Ski team places second at Middlebury Carnival by 74 points
By Alex Carr
Published on Monday, February 18, 2013
Coming off an eventful and snow-filled Winter Carnival, the Dartmouth ski team competed this past weekend at the Middlebury Carnival and placed second overall with 859 points, following the University of Vermont’s 933 points and beating third-place Middlebury by nearly 100 points.
The Big Green had a successful first day of alpine and Nordic races, finishing only 11 points behind Vermont. The men’s Nordic team’s victory in the 10-kilometer classic saw two skiers with podium finishes, and the women’s Nordic teams took second in the 5-kilometer classic.
The women’s alpine team triumphed in the first day’s races, winning the slalom on Friday afternoon and securing their first carnival victory this season. Before the slalom, UVM had been on a serious streak, winning all seven of the women’s downhill races.
Big Green skier Sara Kikut ’16 took third place, with a 1:40.69, while teammates Annie Rendall ’13 took sixth place with a 1:41.10 and Anna Kikut ’16 took seventh place with a 1:41.45. The three Big Green women took home a total of 116 points, while UVM placed second with 98.
“At this past Carnival, I think it was a pretty good weekend but we were all still tired from the Dartmouth Carnival,” women’s Nordic head coach Cami Thompson-Graves said. “However, the team has definitely been improving its performance in all different kinds of conditions and states of exhaustion. They are definitely more relaxed and confident when they go out there.”
In the men’s 10-kilometer classic, Sam Tarling ’13 and Silas Talbot ’15 took first and second place, respectively, with Tarling coming in eight seconds before Talbot. Both Big Green skiers were behind in third and fourth places until the final stretch, where they posted times of 25:36.7 and 25:44.3, respectively, to achieve first and second place victories. Out of the top 12, the Big Green landed five skiers on the podium, with David Sinclair ’14 taking sixth, Scott Lacy ’13 eighth and Cameron Woodworth ’14 12th.
In the women’s five-kilometer classic, Annie Hart ’14 had the best time for the Big Green, taking fourth place in 15:52.9 and finishing narrowly behind UVM junior Anja Gruber. Corey Stock ’16 finished sixth with a 16:10.3, and Emily Blackmer ’13 took 12th with 16:38.1.
In the men’s slalom, Hunter Black ’15 had the fastest time for the Big Green, taking 11th in 1:36.28. Mathieu Bertrand ’14 came in right behind Black in 12th in 1:36.55. UVM had three out of six skiers on the podium for the slalom and amassed a total of 126 points, beating out Middlebury’s 111 points and the University of New Hampshire’s 108. Dartmouth trailed the pack with 86 total points.
Entering the second day, the Big Green looked to overtake the Catamounts, entering the day’s contests just 11 points behind.
“It was a good weekend overall,” Tarling said. “Unfortunately, on the second day the men and the women both dropped in scores, which was unlucky.”
Dartmouth maintained its second place standing on day two, with Mary O’Connell ’16 landing a huge victory with a first place finish in the women’s 15-kilometer freestyle. O’Connell had a powerful breakaway at the end of her run, allowing her to win the race by more than 17 seconds, with a 39:35.0. Hart took fourth place in the event in 40:50.1. UVM, however, took the other four spots in the top six, allowing them to narrowly beat the Big Green by six points, 130-124.
“While it wasn’t our best performance this weekend, it was incredibly reassuring to know that we could still do pretty well even when we’re exhausted,” O’Connell said. “We’ve definitely improved on our depth this season. Our top six girls are now consistently landing in the top 20 and top 30.”
The men’s 20-kilometer freestyle race was close, with UVM taking first place with a total of 126 points to Dartmouth’s 124. Tarling took second place in 46:09.2, while Lacy made a comeback from seventh at the first checkpoint to finish in third with a time of 46:16.9. Talbot and Sinclair took eighth and ninth places, respectively.
For the women’s giant slalom, Abby Fucigna ’15 took fifth place with her total time of 2:11.03, and Sara Kikut took tenth place in 2:11.86. UNH, however, swept the event, taking three out of the top six spots to finish first in the event.
In the men’s giant slalom, Ian Macomber ’13 was the Big Green’s top finisher, taking 14th with a combined run-time of 2:04.56. UVM got three of its skiers into the top five, putting UVM in first with 136 points. The Big Green finished fifth in the event with 73 points.
Looking ahead to the next few weeks and the NCAA Championship in March, the team is excited to keep improving.
“We have a really strong group of guys,” Tarling said. “We’ve got great depth this year that was slightly unexpected. Now we just have to keep working hard to peak in March.”
The teams will be out in the snow again this weekend, competing in the regional championships at the Black Mountain ski area in Jackson.
“Now we’re getting to the part of our season where the key thing is to be rested and healthy,” Thompson-Graves said. “Now it’s less focused on getting in a lot of skiing. Rather, we’re focusing on the quality of the skiing.”