A bout of bad luck hit the Nordic ski team last weekend at the University of Vermont Carnival: two of the team's top contributors were unable to compete due to injuries.

"We've been a bit snakebit this year, with an unusual number of injuries and illnesses hitting our team," wrote Coach Nathan Alsobrook in an email to the Orient.

According to Alsobrook, captain Wilson Dippo '12, one of last year's top contributors, has been unable to train and race because of a "nagging" back injury.

Spencer Eusden '12, who led the way for the Bowdoin men two weeks ago at the New Hampshire Carnival, was out with a cold all week. He sat out of Vermont's classic race on Saturday, but ended up competing on Sunday. After a competitive start for the first of two 5K laps, Eusden's pace began to falter because of his illness.

"Despite a below average finish, 34th, I still was happy with the effort and that I was able to get out and ski fast for at least part of the race," wrote Eusden in an email.

Kevin Hoose '15 was Bowdoin's top skier in the 10K classic event, finishing 51st, and trailed only Eusden in the freestyle, in which he finished 37th. Alsobrook said he had a "breakout weekend."

"Hoose is a talented skier who's been improving rapidly—it'll be fun to see how the rest of his season unfolds," wrote Alsobrook.

According to Eusden, "Only a few seconds separated Kevin and I from moving up several places."

On the women's side, Hannah Wright '13 had her second-best showing ever at the classic race, finishing 32nd with a time of 17:48.3.

Continuing her success from last week, Kaitlynn Miller '14 was the top Bowdoin skier in both of the women's races, finishing 27th in the classic (17:25.2) and 34th in the freestyle (31.35.4).

"When you're a developing team like we are, it means a lot to have a skier who can break through and ski up with the top racers," wrote Alsobrook. "This gives the whole team a lot of pride and confidence."

On the first day of competition, senior skiers Maren Askins and Erin Hatton were separated by a mere three seconds; on the second day, they finished only 15 seconds apart.

"Our senior girls, Maren Askins and Erin Hatton, are starting to get into top race form with a couple of close races," wrote Eusden.

Alsobrook explained that Stowe, Vt.—the site of last week's carnival—is one of the team's best race venues, and that the skiing conditions were great for both days.

The snow was particularly fast on Sunday, which he wrote made for "a really fun race." He added that the small adjustments that the team has been working on since last week—footwork, agility, and transition—have started to pay off.

The Polar Bears will race in Vermont again today and tomorrow because of the minimal snow in Hanover, New Hampshire, where their original carnival was scheduled.

In recognition of Valentine's Day, skiers at the carnival from different teams will exchange valentines after Saturday's race. Valentines can include anything from poems and cards to songs and dances. According to Eusden, the tradition has existed for several decades.

In other news, there is currently a tentative plan for a pair of races on the Bowdoin Quad on Saturday, March 3.

An intramural race open to anyone on campus will be followed by an exhibition race with members from the ski team (and possibly skiers from Colby and Bates as well).

Jeff Ward, Bowdoin's athletic director, has been consistently pushing to make this event happen for several years, but Alsobrook wrote that it was Chris Sanville '12 who finally "took the ball and ran with it."