After a long offseason, the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) racers are finally heading into their 2020 NCAA season.
The 2019 NCAA season brought great collegiate skiers to the circuit yet again on the East Coast. They were able to showcase their skiing at the annual NCAA Championships, last year hosted by the University of Vermont in Stowe, Vt. On the women’s side, Canadian national team skier Laurence St. Germain of UVM took home a pair of titles on the season.
On the men’s side, it was Dartmouth’s Tanguy Nef with the GS title. — and of course, it is important to note that Catamounts were in a close second behind Utah for the NCAA championship title.
With every season, the circuit says goodbye to many fast skiers. For the EISA, Dartmouth’s Alexa Dlouhy, Caroline Bartlett (MIDD), Laurence St Germaine (UVM), and Freydis Einarsdottir (PSU) have all moved onto the next chapter. UVM standout Paula Moltzan will also not be seen in this season’s races due to a World Cup schedule with the U.S. Ski Team. NCAA champion Tanguy Nef, of Dartmouth, will not be returning to the East due to a national team schedule with Switzerland. St Michael’s College standout Guillaume Grand has graduated, as well as NCAA qualifiers Jake Van Deurson (SLU) and James Ferri (DAR). However, much of the talent from EISA’s 2019 season will still be present.
“It is definitely a big loss with Laurence and Paula to move on but we have a good freshman class,” said UVM head alpine coach Bill Reichelt on how missing two key skiers may affect them.
There are always new names to look for in the results, and this year there are quite a few fast men and women heading to the Carnivals. For women, it is Canadian National Team members Marina Vilanova (UVM) and Ali Nullmeyer (MIDD). Fast skiers Caroline Jones (UVM) and Gwen Wattenmaker (DAR) are likely to make a strong debut. For the men coming into their first collegiate seasons are Kellen Kinsella (DAR), Mathias Tefre (UVM), and Marius Solbakken (UNH).
“Skiing is such an individual sport, so I am excited to be a part of a team where we are all working towards one goal,” said Ali Nullmeyer (MIDD).
There is an exciting new schedule change for the East Coast racers this year. In lieu of the annual Dartmouth carnival, there will instead be a Harvard Carnival to kick off the season at Waterville Valley that will also be streaming on ESPN+. This schedule could in turn favor the skiers who excel on steeper terrain, as the Dartmouth GS, famous for being a flat hill, is nixed.
Many skiers seem to be in favor of the new change.UNH junior Patrick Kenney comments, “I am personally 100% in favor of not having a Dartmouth Carnival this year and replacing it with the Harvard Carnival. Change is good and I hope we can keep heading in this direction so that we can level out the playing field.”
UVM Coach Reichelt is also in favor of the schedule change, saying, “Dartmouth’s venue is not my favorite especially on the GS hill we have not historically done that great as a team there and Dartmouth has done really well, so from a purely competitive standpoint it’s fine with us, but from a historical standpoint it is bittersweet.”
From Dartmouth athlete Drew Duffy’s perspective, it is unfortunate but Dartmouth feels ready for a Waterville Valley race.
“I think that Middlebury and Dartmouth have the most history so it is disappointing not to be able to participate in that tradition this year,” he said. “I have raced at Waterville a lot, and I know my teammates and myself feel confident on that hill, so we are looking forward to the first week of racing. Being streamed on ESPN+ is a pretty cool too.”
The EISA Carnival season starts tomorrow at Waterville Valley with SL Friday and GS Sunday. You can stream all the races on ESPN+ following this link: Harvard Carnival ESPN+