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EISA Field Mingles with Nation’s Top Racers at Dartmouth Carnival

By Adam Terko 

Note: This year’s Dartmouth Carnival was combined with both a NENSA Eastern Cup and the Craftsbury SuperTour. This report will focus on the EISA racing on Friday and Saturday, the results of which were pulled and separated from the overall race results in determining collegiate placings and scores. For more information, interviews and video coverage of the entire weekend of events, please see more of Fasterskier’s in-depth coverage:

Friday’s Freestyle SprintsSaturday’s Freestyle Interval StartsSunday’s Classic Mass Starts

CRAFTSBURY, Vt. — Strong racers from across the country convened this weekend in the small rural town of Craftsbury, Vermont for three days of high-level ski racing. A combined EISA Carnival (hosted by Dartmouth), SuperTour and Eastern Cup, this block of racing was surely one of the biggest and most anticipated group of contests in the East this winter. At the forefront of “snow-farming” and snow preservation techniques, and home to some of the most diligent grooming and organizational staffs in the country, one would not expect anything less than ideal conditions and preparation for this race series. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center did not disappoint, and neither did the weather. Large storms have swept across New England in the past few weeks, giving great ski conditions to nearly every ski center around. For the Dartmouth Carnival series of races, only skate skis were needed: EISA racers took on cold, hard snow during freestyle sprints on Friday, and tackled some fresh snow and tough hills during a 10-kilometer individual-start freestyle event on Saturday.

Friday: Freestyle Sprint

With the EISA field mixed in with a Supertour event, a strong and speedy race was needed to nab a top-30 overall finish in the qualifying round and the chance to battle head-to-head in the heats. College results would be parsed-out from the heat results to determine placing for the Carnival field, so pushing hard for placement in each heat was of utmost importance.

The top female EISA qualifier was UNH racer Annika Taylor, who has now shown great strength in both classic and freestyle techniques and in nearly any distance as well. In the heats, however, Taylor was knocked out in the semi-final round and settled for third place in the EISA field. Another prominent collegiate skier this year, Corey Stock of host institution Dartmouth, bested Taylor in the semi-finals to earn 2nd place in the EISA field.

The top EISA racer in the women’s field was the only collegiate skier represented in the A-final. Second in qualifying among collegiate skiers and fifth in qualifying overall, Middlebury’s Heather Mooney powered to a third-place finish in the entire event, earning her the top EISA finish and her fifth collegiate win of the season. The victory by Mooney also helped lead the Middlebury women to the top team score in the event ahead of UNH and Dartmouth.

The overall event was won by Bridger Ski Foundation racer (and former UVM skier and northern VT local) Jennie Bender, with Erika Flowers of the SMS T2 team (formerly of Dartmouth) placing second.

The men’s race saw two UVM skiers advancing to the final, with Jorgen Grav taking fourth and Cole Morgan taking fifth, earning them first and second in the EISA results. Battling through to the semi-finals were Dartmouth’s Fabian Stocek and another Catamount, Tobias Trenkle. The two earned third and fourth place, respectively, in the collegiate race. The 1-2-4 strength of the UVM men gave them the team victory ahead of Dartmouth and UNH.

Kris Freeman (Freebird) was victorious in the overall event, edging APU racers Reese Hanneman and Eric Packer (formerly of Dartmouth) in the final.

Saturday: 10 k Freestyle

Saturday saw both the men and women racing a 10-kilometer freestyle event in the individual-start format. Two laps around the hilly 5-kilometer race loop at Craftsbury would cater to racers with strong fitness and climbing prowess, though temperatures in the single-digits to low teens felt warm and comfortable compared to the previous day’s bitter chill.

After a strong day in the freestyle sprints just 24 hours prior, it was again the Catamounts of UVM who proved their strength in the men’s race. The trio of Rogan Brown, Jorgen Grav and Jack Hegman swept the podium, earning a perfect team score in the EISA event.

Despite failing to qualify for the top-30 in the sprint race, Brown powered to a strong 27-second lead over teammate Grav. Hegman followed 18 seconds back, narrowly edging UNH racer Raleigh Goessling to help Vermont own the podium.

Behind UVM in the team score were UNH and Dartmouth, followed closely by the men of Williams College. All of the top four schools put at least 3 skiers in the top-15, with only Frederic Touchette (Laval, 5th place) and Kyle Curry (SLU, 13th place) representing other institutions in the top-17 spots.

In the overall combined race, Kris Freeman (Freebird) took top honors for the second day in a row. He was followed by Brown in second overall and Lex Treinen of APU in third.

The women’s race saw a repeat of the previous day’s EISA podium, albeit in a slightly different order. The consistently-strong trio of Annika Taylor (UNH), Heather Mooney (Middlebury) and Corey Stock (Dartmouth) bested the rest of their collegiate competitors, in that order. Taylor picked up her second freestyle win of the season in strong fashion, putting over 30 seconds into Mooney over the course of the race.

The big time gap continued to third, as Mooney finished 39 seconds ahead of Stock. The UNH women took home the top team score, followed by Middlebury and Dartmouth.

Mary Rose (Sun Valley) was the overall champion on the day, while Taylor earned a tie with Erika Flowers (SMS T2) for second place. Mooney and Stock also wound up in the top-10 with ninth and 10th place finishes, respectively.

EISA racing continues next week in Ripton, Vermont as Middlebury College hosts events at the Rikert Nordic Center.

Results (Collegiate and Overall)

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