Dartmouth College prevailed as NCAA Eastern Regional Champions this past weekend at Middlebury College’s 84th Winter Carnival EISA championships at the Rikert Touring Center. Second place went to the University of Vermont, and third to Middlebury College. Still reeling from the nearly three feet of snow that fell one week ago, the crews at Middlebury worked through the week to ensure firm conditions for Friday’s 5/10km individual skate race and Saturday’s mass start classic 15/20km.
Dartmouth remained the school to contend with this weekend. In the women’s 5km race, points leader and senior Sara Studebaker and sophomore Elsa Sargent took the top two spots. The Dartmouth sweep was foiled by UVM’s Kat Howe in her strongest finish of the year, a third place that pushed her into qualifying for the NCAA National Championships to be held next week in Jackson, NH.
In the men’s race, Dartmouth swept the top three spots. Junior Ben True led the way, followed by sophomore Glen Randall and the ailing series leader Mike Sinnott taking third.
Saturday’s long race saw temperatures drop from cold gusting winds. In the men’s race, UVM’s Jurgen Uhl lost a closely contested battle in the final meters of the race to a crafty Mike Sinnott. Ben True finished third.
In the women’s race, UVM senior Carina Hamel set a blistering pace early. Hamel won by over a minute in front of Dartmouth’s Elsa Sargent. UVM coach Paul Stone said of the event, â€œThere were a few surprises this weekend but most just great racing and great conditions. Middlebury put on a first class event.â€
Racing resumes next week in the east at the NCAA championships hosted by the University of New Hampshire.