BARTLETT, NH. – Temperatures had fallen to well below zero leading up to the first run of the University of New Hampshire Carnival giant slalom at Attitash, but that did not stop the University of Vermont from continuing to dominate the EISA podium.
Only six days after sweeping the podium at the Colby College Carnival slalom, UVM had a similarly dominant performance Friday (Jan. 24). Vermont’s women took three of the top four slots, while the UVM men seized the top two positions.
Travis Dawson topped the field once again for the third straight time, earning his second giant slalom win of the year. Dom Garand, who has seen the podium in every race this season, finished runner-up to Dawson. Kevin Drury, the third point scorer for Vermont, placed 15th. Drury, who sat in fourth place after the first run, posted a disappointing time in the second run. The Vermont men scored 124 points, but only finished ahead of Middlebury by a mere two points.
UVM’s Kate Ryley won her fourth race of the season, notching her third GS victory of the year.
“I’m feeling more confident in my GS than I was in preseason,” Ryley said. “Winning today is going to grow that confidence.” Elise Tefre finished in third, her best giant slalom result of the season. After a disappointing first run in which she finished 14th, Kristina Riis-Johannessen posted the second fastest time of the second run, powering her way into fourth on the day.
Riis-Johannessen, who was 3.35 seconds off the lead after the first run had some sense she was still in contention.
“I was thinking that I could move up a lot and just score as many points as I can for the team,” said Riis-Johannessen. “I am happy with my second run.”
The Middlebury Panthers showed up to race, placing three men inside the top 10. Hig Roberts scored for the first time this season, taking third place. Until today, Roberts had not finished his second run in any of the prior three competitions. Chris McKenna took fourth and Ghassan Gedeon-Achi placed sixth for Middlebury.
Yina Moe-Lange earned her first podium finish of the season, placing second in the women’s giant slalom and leading Middlebury’s women to a third-place finish as a team in the GS. Kara Shaw and Lisa Schroer finished 13th and 16th to round out the scoring for Middlebury. Middlebury currently sits in third place at the UNH Carnival, just 15 points ahead of the University of New Hampshire.
Dartmouth’s men struggled in the giant slalom. Neither Robert Overing nor Ben Morse completed their runs. Dylan Brooks and Sam Macomber both had top-10 finishes, but Dartmouth’s third scorer was Prescott McLaughlin back in 24th place.
On the women’s side, Abby Fucigna had her second top-5 GS finish of the season while Lizzie Kistler reached the finish for the first time since the season’s opening race to finish seventh. Anne Strong concluded the scoring for Dartmouth, as she finished in 12th place.
After a slight slip-up at last week’s giant slalom, the University of Vermont has rebounded, taking 10 of the 12 podium spots since.
“We’re a really strong team this year, and it’s really exciting,” Kristina Riis-Johannessen explained. “We all feed off of each other’s success and get better and better.”
“We all enjoy the competitiveness,” Travis Dawson concurred.
Such domination is surely not as enjoyable for UVM’s competition, who will strive to earn some demonstrable success in what appears thus far in the season to be an extremely difficult undertaking. This weekend’s unusual three-race schedule might provide an opportunity for them should UVM’s team show any signs of fatigue; signs, however, that have not yet been evident this year.
Release courtesy of EISA
Team scores after Day One of the UNH Carnival (GS and classic races):
1. UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT UVM 496.0
2. DARTMOUTH COLLEGE DAR 419.0
3. MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE MID 374.0
4. UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE UNH 358.0
5. WILLIAMS COLLEGE WIL 258.0
6. COLBY COLLEGE CBC 245.0
7. BATES COLLEGE BAT 242.0
8. ST LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY SLU 189.0
9. HARVARD UNIVERSITY HAR 186.0
10. BOWDOIN COLLEGE BOW 96.0
11. UNIVERSITE’ LAVAL LAV 86.0
12. COLBY SAWYER COLLEGE CSC 85.0
13. ST MICHAELS COLLEGE SMC 72.0
14. BOSTON COLLEGE BC 64.0
15. PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY PSU 54.0
16. UNIVERSITY OF ME -PRESQUE ISLE UMPI 22.0