It was an exciting opening weekend for the EISA NCAA skiers. Not only was it the opening carnival of the 2020 season, but it was the first ever Harvard Carnival held at Waterville Valley and streamed live on ESPN+.
“We are thrilled to be hosting our first ever carnival. This has been a tremendous amount of work, but the support from our athletic department has been overwhelming,” remarked Harvard Head Alpine Coach Scott Macpherson.
It was an extremely cold day for the EISA racers with temperatures falling into the single digits and due to weather conditions, the carnival switched GS to SL on Friday. Plus due to a recent snow storm there was some soft snow left over from earlier in the week affecting course conditions. “The snow was fairly soft which made it difficult” siad Tim Gavett on the slalom race (MIDD).
For the men’s slalom, Darthouth’s Drew Duffy led the way first run with a first run time of 44.90, however he was not able to hold the top spot. Middlebury Sophomore Tim Gavett had a speedy second run winning overall with a combined time of 1:33.70. In second was Joachin Lindstoel (UVM), and Drew Duffy falling into third.
On the women’s side UNH’s Emma Woodhouse put down a solid first run to take the lead with a 47.71. Behind Woodhouse was Rosie Hust (CBC).
“Conditions were tough. It was not the bulletproof ice we are used to seeing at a lot of the carnivals and I think that threw some girls off,” comments Hust.
Woodhouse was able to lay down a fast second run to keep her lead for the overall gold. Ali Nullmeyer (MIDD) moved from eighth to second overall with a combined time of 1:41.39, just +0.33 off pace of winning the slalom race. In third overall was Hust.
Overall Middlebury had a great day showing their depth as a team this season placing three men in the top ten. “Having such a competitive group in training makes it very easy to make the transition to racing as we have a similar level of competition everyday,” remarks Gavett (MIDD).
Following day one of the Harvard Carnival combined team standings put Middlebury in first with 454, UVM in second with 431, and Dartmouth in third with 405 points.
Harvard Carnival GS
On day two of the Harvard Carnival, the windy conditions from the previous day died down in order to give racers nice conditions for the GS.
“There was no wind and some clouds,” remarks Rachael Desrochers (UVM) “The snow was a little soft which made the turns in the first course challenging but if you were on top of it you would be fast.”
The women ran first and UVM’s Josefine Selvaag took the lead with the swift first run time of 1:08.17. However she was unable to keep the lead into the second run ending up third overall. UVM teammate and first year on the circuit Marina Vilanova won the GS with a combined time of 2:12.43. Behind her was Ellie Curtis (DAR). “Second run was a lot straighter and you had to send it through the cross ruts,” remarks Desrochers on her winning second run time.
Tim Gavett, the previous day’s winner for the men’s race, took the lead after the first run in GS. Behind Gavett was Patrick Kenney (UNH). Kenney came down with a quick second run to take the lead. Gavett DNF’ed moving Kenney to the top of the podium, his first win of his collegiate career. Drew Duffy (DAR) took second, and Joachim Lindstoel (UVM) claimed third.
Aside from the fast skiing that was displayed this weekend, it was the coverage by ESPN+ that was the talk of the racers. “It was super cool it was televised. I think that’s a great way to showcase the circuit cause there’s a lot of good people who compete in college,” said Desrochers. “We certainly felt their presence through various forms of social media as they followed along through our success,” comments Gavett. “It’s super exciting to see college skiing getting more attention with ESPN there. I know a lot of my friends were watching,” said Hust.
Nordic and Alpine team standings following the completion of the Harvard Carnival put UVM on top with 867, Middlebury in second with 863, and Dartmouth in third with 839 points. The EISA picks up again next weekend with the UVM Carnival January 24-25th.
Harvard Carnival SL Women: University Waterville Valley Resort (USA)
Harvard Carnival SL Men: University Waterville Valley Resort (USA)
Harvard Carnival GS Women: University Waterville Valley Resort (USA)
Harvard Carnival GS Men: University Waterville Valley Resort (USA)