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Archives for January 2012

Clarkson, Wyoming Top USCSA Nationals in Bend

The Clarkson University  nordic ski team took top women’s honors at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships in Bend, Oregon, helping propel Clarkson to an overall women’s President’s Award win combining alpine, nordic, and freestyle events. And the University of Wyoming dominated men’s nordic, but couldn’t stop Clarkson from also taking the men’s President’s Award overall title.

104 cross-country skiers toed the line over the course of the National Championships, the biggest field ever for the USCSA.

In the 7.5 k classic individual-start, Vincent Mason of Wyoming picked up the first win of the week for the Cowboys. Wyoming and Western State College dominated the field: Western’s Nate Maddox finished second, Wyoming’s Trevor Willoughby and William Timmons third and fourth, Western’s Kevin Geisen fifth, and Wyoming’s Samuel Wiswell sixth.

In the women’s 7.5 k classic, the top ten was more diverse. Ana Witkowski of Clarkson won a national title, besting Bri Paulsen of Saint Olaf. Isabel Sharp of Cornell placed third, Sarah Duclos of Clarkson fourth, Meghan Kent of Wyoming fifth, and Emma Malmquist of Colorado Mesa University sixth.

In the men’s skate sprint, Charles Maitland got Clarkson a men’s victory, besting Maddox and Timmons for the podium. Mitchell Hollman of the Air Force Academy took fourth, further breaking up the Wyoming-Western stranglehold.

In the women’s skate sprint, Witkowski picked up a second win. She bested Duclos, with Yara Thomas of Wyoming getting on the podium for the first time; Daisy Richmond of Saint Olaf placed fourth.

In the 15 k skate mass start, Maitland won again, edging Timmons by just two tenths of a second in an exciting finish. Wiswell was third, +18.4, and Hollman outsprinted Vincent for fourth.

And in the women’s mass start, Duclos came through to give Clarkson a double win on the day. She bested Paulsen by 5.6 seconds, with Witkowski and Kent finishing third and fourth.

The final event of the week was a team sprint, won in dominating fashion by the Wyoming men and Clarkson women. Video of the race can be found at the USCSA’s broadcast website.

Results: men / women

Bates Carnival Highlight Videos

Bates College hosted NCAA Regional Championships, the final weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races, last Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25, at Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford, Maine. Friday held 5- and 10-kilometer classic races, followed by 15/20 k freestyle mass starts on Saturday.

St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following race-highlights videos. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s 5/10 k classic:

Saturday’s 15/20 k freestyle:

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FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

Middlebury Carnival Highlight Videos

Middlebury College hosted the fourth weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races this past Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18, at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vt. Freestyle mass start races (15 k for the women/20 k for men) took place Friday, and Saturday held classic team sprints. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following race-highlights videos. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s 15/20 k freestyle mass starts:

Saturday’s classic team sprints:

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FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

Dartmouth Carnival Highlight Videos (+Carnie Crush Edition)

Dartmouth College hosted the fourth weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races this past Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11, in Craftsbury, Vt. Freestyle 3 x 5 k relays were held on Friday, and 5/10-kilometer classic races took place on Saturday. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following race-highlights videos (and a bonus Carnie Crush edition). Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s 3 x 5 k relays:

Saturday’s 5/10 k classic:

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FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

Northern Michigan Sweep Men’s and Women’s Podiums in Rhinelander

(Press release)

Rhinelander, WI – Teams of CCSA took part in 5 and 10 kilometer classic races held on COVAC ski trails. Originally, this weekend was supposed to be dedicated to relays but due to previous changes, the University of Wisconsin Green Bay had to accommodate changes as host of this race.

Adam Martin, representing Northern Michigan, clocked in at 26:33.28 and set the fastest time for the men’s 10 k. Martin’s teammate Fredrik Schwencke, who similarly to Martin, decided to only double pole, took second and Lars Sonsterud rounded up the podium occupied by the Wildcats. Tom Bye and Tomi Mikkonen were the top men of Michigan Tech, taking fifth and sixth respectively. Breaking into the top 10 were also Kyle Marshall (8th) from UWGB and Ryan St. Clair skiing for Scholastica (9th).

Northern Michigan also managed to sweep the podium of the women’s 5 k. Coming in first was Vivian Hett with a time of 15:36.21 followed by Kristen Bourne (2nd) and Nicole Schneider (3rd). By the difference of a split second put Tech’s Lisa Koenig (6th) outside of the top five. The top woman for St. Scholastica was Kelsey Dickinson (8th) and Green Bay’s women were led by Bree Mucha finishing 11th.

Joe Haggenmiller commented on his team performance: “I thought the Huskies competed hard and skied well. Kudos to Lisa Koenig and Anna Kubek for their top 10s. Same goes out to Tom Bye and Tomi Mikkonen.”

Northern won the team competition with a combined 138 points. Michigan Tech took second with 115 points followed by Scholastica with 100 points, Green Bay with 91 and Saint Cloud with 33.

“I just want to say thank you to all the CCSA teams who competed today at this new venue. Green Bay and the Northwoods Nordic Ski Club is excited to debut this new venue and work to perfect the course and accommodations in anticipation of future NCAA events. The course and venue was well received and provided a variety of challenges to the athletes,” said Steven Teclaw, head coach of University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

Results: Men | Women

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FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

CCSA Distance Championships Recap

(Press release)

Bourne captures both days, Schwencke wins day 1 Ketterson takes Day 2

Houghton, MI – The first weekend of February brought Central Collegiate teams to Houghton, Mich., in order to find the CCSA distance champions. The hosting university, Michigan Tech and its grooming crew prepared outstanding trail conditions. Temperatures stayed around 20 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and small snow showers on both days. Men took on an individual start 10 k classic on Saturday and mass start 20 k skate Sunday while the distances for women were 5 and 15 kilometers respectively.

Saturday’s racing kicked off with the men’s 10 k classic. Northern Michigan University (NMU) swept the podium placing Fredrik Schwencke in first with a time of 28:22.0 a 40 second lead on second place Zak Ketterson and third place Sam Elfstrom. Finishing just outside the podium was Tech’s Tom Bye with Scholastica’s Reitler Hodgert following in fifth, trailing only 1.1 second behind Bye. The top finishers from University of Wisconsin Green Bay and College of St. Olaf were Kyle Marshall (12th) and Mitchel Miller (24th) respectively.

The fastest time for the women’s 5 k classic, 17:03.0, was set by Kristen Bourne from NMU, outskiing her teammate Nicole Schneider (2nd) by only 0.5 seconds and Vivian Hett (3rd) by 14.7.

“It was great to see Kristen making the jump back to the top of the podium,” NMU Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “Kristen came down with mono the very first week of the semester this fall so she had to take many weeks off and then we laid out a plan to come back slowly, this took some discipline and patients on her part and the road back from mono isn’t easy to do but she stuck with our plan and it worked.”

Also to squeeze into top 10 was MTU’s Carolyn Lucca (8th) and Sonja Hedblom (9th) as well as Bree Mucha (10th) skiing for Green Bay. Scholastica’s top woman was Alison Ternes (13th), Maria Hauer from St. Cloud finished 16th and leading woman for St. Olaf was Bri Paulsen placing 19th.

“Our women skated well with a couple of top 20 performances from Bri Paulsen and Shelby Arendt.  The men continue to improve,” said St. Olaf Head Coach Kevin Brochman.

Sunday began with the women’s 15 k mass start with Bourne outsprinting Schneider in another tight finish with the time of 47:06.2 for first and 47:06.4 for second. Both of Tech’s athletes Lucca (8th) and Hedblom (9th) placed the same as the previous day and Kelsey Dickinson representing CSS rounded off the top ten in 10th place.  Sadie Peterson (12th) took the top spot for Green Bay’s women, Bri Paulsen (18th) for St. Olaf and Anna Lindell (27th) for St. Cloud.

“Sadie Peterson continues to ski strong and improve week to week during her first year in the CCSA,” noted Green Bay head coach Steven Teclaw.

Ketterson representing the Wildcats took the first collegiate spot for the men’s 20k skate. Ketterson was closely followed by Tech’s Gaspard Cuenot (2nd) and Ketterson’s NMU teammate Schwencke (3rd). Bye, skiing for the Huskies, was just 4.2 seconds short of the podium finish. Marshall (6th) from Green Bay recorded another top 10 performance as well as Hodgert (7th) representing Scholastica. The St. Olaf men were led by Tyler Radtke crossing the finish line in 24th.

“We had a great time racing in Houghton, trail conditions were outstanding and the race crew is the best,” Maria Stuber, head coach of Saint Scholastica, said. “The CSS team had some performances that we are really proud of and we are feeling better each week and looking forward to a new course in Rhinelander next weekend.”

In the women’s team point standings, Northern Michigan captured 138 points, Michigan Tech 114, Saint Scholastica 97, Green Bay 91, St. Olaf 64 and St. Cloud 54.

On the men’s side, NMU finished with 135 points, MTU scored 119, CSS 100, UWGB 90 and St. Olaf captured 66 points.

Joe Haggenmiller commented on Michigan Tech’s performance: “Tom Bye was pretty strong this weekend. Overall, I thought we competed pretty well.  NMU beat us pretty handily, you have to give them credit. We will take another shot at things next weekend.”

Results

FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

UVM Carnival Highlight Videos

The University of Vermont (UVM) hosted the third weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races Feb. 3-4 at the Trapp nordic center in Stowe, Vt. Freestyle sprints were held Friday, and 10-kilometer classic races for both the men and the women took place Saturday. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following highlights videos from the races. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Day 1: Freestyle sprints

Day 2: 10 k classic individual start

FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

CCSA Duluth Hilltop Invite Recap

Nicole Schneider (NMU) racing to the win in the women's 5 k freestyle on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Duluth Hilltop Invite in Duluth, Minn. (Photo: Jackie Schneider)

Nicole Schneider (NMU) racing to the win in the women’s 5 k freestyle on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Duluth Hilltop Invite in Duluth, Minn. (Photo: Jackie Schneider)

(Press release)

The weekend of Jan. 28-29 brought the teams of the CCSA to Duluth, Minn., for the Duluth Hilltop Invite hosted by the College of Saint Scholastica. Saturday’s race, 5 k and 10 k individual freestyle for women and men respectively, went as planned but the Sunday classic distance was changed to freestyle, due to the insufficient amount of snow. This change left only the first day as a CCSA/NCAA qualifier point race causing some teams to leave after the first race.

Starting the day off with the women’s 5 k, Nicole Schneider from Northern Michigan captured another freestyle victory with a time of 13:19 followed by her teammates Vivian Hett (2nd) and Sophie Schimpl (3rd). “I thought it was a good day of racing for our team. All of our athletes were out there giving it all they had on a fast icy course.” added NMU assistant coach Shane MacDowell.

Michigan Tech women were led by Carolyn Lucca finishing 11th, a few seconds ahead of her teammate Sonja Hedblom (14th). The fastest woman from the College of Saint Scholastica was Kelsey Dickinson (12th) followed by Green Bay’s Bree Mucha (13th) only three seconds behind. The top finisher from St. Olaf College was Bri Olsen (32nd).

Gaspard Cuenot (Michigan Tech) racing to the 10 k freestyle victory on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Duluth Hilltop Invite in Duluth, Minn. (Photo: Jackie Schneider)

Gaspard Cuenot (Michigan Tech) racing to the 10 k freestyle victory on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Duluth Hilltop Invite in Duluth, Minn. (Photo: Jackie Schneider)

Michigan Tech’s Gaspard Cuenot clocked in at 24:24 during the men’s 10 k freestyle which secured him a first spot on the podium. His performance, along with his teammates Tom Bye (4th) and Tomi Mikkonen (9th), helped MTU to score the most points among the men’s teams.

Second place went to Reitler Hodgert representing Saint Scholastica and coming in third was Lars Sonsterud from NMU. University of Wisconsin Green Bay was represented by Kyle Marshal coming in 12th and Tyler Radke from St. Olaf finished 38th.

Even with the Northern and Tech men’s teams leaving the night before, there was not a lack of competition on Sunday. Kyle Marshal from UWGB placed 2nd with a time of 24:54 in the men’s race, and he was the top CCSA skier that day. Chasing down Marshal were Jack Christianson (4th), Samuel Boardman (10th) and Gerrit Garberich (14th), all skiing for the College of St. Scholastica.  Tyler Radke from St. Olaf moved up to 21st from the previous day.

On the women’s side, the fastest CSSA skier was MTU’s Carolyn Lucca who took 3rd place with her time of 28 minutes flat. The closest collegiate skier to Luca was Sadie Paterson (7th) skiing for UWGB. In the field of St. Scholastica’s women, Nicole Gilman was their top finisher coming in 17th.

Results: Saturday | Sunday

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FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

UNH Carnival Highlight Videos

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) hosted the second weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races on Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Jackson Touring Center in Jackson, N.H. Day 1 was the 5/10-kilometer classic; Day 2 the 15/20 k freestyle mass starts. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey captured the races on camera and produced the following highlights videos. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s 5/10 k classic:

Saturday’s 15/20 k freestyle mass starts:

FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

St. Lawrence Carnival Highlight Videos

The St. Lawrence Carnival opened the 2017 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) season last Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20-21 in Lake Placid, N.Y., with classic sprints and 5/10 k freestyle races. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey captured the races on camera and produced the following highlights videos. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s classic sprints:

Saturday’s 5/10 k freestyle:

FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email info@fasterskier.com if interested.

CCSA Distance Weekend at Birkie Trailhead

(CCSA press release)

This weekend of racing at the Birkie Trailhead near Cable, Wis., brought yet another challenging competition upon the skiers as well as coaches from CCSA and Midwest high schools.

Day 1 started with the men’s classic 10 k individual start. With temperatures around 36 degrees and raining, the course quickly deteriorated despite the best efforts of the organizers.

Adam Martin, representing Northern Michigan University, dominated the field with a winning time of 30:24.5 and a comfortable margin of 28 seconds on his teammate, Fredrik Schwencke, placing second. Another Wildcat placing within the top five was freshman, Zak Katterson (4th). The Saint Scholastica and Michigan Tech men were led by Ryan St. Clair (9th) and Gaspard Cuenot, rounding out the top ten respectively.

“I have to give credit to Gaspard for battling hard after making a poor choice to double pole.” said Michigan Tech’s coach Joe Haggenmiller.

The women’s 5 k was taken over by NMU placing eight skiers into the top ten. The fastest collegiate skier was NMU’s Vivian Hett (2nd) with the time 17:58.0 ahead of her teammates Nicole Schneider (3rd) and Sophie Schimpl (4th). The top MTU woman was Sonja Hedblom taking 12th place.

With all the NMU women and majority of men placing in the top 10, Sten Fjeldheim said: “I am very happy with the performance of our team. We took our focus away from making the teams for Junior and U23 World Championships which certainly reflected on our results.”

Day 2 kicked off with the men’s 20k freestyle mass start. MTU’s Gaspard Cuenot topped the field in an exciting final sprint against NMU’s Martin (2nd) and Schwencke (3rd). His winning time was 58:39.4. Ketterson (4th) and Leo Hipp (7th) were two other Wildcats finishing in the top along with Kyle Marshall (8th) from University of Wisconsin Green Bay and David Jaszczak (9th) from Michigan Tech.

The Wildcats were led by Nicole Schneider who completed the course in 49:26.1 followed by Schimpl (3rd) and Caroline Brisbois (4th). Just outside the top 10 was Elizabeth Evans (11th) from Saint Scholastica, Bree Mucha (13th) representing UWGB, and Carolyn Lucca (14th) from Michigan Tech.

“There were some highs and some lows and are hungry for improvement across the board.  I was impressed by our teams tenacity in the physical & technical challenges of skiing in warm rainy weather. We are really excited to bring the CCSA to Duluth next weekend!” said Scholastica’s head coach Maria Stuber.

Results: 

Day 1: Men’s 10 k classic | Women’s 5 k classic

Day 2: Men’s 20 k freestyle mass start | Women’s 15 k freestyle mass start

Movement to #savealaskaskiing Heats Up; Public Testimony Taken Monday

Last week, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen announced his intention to target skiing for elimination at both the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks in a pending waiver request submitted to the NCAA. This week, the Alaskan ski community is mobilizing to protest the proposal.

In an email widely circulated to “friends and members of our ski community,” supporters of the state’s ski programs advocated three ways to “take action now”:

  1. Write a concise email to the Board of Regents: ua-bor@alaska.edu.

  2. Sign the online petition “savealaskaskiing” here.

  3. Provide public testimony by calling 1-866-726-0757 on Monday October 31 4pm – 6pm (AK time). More info here.

The petition was begun by Fairbanks resident Brandy Harty last week. As of Monday morning Alaska time, it had over 2,100 signatures.

Regarding public testimony, the chair of the University of Alaska Board of Regents wrote in an editorial in Sunday’s Alaska Dispatch News that “The expansion of public testimony and community engagement through audio testimony brings more Alaskans into these important conversations. You help us shape and guide education in Alaska and improve the University of Alaska’s service to our state. … I look forward to hearing from you.”

The public testimony window runs from 4-6 p.m. Alaska time this afternoon. Alaska is four hours behind the East Coast. Written comments may be submitted by email at any time to ua-bor@alaska.edu.

In a separate email to FasterSkier, UAF Head Nordic Coach Nick Crawford provided contact information for the NCAA Division II Membership Committee that will be considering Johnsen’s waiver request, and encouraged supporters to write to the committee directly.

The committee chair is Kevin Schriver, Dean of the College of Education and Social Sciences at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Miss. Schriver’s email is kschriver [at] SBUniv.edu.

In a phone interview with FasterSkier Monday morning, Schriver was asked about the merits of Johnsen’s waiver proposal. “I’m not at liberty to [comment on] that just yet,” Schriver said. “I know the committee is meeting next week.”

Schriver appeared to suggest that the committee’s consideration of this proposal was less than a done deal, stating that the committee “will see if that will be a part of our agenda.” He said that the next scheduled committee meeting is Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, Nov. 8-9.

Emails for other members of the membership committee are: csnyder [at] setonhill.edu, stavaj [at] spu.edu, jeisen [at] umo.edu, gmac.commissioner [at] gmail.com, commissionerhogue [at] thepacwest.com, rthomas [at] umary.edu, margaret.poitevint [at] ung.edu, bhannum [at] hpu.edu, leslie.schuemann [at] heartlandsports.org, and ncullen [at] pittstate.edu.

Bates College Coach Flynn’s Words Live On After Passing at Age 83

Left to right: Lucas Milliken, Gretchen Sellegren, Corky Harrer, Coach Flynn (holding the Chummy Cup) Catherine Tuttle, Lauren Zdechlik Danny Kuzio, and Britta Clark after winning the Chummy Cup during the 2013 Colby Carnival  (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

Left to right: Lucas Milliken, Gretchen Sellegren, Corky Harrer, Coach Bob Flynn (holding the Chummy Cup) Catherine Tuttle, Lauren Zdechlik Danny Kuzio, and Britta Clark after winning the Chummy Cup during the 2013 Colby Carnival (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

Four years ago, the Bates nordic ski team filed into room 106 of the Bethel Inn Resort in Bethel, Maine. Most are clad in the grey and maroon Bates sweat-suitos, wanting to be as comfy as possible for the team meeting about to happen. A few sprawl on the double beds, some lounge in the floral patterned chairs.

The Bates nordic ski program’s head coach, Becky Woods, starts the meeting off with a few words about race goals and course logistics for that weekend’s college ski carnival. Next the team captains share a few thoughts, offering advice about where to make up time and where it is potentially lost.

Finally, there’s a pause in conversation, usually an indicator of the meeting’s conclusion, but no one gets up to leave. All heads turn to one corner of the room and anticipation fills the air. Before anyone can call out the question: “Coach?”, Robert “Bob” Flynn, Wood’s father and co-coach, nods his head.

Though what he is about to say is known by all in the room, the words still sting with the fierceness of Maine’s mid-winter air. He begins to speak and many cannot help but mouth the words along with him.

“Good, better, best. Never ever rest. ‘Til the good is better and the better is best,” Flynn said, nodding his head once more and the meeting adjourns.

Coach Flynn of the Bates Nordic Ski  Team. (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

Coach Flynn of the Bates Nordic Ski Team. (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

A little over four years later, with the passing of Flynn on July 31 at the age of 83, these words survive with many of the athletes he coached.

A three-sport head coach — along with nordic skiing, he coached the football and baseball teams — at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Flynn connected with his athletes because was also an athlete himself.

While growing up in Lewiston Maine, he competed in football, ice hockey, baseball, and skiing through his high school years. He played minor league baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1952 to 1957 before earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine.

As a member of the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame, the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, Flynn is often credited with resurrecting the Bates Nordic Ski Program.

In 1968, he took over the program and began re-building the college’s varsity ski team. He pushed for NCAA Ski Championships to be hosted by Bates in Maine and after eight years of advocating, he succeeded.

“He was always persistent,” Dave Irons, a ski reporter and director of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, said according to a press release. “There aren’t many college ski coaches who would even think about hosting the NCAAs.”

Flynn also served as the president for the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association and chair of the NCAA Skiing Rules Committee. In 2015, the Bates alpine and nordic ski rooms were dedicated to Coach Flynn. During the christening ceremony, Bates Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh referred to Flynn as “the force, the spirit, and the iconic Bobcat zen,” of Bobcat athletics, a press release stated.

The ‘iconic Bobcat zen’ Flynn demonstrated stemmed largely from the potential he saw in all the athletes he coached. Steve Fuller, a Bates nordic alum and current Trustee for the college, pointed out that what Flynn did most for those he worked with was show “unwavering confidence in us as athletes and as human beings.”

— Gabby Naranja

Salmela Switches Sports to Coach Running at St. Scholastica

Chad Salmela with a College of St. Scholastica athlete. The Saints' head nordic coach for the last 10 seasons of the program's existence, Salmela announced Monday he was stepping down to coach the cross-country running and track and field teams instead.

Chad Salmela with a College of St. Scholastica athlete. The Saints’ head nordic coach for the last 10 seasons of the program’s existence, Salmela announced Monday he was stepping down to coach the cross-country running and track and field teams instead.

After leading the men’s and women’s cross-country ski teams for a decade, Chad Salmela, head coach of The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., announced Monday that he was leaving the nordic team to coach the college’s running programs.

“Salmela is the only Nordic coach the university has ever known, coaching the men and women for the past 10 season,” the Duluth News Tribune reported. “Competing against scholarship schools, the Saints won the 2015 Central Collegiate Ski Association men’s and women’s championships and finished 15th as a team at the NCAA championships.”

He will become head coach of the cross-country running team as well as an assistant track and field coach.

In an email to FasterSkier and another U.S.-based nordic website, Salmela provided the following statement:

“The past ten years are the most personally rewarding of my professional career.  The athletes, coaching staff, alumni, and supporters of the St. Scholastica ski program are extended family to me.  The program feels like an appendage.  It is as much a part of me as it is perhaps synonymous.  It requires reflection and deliberate intention that one can step away from something they so love, care about, and are identified with.

For ten seasons I poured myself into all aspects of the job, from developing an effective training system, to coaching the athletes with great care, to race-day details, to recruiting for and marketing the team.  Ten years is a significant stretch of time, yet a relatively brief tenure as a collegiate ski coach if you look around the country for context.  The past ten years was an intense journey for me personally, to put and keep the Saints ski program on the competitive map in collegiate skiing.  I am proud of what this program has achieved.  

A decade, however, feels like it’s time for a change.  With the team on solid footing within the St. Scholastica community as well as that of NCAA and Nordic skiing in the United States, I feel the program needs an injection of fresh enthusiasm, excitement, and perspective in the head coaching position.  While my love for and interest in the program is still strong, I believe that a change in leadership will prove good in numerous ways.  

I simultaneously feel the need for a new challenge in coaching.  Few may know that I have worked as a high school running coach in the past, was the assistant cross country and track coach for my first few years at St. Scholastica, and more recently have consulted with success, several elite and master’s-elite marathon and distance runners.  Healthy, effective, progressive, injury-free distance running continues to interest me to great effect, as my recent side projects have caused me excitement to coaching runners.

The recent retirement of our successful, long time cross country running coach, Steve Pfingsten, opened an avenue right at St. Scholastica, to make a directional coaching career tack with which I have experience, success, and great inquiry, as well as an immense amount of motivation.  Coach Pfingsten has placed the cross country program in a great position in the NCAA Division III cross country realm, coaching our college’s only NCAA DIII national champion, and one conference championship after another for years on end.  He has left big shoes to fill.

After strategic discussions with our administration, I have been offered the head coaching job for cross country and assistant distant coaching job for track and field, and I have accepted.  I am inspired to continue and grow upon the great tradition of Coach Pfingsten, as well as work with head track and field coach, Kirk Nauman, to steer our distance running system towards a cohesive unit across competitive seasons and sports, opening even greater opportunities for our student athletes.

In my new position, I want to collaborate and work closely with the new head skiing coach to transition smoothly to continued long term success.  Our intention is to continue progress on the training system we’ve developed in conjunction with our exercise physiology department.  We see this as a unique strength as an institution offering endurance sports, and believe in the system’s success.  Our department aspires to develop a great amount of synergy in systematic development across the endurance sports we offer in intercollegiate athletics.  This will usher in some new and exciting initiatives across the endurance sports for our student athletes.  This coaching personnel shift feels to us to be an optimal development to that end.  

With this synergistic concept as a goal, our administration will work diligently in the coming weeks and months to find the right successor for the next head coach of the Saints ski team.  We are confident that the final choice will take the Saints ski team into a successful second decade.  

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of Saints skiing under my tenure; who have helped build a ski culture that by all accounts is robust and deep.  I am excited about my own course as well as seeing the bright future for Saints skiing unfold under new leadership.”

Osgood New Head Men’s Coach at Dartmouth

On Wednesday, Dartmouth College announced it hired Brayton Osgood, a 2003 Dartmouth grad, head coach of its men's nordic ski team for the 2016/2017 season. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

On Wednesday, Dartmouth College announced it hired Brayton Osgood, a 2003 Dartmouth grad, head coach of its men’s nordic ski team for the 2016/2017 season. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

(Press release)

HANOVER, N.H. – Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy announced on Wednesday that Dartmouth graduate and former assistant Brayton Osgood has been named head coach of the men’s Nordic ski team.

Osgood graduated cum laude from Dartmouth in 2003 with a degree in mathematics. While in Hanover, he was a four-year member of the ski team (1999-03), was captain of the cross country ski team as a senior and was twice named an NCAA All-American.

“I’m so excited to return to Dartmouth and to continue the ski team’s long history of excellence,” Osgood said. “It’s a great privilege to be the next head coach of men’s Nordic, and for me, it’s a dream come true. I’m looking forward to working with the other ski team coaches to keep developing outstanding student-athletes, and achieving success on the trails.”

After graduation, Osgood became a professional cross country ski racer (2003-11), competing in the Under-23 World Championship (2004) and World Cup (2009). He was also a U.S. Ski Team European Continental Cup Trip team member (2007-10). During his time as a professional, he had six top-10 finishes at U.S. National Championships, three victories on the U.S. SuperTour and one podium finish.

From there, he returned to Dartmouth as the Nordic assistant, a position he held from September of 2011 until April of 2012. While serving as assistant, he facilitated development and coordinated in-season training sessions.

“We are thrilled to have Brayton join our skiing coaching staff,” Sheehy said. “As a Dartmouth graduate and NCAA All-American, he truly understands what it takes to achieve success at the highest level. We have no doubt that his passion for Dartmouth Skiing combined with his technical knowledge of the sport will help Dartmouth continue as the premier college in the country for competing nationally in skiing, while receiving a first-class education.”

In his years since leaving Hanover, Osgood mostly stayed in the New England area, working as a Race Data manager with the New England Nordic Ski Association (2012-16) in Maine, a coach and head wax technician for the New England Junior National Ski Team (2015 and 2016) and as software engineer with AMP Sports (2008-13, 2014-2016). He also worked as a World Cup Wax Technician with the U.S. Ski Team (2015) in Europe.

Osgood graduated from Northeastern with a masters in accounting and business administration in 2013.

Patterson Resigns After 27 Seasons at Dartmouth

Dartmouth men's coach Ruff Patterson has announced his retirement after 27 seasons with the team. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

Dartmouth men’s coach Ruff Patterson has announced his retirement after 27 seasons with the team. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

(Press release)

HANOVER, N.H. — After 27 seasons as Dartmouth’s head coach of the men’s Nordic ski team, Ruff Patterson has stepped down from his post. A vaunted member of the skiing community, Patterson enjoyed a plethora of accomplishments and awards during his tenure in Hanover.

Four times Patterson was chosen as the Eastern Intercollegiate Men’s Nordic Coach of the Year, plus was selected as the Ski New Hampshire Al Merrill Award winner for his outstanding contributions to cross country skiing in New Hampshire. He was hired at Dartmouth in 1989 to serve as the coach of the men’s Nordic team as well as the Director of Skiing, replacing the legendary John Morton. After 16 years, he turned over the director duties to a colleague and continued coaching for 11 more seasons.

During his tenure, Patterson coached 14 skiers who earned All-America honors a total of 31 times (21 of those awards coming in the last 11 years), with three individual champions in the freestyle — Glenn Randall in 2008, Sam Tarling in 2011 and Patrick Caldwell in 2015. With his fellow Big Green coaches, he helped guide Dartmouth to 13 top-five team finishes at the NCAA Championship, including a national title in 2007 as Ben True (twice) and Mike Sinnott earned All-America honors that year for the men’s Nordic squad.

Patterson had quite the distinguished career even prior to his tenure at Dartmouth, having coached for 10 years with the U.S. Ski Team (USST), most notably the women cross country skiers at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid in 1980, Sarajevo in 1984 and Calgary in 1988. He also coached numerous World Cup and World Championship teams for the USST. In addition Patterson spent time with the U.S. Ski Coaches Association as an assistant coach, an international coach and Nordic coordinator, as well as acting cross country program coordinator.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree distributed in molecular biology, chemistry and psychology, Patterson skied with the Buffalo team that won the NCAA Championship every year of his undergraduate career (1973-76), coincidentally sharing the title with Dartmouth as a senior.

Big Weekend for Hegman, UVM at Final EISA Carnival in Middlebury

UVM's Iris Pessey (l) celebrating her win in the women's 15 k classic mass start at the Middlebury Carnival last Sunday in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

UVM’s Iris Pessey (l) celebrating her win in the women’s 15 k classic mass start, ahead of teammate Mary-Kate Cirelli (r), on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Middlebury Carnival in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

By Silke Hynes

The EISA Carnival season came to a close this weekend with the Middlebury College Carnival in Ripton, Vt. Despite heavy rain late in the week, the Rikert Nordic Center managed to pull together a full 5-kilometer loop. Races were delayed from Friday to Saturday to give organizers time to repair rain damage to the race loop. A perennial challenge, the course winds its way up and down, containing two A-level climbs and challenging technical downhills. Conditions for the weekend created additional difficulty. As temperatures dropped, standing water froze creating a course dotted with ice patches. Despite the best efforts of organizers, some parts of the course remained icy.

Jørgen Grav of the University of Vermont racing to the win in the 10 k freestyle last Saturday at the Middlebury Carnival in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Jørgen Grav of the University of Vermont racing to the win in the 10 k freestyle last Saturday at the Middlebury Carnival in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Saturday dawned clear and cold leading to hard, fast tracks for the first day of racing. The men’s 10 k skate was underway first, and the day belonged to the men of the University of Vermont (UVM). Jørgen Grav led a three-man sweep for the Catamounts. He was followed by teammate Jack Hegman less than 5 seconds back, while Cole Morgan completed the UVM sweep. They were followed by a Dartmouth charge with Fabian Stocek and Callan Deline taking fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the women’s 5 k skate, Annie Pokorny of Middlebury was the only one who could stop UVM from repeating the sweep on the women’s side. She took first, ahead of skate leader Alayna Sonnesyn of UVM, who took second. Sonnesyn was the first of a four-woman sweep for UVM, leading teammates Iris Pessey, Mary-Kate Cirelli and Stephanie Kirk on their way to third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Sunday started out considerably warmer than the day before, with temperatures rising over freezing heading into the men’s 20 k classic mass start. The days races were held on a slightly modified course, with racers cutting off an A-climb on their first lap, presumably to avoid sending tightly packed skiers down the technical, icy descent that followed.

Eli Hoenig (Williams College) leading the men's 20 k classic mass start at the Middlebury Carnival last weekend at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Eli Hoenig (Williams College) leading the men’s 20 k classic mass start at the Middlebury Carnival last weekend at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Once again the men were off first, with a lead pack setting a fast early pace. Midway through Eli Hoenig of Williams took control, leading for the latter half of the race before being outpaced to the line by Hegman. Hoenig took second, just 0.3 of a second back of Hegman’s winning time. Grav cruised into third, followed by Stocek in fourth. Morgan rounded out the top five for the Catamounts.

In the women’s 15 k classic mass start there was no stopping the UVM women. Pessey charged to her third podium of the season, narrowly out pacing teammate Cirelli, who finished second. They were followed by teammates Sonnesyn and Kirk in third and fourth to complete a four-woman sweep. Corey Stock of Dartmouth was the lone non-UVM skier to sneak into the top five, with her fifth-place finish.

After strong performances across the board, it was no surprise that the big winners of the weekend were the University of Vermont Catamounts. They took home both the Middlebury carnival win, as well as both men’s and women’s conference titles with a combined score of 989 points. Dartmouth College finished second with 826 points, followed by the University of New Hampshire in third with 749 points.

With the EISA Nordic season complete it was time to hand out the final individual accolades as well. Hegman took home both the men’s overall classic and overall skate leader bibs, while teammate Sonnesyn took home the women’s overall skate leader bib. Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury took home the women’s overall classic leader bib despite not racing the past two carnival weekends. Female Rookie of the Year went to Pessey, while Male Rookie of the Year went to Deline.

While EISA racing action is finished for the season, the top Eastern collegiate skiers will head west to Steamboat Springs, Colo., for the NCAA Championships March 9-12.

Results

CCSA Wraps Up with NCAA Regionals; Schimpl, Brown, Lee, & Fehrenbach Win

The CCSA/NCAA regional championships kicked off Friday at Al Quaal recreation park in Ishpeming, Michigan. The 5 and 10 kilometer individual start skate races saw abnormally warm temperatures, causing the snow to soften and deteriorate as the day went on.

With three Northern Michigan University men (Ian Torchia,  Adam Martin, and Leo Hipp) and five women (Kristen Bourne, Felicia Gesior, Vivan Hett, Sarah Bezdicek, and Nicole Schnieder) away for World U23 and World Junior Championships in Romania, there was also new opportunity for podium spots over two exciting days of racing.

The day began with the women’s 5 k skate race. As temperatures held steady well above freezing, Northern Michigan’s Sophie Schimpl stormed her way to first place and her first Regional title with a time of 13:50.7. Ten seconds back from Schimpl was Saint Scholastica’s Kelsey Dickinson in second place. Dickinson’s second place finish is also the best placing by a Saints women at a Regional Championship, according to Saints coach Chad Salmela.

“This is the most memorable ski race I’ve ever had,” said Dickinson of her performance.  “Including biathlon.”

Dickinson raced two seasons internationally as a member of the junior and senior U.S. Biathlon Teams before returning to St. Scholastica this year.

Coming in a strong third place, another ten seconds down to Dickinson was Michigan Tech’s Andrea Lee. Right behind Lee by less than a second was Northern Michigan freshman Sophie McDonald in fourth.

The women of the University of Alaska Fairbanks were operating like a well-oiled machine today placing fifth, sixth and seventh with Nichole Bathe, Anne-Tine Markset and Sarissa Lammers all coming in with less than five seconds separating all three racers. This performance was good enough to place UAF in second on the day with 57 points behind Northern Michigan University’s 62 points.

Northern Michigan’s third scorer, Caroline Brisbois, wasn’t far off the women of UAF in eighth. Saint Scholastica’s Elizabeth Evans followed in ninth and Northern Michigan’s Vera Gruber rounded out the top ten.

The team podium is still up for grabs as all of the team scores are very close heading into tomorrow’s 15k classic mass start. Northern Michigan leads with 62 points, they are followed by UAF, 57 points and Saint Scholastica in third with 52 points and they are followed very closely by the women of Michigan Tech with 51 points.

On the men’s side of things, the temperatures remained well above freezing causing the conditions to soften as more and more racers lapped the course for the 2 lap, 10 k race.

Northern Michigan’s Jake Brown stomped his authority all over the men’s race to take his first ever regional title finishing with a time of 24:36.6, a full minute and four seconds ahead of Michigan Tech’s Kyle Hanson who took second on the day. In third was Reitler Hodgert of the College of Saint Scholastica, just 0.2 seconds behind Hanson.

“I’m super happy for both Jake and Sophie today,” said Northern Michigan Coach Sten Fjeldheim. “For both of them to take not only the individual regional title, but have it be their first time doing it is just amazing!”

The men of Northern Michigan followed in the footsteps of their women’s team by placing in the same exact places with fourth, Sam Elfstrom and eighth, Krystof Kopal, to give them the team lead with 62 points after day one.

Michigan Tech solidified their second place team score of 58 points with strong performance behind Hanson with Gaspard Cuenot in sixth and Didrik Fjeld Elset in ninth.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks took fifth (Max Donaldson), tenth (Alexander Eckert) and eleventh (Michael Fehrenbach) for the team to take third overall; skiing into seventh place was Matthew Nichols of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

Day two of the CCSA/NCAA Regionals was host to another day of hard fast racing. After the warm temperatures of Saturday, the weather took a turn and produced colder temperatures overnight. This caused the courses to freeze solid, making it difficult to set a solid track at Al Quaal. The grooming crew did a great job with what they were given and the races went off without a hitch.

The men and women of the University of Alaska Fairbanks were out to make a statement, and did just that by winning the team events for the day. The men led it off with the 20k classic mass start. University of Alaska Fairbanks Fehrenbach took the win after just over an hour of racing, by out sprinting Northern Michigan’s Brown.

“It was great for Michael Fehrenbach grab his first win of the year in the last CCSA race,” said UAF coach Nick Crawford. “We knew he could do it all year and I’m glad it finally came together today.”

Racing was extremely close with the top six being separated by only 26 seconds. Michigan Tech’s Cuenot crossed the finish line in third, less than 4 seconds behind Brown. From there, UAF and Northern Michigan traded blows as UAF took fourth with Jan Cech, Northern countered in fifth with Elfstrom. Reitler Hodgert snuck into sixth, for Saint Scholastica’s solo men’s top ten. Applying the finishing blow to Northern Michigans run for today’s win was UAF’s Donaldson in seventh, beating out Northern’s Fredrik Schwenke by four seconds to register their third scorer and take the team win for the day with 63 points to Northerns 60.

Michigan Tech’s Kyle Hanson and Didrik Elset finished ninth and tenth to give their team 53 points and third in the team scores.

On the women’s side, Northern Michigan and UAF continued to trade haymakers for the top spot in the day’s team scores. The day was ruled by Michigan Tech’s Lee as she attacked on the last lap of the three-lap 15 k race to win by over 15 seconds. Once Lee was across the line the battle ensued with UAF’s Bathe and Markset delivering a one-two punch, finishing second and third. Northern Michigan responded with three big shots and put their three top girls in fourth, fifth and sixth with Brisbois, Schimpl and Lea Buenter. The assault of UAF proved to be too much today as their third scorer, Lammers crossed in seventh, giving her team 63 points and the win over Northern by 3.

“Our women had an outstanding day with 4 in the top 10 and two on the podium!” said coach Crawford. “It was really fun for Nichole and Anne-Tine to go 2-3 today and we’re excited to see how they do at NCAA’s.”

Dickinson of the College of Saint Scholastica led her team in 8th place. She was followed by another UAF skier, Ann-Cathrin Uhl in ninth and Saints teammate Evans in tenth.

In the overall team scores the men of Northern Michigan were able to weather the storm kept their lead from day one to take the overall Regional Championship with a total of 122 points. University of Alaska Fairbanks was second with 112 points, just narrowly beating out Michigan Tech with 111 points.

Northern Michigan’s women were able to hang on after the onslaught from the women of UAF to finish first for the weekend and taking the Regional Championship with 122 points. UAF followed closely with 120 points. Michigan Tech took third with 100 points, just beating out Saint Scholastica for the last podium spot by one point.

With both men and womens teams taking Regional Titles, Northern Michigan University was awarded the combined Regional Championship.

“I’m really proud of our team today,” said Northern Michigan coach Sten Fjeldheim. “We saw some great racing out there this weekend and everyone dug really deep to get this win. We had some awesome results from some of our athletes like Sam Elfstrom who had two of the best results of his career this weekend, and our two freshman Lea Buenter and Sophie McDonald who also posted season best results.”

As these races mark the end of the CCSA regular season, some athletes will be looking to the NCAA championships in Steamboat springs that start March 9th.

-Shane MacDowell

Results

Saturday: women / men

Sunday: women / men

UVM Dominates as EISA Tries a New, Winner-Takes-All Two-Day Pursuit Format

Mary Kate Cirelli of UVM leads teammate Stephanie Kirk in the 10 k skate at Williams Carnival on Friday. Cirelli finished second and Kirk ninth. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Mary Kate Cirelli of UVM leads teammate Stephanie Kirk in the 10 k skate at Williams Carnival on Friday. Cirelli finished second and Kirk ninth. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

EISA nordic racing resumed this past weekend with the Williams College Carnival in Lake Placid, NY. Traditionally held at Prospect Mountain, the carnival was forced to change venues due to lack of snow, a familiar situation this season. Thankfully, the Olympic Regional Development Authority welcomed the college circuit with open arms, putting together a solid 2.5-kilometer manmade race loop at their Olympic Ski Jump Complex.

The course, which was used previously this season for SuperTour racing in late January, wound its way around and up the back side of the ski jump landing hill before descending quickly into the stadium below. Warm weather throughout the weekend created conditions that alternated between soft sugary snow and sheer ice, making for technical skiing all around.

Jack Hegman en route to the win for UVM on day 1. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Jack Hegman en route to the win for UVM on day 1. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

The race format for the weekend was somewhat unusual for a college carnival with both genders beginning the weekend with a 10 k skate, before following the next day with a 5 k classic. While there were NCAA points to be had on Friday, all carnival points were allocated based on the final finish order after the Saturday pursuit.

The University of Vermont got off to a flying start, landing three in the top four on the first day of racing. Alayna Sonnesyn took first in the women’s race in 27:45.1, meaning she would start the next day with an 18.5 second advantage over teammate Mary-Kate Cirelli. Annie Porkorny of Middlebury also set herself up well for Saturday’s pursuit, landing third just 1.2 seconds behind Cirelli. Iris Pessey took fourth place for the Catamounts, while Lydia Blanchet was the top Dartmouth woman in fifth place.

It was a similar story on the men’s side with UVM once again putting three in the top four. Jack Hegman led the field in 23:44.8, giving himself a 16.5 second advantage over teammate Jørgen Grav. Fabian Stocek of Dartmouth was another 10.9 seconds back in third place. Cole Morgan rounded out UVM’s top three in fourth place, while Callan Deline rounded out the top five for Dartmouth.

Joergen Grav of UVM locked up second place on both Friday and Saturday. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Joergen Grav of UVM locked up second place on both Friday and Saturday. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Despite rising temperatures, klister, and the threat of rain hovering overhead, Saturday promised to be a day of exciting racing. The top ten women from the day before were poised to start within 55 seconds, making for a potentially tight two lap pursuit race. It was Pokorny who rose to the occasion, putting in the fastest time of the day in 16:00.0, and racing to the top of the podium. Sonnesyn managed to hold onto second place, despite losing 30 seconds to Pokorny over the course of five kilometers. Cirelli secured a second podium spot for the Catamounts with the fifth fastest time of the day. Putting in the second fastest time of the day it was Katrin Larusson of the University of New Hampshire, who raced her way from eighth to fourth, staying just ahead of Blanchet who held onto fifth place.

In the men’s race, the start was considerably more spaced out, with only 7 men underway in the first minute. Once again it was Hegman who took the top spot with the second fastest time on the day, opening up his lead on teammate Grav to 27.3 seconds. Stocek put in the fastest time of the day, narrowly missing out on second place, just half a second behind Grav. Morgan held onto his fourth place position with the tenth fastest time of the day. The big change in the top five came from Eli Hoenig of Williams College who raced from eleventh to fifth at his home carnival with the fourth fastest time of the day.

With strong performances across the board, the weekend belonged to UVM who took home the win with 992 points ahead of Dartmouth with 919 points. UNH took home third with 720 points.

The Williams College Carnival concluded the EISA regular season. College racing with be back in action next weekend as the post season begins with the EISA Championships/NCAA Regionals at the Middlebury College Carnival. The Middlebury Carnival is set to go off on Friday at Rikert Nordic Center, which will make it only the second carnival this season to be hosted at its planned venue.

-Silke Hynes

Results 

Friday men / women

Saturday men / women

Annie Pokorny of Middlebury College moved her way up from third on day 1 to take the win on day 2. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Annie Pokorny of Middlebury College moved her way up from third on day 1 to take the win on day 2. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

UVM Regains Upper Hand at Dartmouth Carnival; Individual Wins for Hegman, Phinney

The men's field leaving the start in the 20 k classic at Dartmouth Carnival in Craftsbury, Vermont. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

The men’s field leaving the start in the 20 k classic at Dartmouth Carnival in Craftsbury, Vermont. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association racing resumed this weekend with the 106th Dartmouth Winter Carnival at Craftsbury Outdoor Center. The SuperTour left the East after two combined SuperTour/carnival weekends, but things felt familiar anyway: the returned to Craftsbury for a second straight weekend after yet another venue change forced by poor snow conditions. So far the Eastern Collegiate season has been four carnivals contested at just two venues, with three of those carnivals being moved from their original sites.

Craftsbury welcomed back the teams for the unique one-day carnival. With just one distance race per gender, the pressure was on for teams to put in good performances. The men’s 20 k and women’s 20 k classic mass starts were contested on a slightly different course than last weekend’s UVM Carnival. The hardworking Craftsbury crew were able to expand the race loop to 3.2 km, adding a challenging hill and more technical skiing. Once again repetition, this time 5-6 laps, aided in making for a challenging race.

Eli Hoenig of Williams College leading the men's 20 k before being eventually caught and passed by Jack Hegman of UVM. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Eli Hoenig of Williams College leading the men’s 20 k before being eventually caught and passed by Jack Hegman of UVM. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

On top of poor snow fall, the race organizers were challenged by freezing temperatures that threatened to drop below the legal race cutoff of -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Faced with potentially plummeting temperatures, organizers chose to move the races earlier in the day to get ahead of the incoming cold front.

At 9:30 am, the men were underway, many sporting colorful tape on their faces to protect from wind chills projected to hit more than 25 degrees below zero. Through the tough conditions it was Jack Hegman of the University of Vermont who prevailed, after spending much of the race chasing Eli Hoenig of Williams College. Despite an early lead Hoenig was unable to fend off a late charge by Hegman, and took home second place for the Ephs after crossing the line 6.4 seconds back. Fabian Stocek snagged the final spot on the podium (+12.3 seconds) for “home team” Dartmouth, while Peter Holmes of the University of New Hampshire (+16.7) and Jørgen Grav of UVM (+19.1) rounded out the top five. With Cole Morgan crossing the line in seventh (+39.2), UVM took the team win in the men’s race.

On the women’s side it was a tight race for the podium spots between defending classic leader Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury, Olivia Amber of Colby, and Mary-Kate Cirelli of UVM. Phinney came out on top in 44:59.0, while Amber and Cirelli finished four and eight seconds back respectively. The women’s top five was filled out by Katrin Larusson of UNH (+19) and Mary O’Connell of Dartmouth (+20). Despite no skiers on the podium, the Dartmouth women claimed the team score with Corey Stock in sixth (+32) and Emily Hyde in ninth (+1:14) rounding out the scoring.

Overall UVM took home the win on the weekend scoring 888 points, ahead of second place Dartmouth College who scored 858 points. Third went to UNH with 826 points. UVM had won the opening carnival of the season before Dartmouth took two in row; the tally is now even.

EISA nordic racing with resume February 19th with the Williams College Carnival. Due to lack of snow the Williams Carnival will be contested at the Lake Placid Ski Jumps, and will be the fourth Carnival this season to be moved from its original venue due to snow issues.

-Silke Hynes.

Results: men / women

Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury (right) and Corey Stock of Dartmouth (left) leading the pack in the women's 20 k classic. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury (right) and Corey Stock of Dartmouth (left) leading the pack in the women’s 20 k classic. (Photo: Silke Hynes)