overall with a 57:26.1 time. In Saturday's 5K freestyle, Wright led the Polar Bears with a time of 16:51.9.

The entire women's team performed exceptionally well this weekend in the classic race, beating Colby, tying Harvard, and finishing just two points behind St. Lawrence.

"It's a big step forward for us to be in contention with these teams that have beaten us soundly in the past," Alsobrook said. "It's a great indicator of the progress we've made."

On the men's side, Eusden was the top finisher in both Friday's 20K Classic and Saturday's 10K freestyle. He crossed the finish line of the 20K Classic with a time of 1:05:14.4 to earn a 19th place finish. Eusden then followed up on Saturday with a 23rd place finish in the 10K freestyle, finishing at 30:28.0.

In addition to Eusden, sophomore James Crimp recorded the first two top-30 finishes of his career. In the 20K Classic, Crimp crossed the finish line 25th overall. On Saturday, Crimp then finished 30th overall in the 10K freestyle.

The Polar Bears will only graduate one senior, captain Grace Hyndman, from this year's squad. The returning skiers look to continue their rise up in regional rankings.

"For the last few years, we've been running off of the youth and enthusiasm of the Class of 2012 and, next year, we'll finally cash in on the experience they've gained." Alsobrook said. "It could be one of our best seasons ever—I'm already looking forward to it."