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Vermont Wins 22nd-Straight Carnival, But First Wins for Stock, Phinney, & Hegman

Corey Stock of Dartmouth College celebrating her victory in the EISA Bates Carnival sprint on Friday in Waterville, Maine. (Photo: Steve Fuller/Flying Point Road. For more of Steve's photos from the weekend, click over to his website here.)

Corey Stock of Dartmouth College celebrating her victory in the EISA Bates Carnival sprint on Friday in Waterville, Maine. (Photo: Flying Point Road. For more of Steve’s photos from the weekend, click over to the website here; 100% of proceeds from print sales go to the New England Nordic Ski Association.)

(Note: we are looking for contributors to write short reports on this season’s action on each of the collegiate circuits. If you are interested, please contact info@fasterskier.com.)

The Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association racing season got started this weekend, with something of a gradual transition into college racing as the Bates Carnival was held in partial conjunction with Eastern Cup races.

The races were moved from Rumford, Maine, where they originally were scheduled, to the Quarry Road network in Waterville, which will also host next week’s Colby Carnival.

The University of Vermont came away the winner, thanks to the power of both their alpine and cross-country teams; the Catamounts topped the team scores in three of four nordic races.

But while Vermont was a familiar team to top the standings – it was their 22nd-straight carnival win – there were plenty of new faces on the podiu,

Only college athletes competed on Friday, in classic sprints where Dartmouth senior Corey Stock claimed her first collegiate win. Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury was the runner-up, with Mattie Watts of the University of Vermont in third; Olivia Amber of Colby, Hannah Miller of Bowdoin, and Taryn Hunt-Smith of Dartmouth rounded out the final.

For the men it was Vermont’s Jørgen Grav who took the title ahead of teammate Jack Hegman. Vermont packed the final, with Cole Morgan also placing fifth. Alexis Morin of Quebec’s Université Laval was third, with Peter Holmes of the University of New Hampshire fourth and Eli Hoenig of Williams sixth.

Saturday’s races were combined with an Eastern Cup, featuring 5 and 10 kilometer interval-start skate races for women and men, respectively.

Racing got snowy on Sunday. The men's field contested 10 k skate races in combination with Eastern Cup competitions. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

Racing got snowy on Sunday. The men’s field contested 10 k skate races in combination with Eastern Cup competitions. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

In the women’s field Kaitlynn Miller of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, a newly-crowned senior national champion, took the overall win in 12:06.2.

Runner-up Phinney was the fastest college competitor, 6.8 seconds back. Like Stock, Phinney started out her senior season with the first carnival win of her career. Alayna Sonnesyn (fifth overall +14.5) and Iris Pessey (sixth overall, +21.1) of the University of Vermont rounded out the college podium.

As for the women, the runner-up from the men’s sprint had his day in the sun on Saturday: Hegman took the overall win of both the carnival and the Eastern Cup, covering the 10 k in 22:07.5. College racers swept the overall podium, with Grav in second (+2.4) and Fabian Stocek of Dartmouth in third (+9.7).

While Grav has won a handful of carnivals in the past, it was the first title for his teammate and fellow senior Hegman. For Vermont, both Watts and Pessey also posted their first collegiate podiums; Watts is a sophomore, while Pessey, originally from France, is in her first year with the team.

At the end of the weekend, UVM and Dartmouth were far ahead of the rest of the field, but UVM much farther ahead: they took the carnival win by a score of 951 to 909, with the University of New Hampshire third with 738 points.

Eastern Cup racing continued on Sunday with classic mass starts, but the top college competitors didn’t stick around for the action. They will return to Quarry Road in a week’s time to see if anyone can catch UVM.

Team Scores

Friday results: men’s sprint and heat sheets | women’s sprint and heat sheets

Saturday results: men’s and women’s college-only results

Eastern Cup Results (both Saturday and Sunday)

Longtime University of Vermont assistant Fred Fayette, the subject of a documentary by last season, takes splits on course on Sunday. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

Longtime University of Vermont assistant Fred Fayette, the subject of a documentary by Middlebury skier Stella Holt in 2015, takes splits on course on Sunday. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

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