Cone & Pokorny Pace Skiers on Opening Day at Williams

Lewis Nottonson just missed the top 10 in the men's 10K freestyle race.
Lewis Nottonson just missed the top 10 in the men's 10K freestyle race.

The Middlebury ski teams returned to action on Friday, taking part in the Williams Carnival. The Panthers were led by a second-place finish in the giant slalom from Rob Cone and a third-place effort on the nordic side from Annie Pokorny. Middlebury returns to action on Saturday with the slalom event as well as the men's and women's pursuit races on the nordic side.

Cone turned in another impressive effort on the giant slalom slope for the men, finishing the race second overall with a time of 1:31.57, .10 behind the winning pace. Riley Plant was next for Middlebury in 13th place, covering the course with a time of 1:33.74. Colin Hayes remained in the top 20 for all nine races thus far this season, placing 18th overall with a time of 1:34.51.

Caroline Bartlett continued to pace the alpine women as she has done for most of the winter. The rookie earned an 11th-place finish in the giant slalom, crossing the line with a combined time of 1:36.94. The only other Panther to finish the race was Elle Gilbert, who placed 21st overall in 1:39.08.

The women's nordic team was short a racer as Kelsey Phinney will miss the next two carnivals - representing the U.S. at the U23 World Championships in Romania. The Panthers were paced on Friday by a third-place effort by Pokorny, who covered the 10K freestyle course in 28:04. Alia Johnson turned in her best effort of the season at Williams, finishing the race with a time of 29:24, good for 14th place. Kaitlin Fink rounded out the scorers for the Panthers, placing 17th overall in 29:30.

Lewis Nottonson earned his best finish of the year for the men, pacing the squad with a 13th-place finish (25:04) in the 10K freestyle. Jacob Volz tied his season-best 27th-place finish with a time of 26:03, while Evan Weinman rounded out the scorers in 33rd place (26:16).