Leave it to the stacked University of Vermont ski team to turn its mediocre performance across the board on Friday (Jan. 17) into a landslide victory just one day later at the Colby Carnival. The Catamounts broke the 1,000-point mark in EISA competition for the first time this season as well as the first time since they accomplished the same feat at the St. Lawrence Carnival exactly one year earlier. A rare men’s and women’s podium sweep in the slalom races made the team victory even sweeter for the Cats.
Friday’s GS winner, Travis Dawson, notched his second victory in two days, grabbing his first win in slalom for the 2014 season. Taylor Wunsch followed in second place, a little less than a second behind his teammate’s winning pace, while Dom Garand rounded out UVM’s scoring in third. It was tough luck for Kevin Drury who, despite finishing fourth, could not contribute to team scoring as the fourth Catamount on the results sheet.
“The guys finished 1-2-3-4 for college,” said Kristian Riis-Johannessen. “It was very inspiring for us girls. We wanted to follow that up. Showing that we are a really strong team is awesome.”
Other ladies on the Vermont roster were equally inspired by the impressive success of their men’s team.
“The guys’ result definitely pumped us up,” noted Kate Ryley. “We were 1-2-3 after the first run, so that really motivated us. That’s what we said up top, ‘Girls, let’s do this. Keep our spots.’”
Ryley led the way with her third win of the season followed by Riis-Johannessen and Elise Tefre in second and third, respectively. Both the men’s and women’s alpine teams from Vermont amassed the maximum 141-point result on the day with their podium domination.
Host Colby College, who sat third after the first day of racing, dropped back to fifth overall, while the University of New Hampshire was able to pass the Mules and slide into fourth as a team. Randa Teschner finished fourth in the women’s slalom for the Wildcats, followed by her teammates Katie Farrow in sixth and Laura Rozinowicz in 11th.
Dartmouth’s Robert Overing, the Big Green’s top scorer in all contested races this season, demonstrated he is a serious contender in the EISA by finishing seventh. Maisie Ide’s fifth-place finish along with Sara Kikut’s 12th kept Dartmouth competitive in the alpine rankings. On the strength of nordic results, they held onto second in team scoring, but still fell a remarkable 130 points shy of catching UVM.
In the freestyle races, Vermont’s Linda Danvind-Malm and Scott Patterson each claimed individual victories to bolster their team’s lead. Three of the top four skiers in the women’s race were Catamounts, a head-turning performance by the supporting cast of Anja Gruber in third and Stephanie Kirk fourth. If not for Dartmouth’s Annie Hart squeezing into second, the Cats would have dominated another podium.
Dartmouth’s Emily Hannah and Corey Stock finished sixth and seventh, respectively, to keep the Big Green firmly in second. Middlebury nordic did its best to make up for alpine shortcomings as Heather Mooney’s fifth, Stella Holt’s 11th, and Kaitlin Fink’s 17th enabled the women to finish third as a team.
Scott Patterson produced a performance reminiscent of the 2013 season when he skated to a minute-plus victory over the field once again. Patterson’s closest rival was rookie Patrick Caldwell of Dartmouth in second, followed by Middlebury Panther Ben Lustgarten in third. Vermont’s Rogan Brown finished fourth and teammate Jorgen Grav was ninth as the Catamounts put all their scoring men inside the top 10.
Middlebury rallied into third for overall team scoring, a comfortable position for the Panthers given their record over the past few years, but less comforting with a 200-point gap to catch Dartmouth.
EISA racing continues this weekend with the UNH Carnival and make-up slalom races from the UVM Carnival. Due to limited snow at Cannon Mountain, Attitash will host the GS races on Friday (Jan. 24), Cannon will host slalom races on Saturday (Jan. 25), and Burke Mountain will host the make-up UVM slalom races on Sunday (Jan. 26). The nordic races are slated to be contested at Jackson Ski Center.
Team scoring at the conclusion of the Colby Carnival
1. UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT UVM 1012.0
2. DARTMOUTH COLLEGE DAR 882.0
3. MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE MID 682.0
4. UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE UNH 620.0
5. COLBY COLLEGE CBC 588.0
6. WILLIAMS COLLEGE WIL 459.0
7. BATES COLLEGE BAT 375.0
8. ST LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY SLU 339.0
9. HARVARD UNIVERSITY HAR 321.0
10. UNIVERSITE’ LAVAL LAV 209.0
11. BOWDOIN COLLEGE BOW 189.0
12. COLBY SAWYER COLLEGE CSC 168.0
13. BOSTON COLLEGE BC 164.0
14. ST MICHAELS COLLEGE SMC 158.0
15. PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY PSU 83.0
16. UNIVERSITY OF ME -PRESQUE ISLE UMPI 24.0