Saturday was the second day of the Dartmouth Carnival weekend taking place in Stowe, Vermont. The events were 3 x 5 kilometer skate team relays for both men and women.
It was another beautiful – if cold – day on the Morton designed courses at the Trapps Family Lodge, where 42 teams from 12 EISA schools toed the line.
After the first leg of the men’s relay it was race-favorites Middlebury and Dartmouth out in front, with favored contender Saint Lawrence University just off the pace. Patrick O’Brien (MID) and Graham Egan (DAR) handed off to second leg teamates Dylan Grald and Eric Packer. SLU’s Zach Wetherall was 10 seconds back, and tagged to Ben Knowles.
The race didn’t change much from there. Gerald and Packer skiied the entire second leg together and Packer tagged off to Dartmouth teammate Nils Koons just ahead of the Middlebury tag to Patrick Johnson. Koons led the first kilometers, but it was Johnson who emerged from the woods first toward the finish stretch, skiing strong across the line with 21 seconds up on Koons.
The battle for third was won by SLU’s Eric Wolcott who posted the second fastest leg of the day to put his team on the podium.
Dartmouth and UVM were favorites in the women’s race and they did not disappoint their fans with their respective first and second place finishes, but they both had completely opposite approaches to the podium.
Even as the scramble leg, Dartmouth’s Rosie Brennan had one of the fastest legs of the day. Brennan shot out of the start and put an immediate gap on the field, building her lead to 30 seconds at the tag zone where she handed off to Sophie Caldwell. Meanwhile, UVM’s scramble leg, Caitlin Curran, got tangled up several times in the start, putting her well back of the leaders right from the beginning.
Second into the tag zone was a barrage of teams battling to stay in the podium hunt: Lucy Garrec of Colby, followed by Natalie Ruppertsberger of Bates and Alice Nelson of Williams. UVM’s Curran, meanwhile, handed off to teammate Jennie Bender in 10th place.
Caldwell had the fastest second leg and tagged to Ida Sargent with an extended lead for Dartmouth. Sargent didn’t slack, however, posting the second fastest time of the day in order to cross the finish line in first with a one minute, fourteen second lead – comfortable enough to pick up a team flag on her cruise to the finish line.
In unofficial second place was Dartmouth’s second team, anchored by Erika Flowers.
In the official team scores, it was UVM who came from behind – with a solid second leg by Jennie Bender and the fastest leg of the day posted by Caitlin Patterson – to post second place. Patterson, who set a ferocious pace, made up more than a minute on some of the teams in front of her in order to put her team back in the running.
After a tag by second leg Sarah Tory, Williams’ Kirsten Johnson skied a solid leg, passing three teams ahead of her, in order to put her team on the podium in third place.
The weekend was not over with the conclusion of the races, however. The Dartmouth Carnival is known every year as the “Carnie Crush” event. Being Valentines weekend, teams and individuals pick out their favorites from the circuit and “crush” them with songs, poems, dances, cards, posters, and whatever other variety of media they can think up. The parking lot, which is usually full of tailgating tables of food and hot chocolate, was this time also full of music, red and pink paper, and crazy costumes.