2018 Alpine Skiing Preview

(L-R): Caroline Bartlett and Riley Plant along with their teammates open the alpine season on January 20-21 at the Colby Carnival.
(L-R): Caroline Bartlett and Riley Plant along with their teammates open the alpine season on January 20-21 at the Colby Carnival.

The Middlebury women's alpine ski team returns nearly a full squad to the slopes for the 2018 campaign. Last year's team results saw the Panthers come on strong with third-place finishes in the final three carnivals of the season prior to NCAA competition. Middlebury qualified five of six potential racers to the NCAAs, where the team finished 14th overall.

Returning to the carnival circuit this season are 2017 NCAA qualifiers Caroline Bartlett and Jackie Atkins. In her sophomore season, Bartlett picked up three carnival wins and finished in the top five on five different occasions, earning second-team All-East honors. All three of her wins came in the giant slalom, including a big victory at St. Lawrence by a margin of 3.89 seconds over her nearest competitor. Atkins had an impressive rookie year, earning top-15 finishes seven different times, including a 10th-place effort in the GS at the EISA Championships hosted by Bates.

Junior Lexi Calcagni and sophomore Katie Utter both produced solid results a year ago. Calcagni earned a pair of top-10 finishes, including an eighth-place performance in the GS at the Middlebury Carnival. Utter placed in the top 20 six times in 2017, with a season-best 11th-place finish in the opening GS at St. Lawrence.

Junior Bridget Currier and a pair of first-year racers will bolster the Panther squad this winter.

On the men's side, the Panthers graduated a very deep group and will have some carnival spots open in 2018. Three veteran racers will aid the team's effort this season, as seniors Devon Cardamone and Riley Plant and junior Angie Duke return with quality carnival experience.

Cardamone earned a season-best second-place finish in the giant slalom at the Vermont Carnival a year ago. He also posted a pair of 12th-place efforts in the GS events at St. Lawrence and at the EISA Championships hosted by Bates.

Plant has seven career top-10 finishes to his credit, placing seventh last year in the GS events at St. Lawrence and Middlebury. He earned a career-best fifth-place finish at the EISA Championships in 2015 at St. Lawrence.

Duke crossed the line in 10th place in the GS to open the season at St. Lawrence a year ago, placing 12th in the slalom at the EISA Championships hosted by Bates.

Joining the group will be senior Jack Schibli and a pair of newcomers, who will challenge for carnival spots.

Lead by head coach Stever Bartlett, now in his 12th season at the helm of the program, the Panthers began their season with a November camp in Loveland, Colorado, and pick things up after the winter break with a training camp at the Snow Bowl. Middlebury's six-carnival schedule begins with the Colby Carnival on January 20-21. St. Michael's, Vermont, Dartmouth and Williams will host before action comes to Middlebury for the EISA Championships on February 23-24. The NCAA Championships are slated for March 7-10 and will be hosted by the University of Colorado in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.