The EISA UVM Carnival took place in Stowe, Vermont as part of the SuperTour weekend, while RMISA schools contested the DU invitational at Devil’s Thumb.
EISA – UVM Carnival, Stowe Vermont
Top eastern collegiate skiers had the opportunity to match up against some of the top racers in the country this past weekend at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. The UVM carnival was held in conjunction with the USSA SuperTour, as well as a regional Eastern Cup. College skiers fared impressively well in the two-day event.
For full SuperTour coverage on FasterSkier: Southam and Strandberg Dominate Eastern SuperTour
Saturday – 5/10km Individual Start Freestyle
All races were held on the new John Morton-designed race course at Trapp Family Lodge. In the 10km men’s event, Dartmouth dominated in usual fashion, taking 4 of the top 5 spots, led by sophmore Nils Koons, who claimed his first victory of the season. Sylvan Ellefsen (Bates), a winner last weekend, was 18 seconds back in second, just half a second ahead Glenn Randall (Dartmouth). The Big Green took the next two spots with Dakota Blackhorse-Von Jess and Ben True. Alex Taylor (Williams) finished 6th, just 4 seconds out of the top 5.
In the women’s 5km, Caitlin Patterson (UVM) claimed her first victory of the season, edging out Dartmouth’s Rosie Brennan (USST) by just 1.2 seconds. Freshman Lucy Garrec (Colby) continued her torrid first season on the circuit, rounding out the podium, 15 seconds in back of Patterson. With Ida Sargent in 5th and Erika Flowers in 6th, Dartmouth easily won the team competition for the day.
Sunday – 10/15km Individual Start Classic
Racing continued with challenging waxing conditions on Sunday. UVM’s Juergen Uhl continued his dominance in the classic technique, skiing to a 45 second win over Ben True (Dartmouth). Dimitri Luthi (Williams) stepped on the podium for the first time in his collegiate career, finishing third, +1:02. The UVM men’s team unseated Dartmouth for the first time this year, winning the day with Franz Bernstein (5th) and Chris Ziegler (8th) following up Uhl.
Patterson made it two for two on the weekend in another nail biter. The UVM star edged out Garrec by 2.1 seconds for the victory while the Dartmouth duo of Sargent and Brennan took 3rd and 4th respectively, leading their team to a 6 point win over the UVM women for the race.
Despite UVM’s strong performance on their home course in the classic, Dartmouth easily won their third consecutive carnival, 919 to 798.5. UNH was third with 735.5. Points include Alpine.
For a firsthand account from UVM, visit http://blogs.fasterskier.com/uvm
RMISA DU Invitational
The University of Colorado ski team captured its third straight meet here Saturday, as the Buffaloes used a strong all-around performance with 10 top 10 finishes in rallying to win the Denver Invitational.
CU was in second place at the midway point after Friday’s four events, 16 points behind then-leader Utah. But an improved showing on the alpine side helped the Buffs finish with 540 points, well ahead of host Denver (498) and the Utes (489). New Mexico (472) and Alaska-Anchorage (453) rounded out the top five.
The 48-point win by the Buffs more than doubled the previous margin of victory this year in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA), which had been CU’s 23½-point win in its own invitational last month, as well as the biggest since 2007. It was also the first time only one school scored over 500 points and the first time since the current scoring format was adopted in 2000 that seven teams scored 400 points.
“Today was good, we rebounded a little bit after the kind of day we struggled through yesterday,” head coach Richard Rokos said. “After everything that happened yesterday, between the spills and kids being sick, I thought we really could finish second or even third up here, so with the mix of everything, we end up winning and that’s an awesome feeling.
“The Nordic teams are as solid as they can be and it looks like we can continue to count on them being great all the time,” Rokos added. “With the men’s race today, it’s a unique situation having the three guys who have dominated the region either not race or not healthy and still see the result we’re seeing.”
Senior Maria Grevsgaard captured her fourth straight race and fifth in the last six as she blitzed the field in winning the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle race in a 32:10.1 time. That bested DU’s Antje Maempel by 48 seconds and was her 24th win of her career, the 15th in freestyle competition. It was the 13th win by a Colorado skier this winter in 36 races, tops in the west.
Sophomore Alex Turzian claimed third in 33:02.1 to bolster Grevsgaard’s effort, with freshman Katie Stege 25th in 38:09.5 and senior Megan Wilder 32nd in 42:57.2. Despite CU skiing this winter with just four active members on the women’s cross country side, the Buffs tied for the second most team points (67) in the women’s freestyle Saturday; Denver led with 77.
“It was a good, solid race,” Turzian said. “The weather was good, the course was fast, and it was a good field of skiers, about all you can ask for. Now we just need to rest up, settle down, get caught up on life a little, get to class and then at the same time we leave for regionals soon, so we need to at the same time stay focused and get prepped for that.”
In the men’s 15k version, CU placed three in the top six despite resting two of its top performers, junior Matt Gelso and sophomore Jesper Ostensen. Sophomore Patrick Neel posted his career best finish in snaring third in 44:16.6, with freshman Reid Pletcher following up his runner-up finish in the classical race Friday with a fourth place showing in 44:17.1. New Mexico’s Simon Reissman won in 44:00.4 with Raphael Wunderle (UAA) just a second behind.
“There was a group of about seven skiers that broke away at the midpoint, with Smith was among them. Neel pulled the second group of four skiers including Pletcher back with the first group.
“I was just trying to bridge the gap between the group I was in and the lead pack, I just wanted to make contact with them,” Neel said. “I’ve never pulled back that big of a gap before, it’s a first for me.”
“This is probably the best example of just how deep we are as a team,” Pletcher said. “Two of our top guys were out and we still got on the podium and had three in the top six. This is a good chance for the other guys to show what we have. Usually it’s the Norwegians leading us, but today it was the U.S. in third, fourth and sixth.
“About half way through the race, seven or eight guys broke away, about 150 meters or 20 seconds,” he added. “Usually you don’t come back from that. But over the middle three kilometers, Pat put the hammer down and pull use up with the lead group, we were able to catch those guys and pick them off.”
Grevsgaard also won the 5km classic, besting UNM’s Polina Ermoshina by 21 seconds. Kristin Ronnestrand (UN) finished third.
In the men’s 10km classic, Even Sletten (UU) skied to a 5 second win over Pletcher, with Wunderle in third.
CCSA NCAA Update
The CCSA was off this weekend, but Matias Saari provides an overview of the battle for NCAA qualifying spots.
CCSA skiers battling for NCAA spots
After five of nine qualifying races, the 20 spots allotted to the NCAA’s Central Region for the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Ski Championships are being heavily contested.
The standings released Friday are based on the top two freestyle and top two classic scores from qualifying events so far this season.
Laura DeWitt of Northern Michigan University (120.2 points) narrowly leads the women’s Central Collegiate Ski Association standings over teammate Marie Helen Soderman (121.3). Kelly Chaudoin of Gustavus Adolphus holds down the third spot (143.7) while NMU’s Anna Bergland (145.5) and Ingrid Fjeldheim (147.8) round out the top five.
However, the standings are likely to change substantially once the University of Alaska Fairbanks and other select skiers have competed in the necessary four races to generate a score.
In the men’s rankings, Santiago Ocariz from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is first with 135.7 points. He is followed by Phil Violett of NMU (137.9), Kevin Cutts of NMU (143.9), Jens Brabbit of Gustavus Adolphus (150.0) and Justin Singleton of NMU (151.8).
All-American Martin Banerud of NMU has no score yet because he has only participated in one freestyle race (in which he took first) and one classic race (second place).
Eleven women and nine men will earn slots for the 2009 NCAA Championships March 11-14 in Rumford, Maine. A maximum of three skiers from each gender per school can qualify.
The qualifying races factored into the standings so far are the freestyle event from the U.S. Ski Championships in Anchorage, Alaska (a classic race there was canceled due to cold); a pair of SuperTour races (classic and freestyle) in Coleraine, Minn.; and a pair of SuperTour races in Cable, Wis.
The remaining qualifiers are a pair of races Feb. 14-15 at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minn., and the Central Region Skiing Championships Feb. 28-March 1 in Houghton, Mich., after which the NCAA qualifiers will be announced.
CCSA points (after five of nine qualifying races – top 20)
1. Laura DeWitt, NMU, 120.2
2. Marie Helen Soderman, NMU, 121.3
3. Kelly Chaudoin, GAC, 143.7
4. Anna Bergland, NMU, 145.5
5. Ingrid Fjeldheim, NMU, 147.8
6. Elizabeth Quinley, Michigan Tech, 151.5
7. Jenna Klein, MTU, 152.7
8. Carolyn Freeman, UWGB, 156.2
9. Shaina Short, St. Olaf, 164.1
10. Erin Eppler, GAC, 179.6
11. Lindsey Marshall, UWGB, 186.7
12. Jill Smith, MTU, 188.3
13. Christina Mishica, MTU, 196.0
14. Christi Nowak, College of Saint Benedict, 199.0
15. Randi Vermelid, NMU, 200.1
16. Caitlin Marine, St. Olaf, 208.8
17. Jaclyn Pribyl, MTU, 209.5
18. Julia Curry, College of St. Scholastica, 214.9
18. Caitlin Cassidy, NMU, 214.9
20. Kristen Monahan, MTU, 215.7
1. Santiago Ocariz, UWGB, 135.7
2. Phil Violett, NMU, 137.9
3. Kevin Cutts, NMU, 143.9
4. Jens Brabbit, GAC, 150.0
5. Justin Singleton, NMU, 151.8
6. Jesse Lang, MTU, 154.9
7. Tim Cook, NMU, 155.5
8. Tyler Kjorstad, St. Scholastica, 158.3
9. Oskar Lundberg, MTU, 159.5
10. Petter Sjulstad, MTU, 160.2
11. Erik Mundahl, MTU, 162.0
12. Craig Hertz, UWGB, 167.7
13. Waylon Manske, St. Scholastica, 173.6
14. Chris Harvey, MTU, 179.1
15. Jesse Smith, MTU, 183.9
16. Andrew Joda, MTU, 194.3
17. Tom Jorgenson, St. Olaf, 197.1
18. Jason Kask, St. Scholastica, 199.2
19. Grant Cook, St. John’s, 199.3
20. Charlie Keller, MTU, 202.9
The Clarkson University men’s Nordic team placed first in both the men’s freestyle sprint and 10K classic at their own USCSA Invitational at Lapland Lake Nordic Center in Johnstown, NY. Clarkson was led by Alex Benway, who won Saturday’s freestyle sprint. Stephan Bibb of Paul Smith’s College placed second, while teammate Matt Piper was third to lead their team to a second place finish. Army finished third in the competition. In Sunday’s classical event, Matt Delaney and Derrick Day finished first and second for Clarkson, while Bibb took third. Paul Smith’s and Army took second and third once again.
In the women’s events, Hamilton College won the freestyle, while Clarkson took second and Army third. McKayla Dunfey and Emily Stinson lead Hamilton to victory, as they finished first and second. Clarkson’s Chelsea Reynolds rounded out the podium in third. Reynolds followed up Saturday’s performance with her first collegiate win in the 10K classical event, while teammate Andrea Walsh placed second. Cornell University’s Jess Marion placed third, as her team finished in second place. Yale University took home third.
The ECSC Nordic Division will be back in action on February 14 and 15 in the Division Championships at Prospect Mountain Nordic Ski Center in Woodford, VT.