Skiers of the Week—Bates Carnival/NCAA Eastern Regional Championships


Kate Ryley UVM - 1st GS, 1st SL
Photo: UVM Athletics
Travis Dawson UVM - 3rd SL, 3rd GS
Photo: UVM Athletics

Mary O'Connell DAR - 1st 5k Classic, 1st 10k Freestyle
Photo: Dartmouth Athletics
Scott Patterson UVM - 1st 10k Classic, 1st 15k Freestyle
Photo: UVM Athletics

EISA 2013 Season Honors and Awards

A number of honors and awards were distributed following the Bates Carnival/EISA Championships this weekend. The comprehensive list is below.

All - East Teams

Men's Alpine
-1st Team-
David Donaldson MID
Jonathan Nordbotten UVM
Travis Dawson UVM
Andrew McNealus MID
Sam Coffey UNH
-2nd Team-
Sean Higgins UVM
Coley Oliver UNH
Hig Roberts MID
Ben Morse DAR
Hunter Black DAR

Men's Nordic
-1st Team-
Scott Patterson UVM 
Sam Tarling DAR 
Silas Talbot DAR 
Ben Lustgarten MID 
Scott Lacy DAR 
-2nd Team-
Steven Mangan DAR 
David Sinclair DAR 
Rogan Brown UVM 
Dylan Grald UVM 
Jorgen Grav UVM

Women's Alpine
-1st Team-
Kristina Riis-Johannessen UVM
Kate Ryley UVM
Lizzie Kistler DAR
Geordie Lonza WIL 
Elli Terwiel UVM 
-2nd Team-
Rebecca Nadler HAR 
Randa Teschner UNH 
Mary Sackbauer MID 
Avril Dunleavy BAT 
Elise Tefre UVM

Women's Nordic
-1st Team-
Anja Gruber UVM
Mary O'Connell DAR 
Annie Pokorny MID 
Annika Taylor UNH
Annie Hart DAR
-2nd Team-
Anya Bean UNH
Linda Danvind-Malm UVM 
Kaitlynn Miller BOW
Corey Stock DAR
Elizabeth Guiney UNH

TD Bank Leader Bib (Nordic)
Men: Scott Patterson UVM
Women: Mary O'Connell DAR
Men: Sam Tarling DAR
Women: Anja Gruber UVM

Podiumwear Leader Bib (Alpine)
Men: Travis Dawson UVM
Women: Kate Ryley UVM
Giant Slalom
Men: David Donaldson MID
Women: Kate Ryley UVM

Rookie of the Year
Women's Nordic: Mary O'Connell DAR
Men's Nordic: Jorgen Grav UVM
Women's Alpine: Lizzie Kistler DAR
Men's Alpine: Dominique (Dom) Garand UVM

EISA Coach of the Year
Alpine: Abby Copeland MID & Rogan Connell BAT
Nordic: Cami Thompson DAR

EISA Service Award
Ray Broomhall

Women's Team Champion (Rikert Cup)
Dartmouth College

Men's Team Champion (Dartmouth Cup)
University of Vermont

Overall Team Champion
University of Vermont

Vermont Nets Perfect Season & Third Straight EISA Championship

Middlebury's Hig Roberts slaying to the win in slalom (photo: Cory Ransom)

NEWRY/RUMFORD, Maine — Despite a strong effort by Dartmouth to block the University of Vermont from claiming a perfect season, the Catamounts rebounded on Saturday to notch their third consecutive EISA title and to complete a clean sweep of all EISA Carnivals in 2013. Vermont pulled off the win by amassing 939.5 points to Dartmouth’s 908.5. The University of New Hampshire finished third with 690 points, just one point ahead of fourth-place Middlebury.

With fast snow and NCAA spots on the line, Nordic racing action concluded Saturday with 10 and 15-kilometer mass-start freestyle races at Black Mountain.

Unlike the twisting and technical laps of last weekend's Middlebury race loop, Saturday's race course was relatively simple, though not easy. Racers shot down a long hill before ascending two massive climbs, including Black Mountain's infamous “High School Hill”.

“The course was brutal,” said Colby’s John Dixon, “but the coverage was good and the conditions were fair.”

Scott Patterson made it a perfect season in the freestyle races with another decisive victory in the men's event. The UVM Junior has skied every skate race with the same game plan: Get out front and leave the rest of the field to fend for themselves.

In similar fashion to last weekend's skate event, it was Dartmouth's Sam Tarling and David Sinclair who gave chase early on. Neither was able to match the pace of Patterson, however. Tarling finished in second place for the second consecutive day, as Sinclair drifted back to 12th. It was another familiar Dartmouth skier, Silas Talbot, who took the final podium spot in third.

The strong presence of the Dartmouth men at the top of the results sheet led the Big Green to another victory in the team score for the event, but it was not enough to hold off the Catamounts overall.

The women's race was nearly the opposite at the front of the field. Instead of a solo racer out front, the battle for first came down to an exciting sprint finish between Dartmouth's Mary O'Connell, yesterday's 5k classic winner, and UVM's Anja Gruber. In the final meters it was O'Connell who took the win by only a tenth of a second, securing her third consecutive EISA victory this season.

Finishing in third place behind Gruber was another Catamount, UVM's Linda Dandvind-Malm. The top five was rounded out by two Annie's: Pokorny of Middlebury and Hart of Dartmouth.

A little under an hour away at Sunday River, light snowfall and mild temperatures greeted the slalom skiers in the alpine races. Middlebury’s Hig Roberts claimed his first victory of the season in the men’s race after first run winner Jonathan Nordbotten of Vermont skied out on a bumpy second run.

“I’ve been really fast in slalom this year, just on one runs usually. Basically, on first runs I’ve been in there. And second runs, I’ve not been strong with the groove, not putting down two. But today’s I just knew I had to do it, last carnival,” noted a pleased Roberts.

Catamount Tim Kelley proved his return to form by placing second in the race, and his teammate and overall slalom leader Travis Dawson added yet another podium to his collection in third.

In the women’s slalom, Vermont’s Kate Ryley proved she’s prepared to defend her NCAA title. She logged the fastest time both runs to combine for the victory over Dartmouth’s Lizzie Kistler (who tied Ryley’s second run winning pace). Catamount Kristina Riis-Johannessen was able to hold a podium spot in third.

“I think we’re going to take a little break and then train [before NCAAs]. I feel like I was in a rut the last few weeks; I’ve been struggling…. I just need to take it back a step and start training and getting good feelings,” remarked Ryley after the win.

Athletes who qualified to the NCAA Championships in Middlebury, Vt. will spend the next two weeks preparing for the national competition while other skiers now look forward to spring series events including Eastern Cup Finals, NorAm Finals, U.S. Nationals, and Canadian Nationals.

Team scores at the conclusion of the Bates Carnival/EISA Championships:
1.   UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT 939.5                         
2.   DARTMOUTH COLLEGE 908.5                         
3.   UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE 690.0                         
4.   MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE 689.0                         
5.   WILLIAMS COLLEGE 568.0                         
6.   BATES COLLEGE 515.0                         
7.   COLBY COLLEGE 492.0                         
8.   ST LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY 399.0                         
9.   HARVARD UNIVERSITY 378.5                        
10.  ST MICHAELS COLLEGE 287.0                        
11.  BOWDOIN COLLEGE 183.0                        
12.  BOSTON COLLEGE 154.0                        
13.  UNIVERSITY OF ME -PRESQUE ISLE 133.0                        
14.  PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY 123.5                        
15.  COLBY SAWYER COLLEGE 58.0                        
16.  CLARKSON UNIVERSITY 9.0                        

Adam Terko contributed to this report.

Dartmouth Wins First Day of EISA Championships

Harvard's Rebecca Nadler and Vermont's Kate Ryley tie for the win at EISA Championships (photo: Cory Ransom)

NEWRY/RUMFORD, Maine — Dartmouth College mounted a surprising effort on the first day of the joint Bates Carnival and EISA Championships to claim an early lead after the giant slalom and classic races. The currently unbeaten University of Vermont Catamounts sit a mere 9.5 points back in second, and Middlebury College is third.

Under sunny skies, the Big Green ladies dominated team scoring in the giant slalom with Abby Fucigna, Sara Kikut, and Annie Rendall all placing inside the top 10. But the podium was claimed by Harvard’s Rebecca Nadler and Vermont’s Kate Ryley who tied for the win with a total time of 2:38.45 and Geordie Lonza of Williams who finished third.

In the men’s race, Middlebury’s David Donaldson proved his previous winning streak was never a fluke when he claimed his sixth victory in the discipline this season. Vermont’s Sean Higgins and Travis Dawson settled into second and third, respectively. It was also an impressive day for the UNH Wildcats who placed skiers Taylor Vest-Burton and Sam Coffey in fourth and fifth.

Sunny skies and warm weather also greeted the Nordic field during Friday's individual classical races in Rumford. Finding the right kick wax was a challenge for many, as temperatures steadily rose throughout the races. A long and steady climb throughout the middle of the course meant slick skis could cost valuable time. In the end it seemed no team had it “nailed”, though various klister wax combinations were used.

Last weekend's classic 5k champion, Middlebury's Annie Pokorny, started fast and skied strong up the long hills of the Black Mountain race course. In the end, however, it was last weekend's 15k skate champion, Mary O'Connell of Dartmouth, who came out on top. O'Connell bested Pokorny by just 1.7 seconds. According to some split-times, O'Connell was trailing Pokorny early on, but made up ground in the very end of the race.

Third place went to another Dartmouth skier, Emily Blackmer. Blackmer has shown consistent classic form this season, and raced to another strong finish for the Big Green. Vermont’s Anja Gruber and Dartmouth’s Annie Hart rounded out the top-5, as the Dartmouth women took the victory in the team score.

In the men's race, the final podium finishers all started one after another. Middlebury’s Ben Lustgarten was bib 61, followed by Dartmouth’s Sam Tarling in bib 62 and Vermont’s Scott Patterson in bib 63. Despite all three starting within a minute and a half of each other, the three men all skied very similar races; only 7 seconds separated the top three at the finish. Patterson was victorious, with Tarling just 2 seconds behind in 27:21.8. Lustgarten continued a strong season of podium-performances with third place.

With so many pre-race favorites starting near each other, Lustgarten remarked he was “just happy to ski my own race and feel good.”

Finishing just off the podium were Dartmouth skiers David Sinclair and Silas Talbot, taking 4th and 5th place, respectively, to give the Big Green a team victory to add to their women's earlier performance and their team’s overall success on the day.

Racing continues Saturday with mass-start 10 and 15-kilometer freestyle races in Rumford and the slalom races at Sunday River.

Adam Terko contributed to this report.

Team scores after Day 1 of the Bates Carnival and EISA Championships:
1.   DARTMOUTH COLLEGE                  DAR   448.0            
10.   ST MICHAELS COLLEGE               SMC   146.0            

Skiers of the Week—Middlebury Carnival


Geordie Lonza WIL -  1st SL, 4th GS
Photo: Williams Athletics
Hig Roberts
 MID -  4th SL, 4th GS
Photo: Middlebury Athletics


Linda Danvind-Malm UVM - 3rd 15k Freestyle, 5th 5k Classic
Photo: UVM Athletics
Will Wicherski WIL - 4th 10k Classic, 7th 20k Freestyle
Photo: Facebook

Skiers of the Week—Dartmouth Carnival


Lizzie Kistler DAR -  4th GS
Photo: Dartmouth Athletics
Sean Higgins UVM -  2nd GS
Photo: UVM Athletics


Kaitlynn Miller BOW - 3rd 5k Classic
Photo: Bowdoin Athletics
Silas Talbot DAR - 3rd 10k Classic
Photo: Dartmouth Athletics

New Faces on Podium as Vermont Wins Middlebury Carnival

HANCOCK/RIPTON, Vt. — The University of Vermont overcame adversity to extend their lead over Dartmouth and claim victory in the Middlebury Carnival by 74 points. Dartmouth College came in second with 859 points and Middlebury College skied to third place with 766 points.

In the women’s giant slalom race, athletes in the top 15 struggled to find a rhythm while other athletes were able to attack from the back. University of New Hamphire’s Randa Teschner started bib 24 and won the first run. She kept her momentum second run and went on to win the race. Middlebury’s Mary Sackbauer had her first EISA podium on her home hill, taking second place. UNH’s Jenna Kantor rounded out the podium in third, giving the UNH lady Wildcats a team victory.

For the men, Vermont’s Jonathan Nordbotten grabbed his first giant slalom victory of the season. Coming into first run, Nordbotten was concerned with maintaining his speed onto the flats.

“You have to skate as hard as you can out of the start to the pitch and then you have to ski those three first gates on the pitch really well,” Nordbotten said.

Catamount teammate Travis Dawson, who won Friday’s slalom race, skied to second place and won the second run, placing the Vermont men’s team in first position. Middlebury’s David Donaldson finished third for the day.

Down the road at the Rikert Nordic Center, conditions were sunny, fast and at times dangerous for Sunday's mass start freestyle races on the final day of the Middlebury Carnival.

Scott Patterson once again dominated the men’s 20k event. The UVM junior broke away from the field near the 5-kilometer mark, and skied alone for the rest of the race, winning the event in a time of 45:13.7. Dartmouth's Sam Tarling, winner of Friday's 10k classic race, skied alone as well, chasing Patterson for the duration of the race. Tarling settled for second, and skied into the finish just ahead of a charging group of skiers fighting for the final podium spot.

In a lunge for the line, Dartmouth's Scott Lacy grabbed third place over Middlebury's Benjamin Lustgarten. UVM's Rogan Brown rounded out the top-5, helping Vermont claim a narrow 2-point victory over the Big Green in the team score.

While Patterson has failed to lose a freestyle race all season, it was a new face atop the women's podium. Dartmouth's Mary O'Connell won her first EISA Carnival in 39:35, besting UVM skier Anja Gruber by 17 seconds. O'Connell broke away early, though Gruber made a move to regain contact with the Dartmouth skier and retake the lead at the 10-kilometer mark. O'Connell was not fazed, however, and made a definitive break during the last lap to cruise to her first win.

Another Vermont skier, Linda Danvind-Malm, claimed her second top-5 performance of the weekend in 3rd place. Dartmouth and UVM swept the first six places, as Annie Hart (DAR) and Stephanie Kirk (UVM) rounded out the top-5. Like the men's race, the competition for points was tight, though this time it was the Vermont women who eked out a 4-point victory in the team score.

One of the more notable aspects of the races was the icy corners, which led to numerous crashes and moments of carnage throughout the day. Patches of ice surrounded by sugary snow littered the course's technical downhill sections, and both races featured multiple pile-ups and falls as racers lost poles and even skis.

“I was lucky to stay on my feet, but a lot of girls ran into trouble when things got congested on those corners,” exclaimed St. Lawrence senior Kelsey Nichols. “It was wild!”

Middlebury will host NCAA Championships back at these same venues in less than a month, but first the EISA circuit travels to Eastern Championships hosted by Bates College Feb. 22-23.

Complete individual and team scoring from the Middlebury Carnival can be viewed here.

Gabbi Hall and Adam Terko contributed to this report

Dartmouth Chases Catamounts After Opening Day of Middlebury Carnival

Middlebury's Annie Pokorny takes the
home carnival win (photo: Cory Ransom)
HANCOCK/RIPTON, Vt. — The University of Vermont settled into its familiar position in the lead after the first day of the Middlebury Carnival, but Dartmouth College sits a close second, only 11 points behind, while host team Middlebury College is third, 69 points off the lead.

On Friday morning, EISA Nordic racers got to experience updated and modernized courses at the Rikert Touring facility in Ripton, Vermont.  In a few weeks these trails will play host to the Nordic races of the 2013 NCAA Championships, hosted by Middlebury College.

Snow was thin and rapidly disappearing at lower elevations during the week in the village of Middlebury, but a new snowmaking system and the benefit of being nestled high in the Green Mountains kept enough coverage at Rikert to hold races on the originally-planned courses.

Temperatures near freezing and changing snow made for a tough kick-waxing day, with klister wax and 'zero' skis both in play. Conditions from ice to loose snow and slush were present on varying parts of the course, so finding the right skis for the full loop was a challenge.

In the women's 5k classic, Middlebury's Annie Pokorny took home the individual victory at her home carnival. Pokorny was well clear of second place, as Laval's Catherine Auclair was next fastest at nearly 20 seconds back. Third place went to consistent classic skier Anja Gruber of UVM. Dartmouth’s Annie Hart and Vermon’t Linda Danvind-Malm rounded out the top 5, as the University of Vermont women took the top team score.

The sun poked through cloud cover as the men started their race, but conditions remained relatively stable. Middlebury's Benjamin Lustgarten, likely aiming to double-up the home team's individual victories at their own carnival, went out fast and led eventual-winner Sam Tarling of Dartmouth early in the race. On the strength of his powerful double-poling, however, Tarling made up ground on the second lap despite slick skis, and took the victory with a time of 25:36.7.

“I was getting some pretty poor splits early on,” said Tarling afterward, “but I guess I was able to turn it around in the second half. The second half I was just able to double-pole, and while I didn't have maybe the best kick I had really fast skis, so it worked out.”

The Dartmouth men had a 1-2 finish thanks to Silas Talbot, who pulled off second behind Tarling in 25:44.3. Vermont's Scott Patterson, and the EISA points leader, took third, Will Wicherski of Williams was fourth, while Ben Lustgarten of Middlebury was able to hang on for fifth. The Dartmouth men took top honors in the team score.

Down the road at the Middlebury Snow Bowl, alpine racers faced similarly warm snow conditions. In the women’s slalom, Geordie Lonza of Williams College, a podium favorite from the 2012 season, finally returned to form in 2013 to claim the win.         

“My mindset was that I needed to attack the whole way down because this hill is pretty easy and straight forward,” said Lonza. University of Vermont’s Kate Ryley took second and Dartmouth College’s Sara Kikut placed third.

On the men’s side, Vermont’s Travis Dawson, the EISA slalom leader, grabbed the victory. His impressive first run, which he won by half a second, put him in a good standing for the second round. The second run course was a bit trickier.       

“They played the side hill a lot and there were a few more combinations and tricky spots,” Dawson said. “You can feel how warm it’s gotten here today, the snow was a little softer and I knew there was going to be a groove, so I just stuck with it.”

University of New Hampshire’s Coley Oliver skied to second place and Middlebury’s Andrew McNealus took third to round out the podium.

Racing continues on Saturday with the giant slalom races at the Middlebury Snow Bowl and skate races at the Rikert Nordic Center.

Complete individual and team scoring available here

Gabbi Hall and Adam Terko contributed to this report