It was a cold weekend in Lake Placid, but the excitement of the combined college carnival and SuperTour heated the air as nearly 800 racers hit the tracks over the two days of competition.
Friday – 6/10km Classic
The first race of the EISA season was an individual start classic race held at the Olympic Jumping Complex. A two kilometer loop meant repeat laps – five for men, three for women – around a course which features one brutally long uphill climb and one long downhill ride.
With temperatures around 10 F, getting kick was only a tough request when the fatigue of the climbs set in during the later laps.
The story of the day were two big wins by the sister-brother duo from UVM: Caitlin and Scott Patterson. Caitlin, a junior, won the women’s race by a huge 43.8 second margin. Scott only won his race by 1.5 seconds, but as a freshman racing his first college carnival, he started his college career by setting a very high bar.
Scott Patterson barely edged Sam Tarling from Dartmouth in the men’s race, and the 1st and 2nd individual places matched their respective team places. UVM and won the men’s race with finishes from third place Franz Bernstein and 6th place Fritz Horst. Dartmouth’s other two scores came from Eric Packer in 4th and Gordon Vermeer in 7th. With Nils Koons of Dartmouth in 8th and Peter Hegman of UVM in 9th, the only other two racers in the top ten who were not from the top two teams were Williams College racers Dimitri Luthi and Keith Kantack in 5th and 10th, respectively.
The women’s race was dominated by UVM, as second place also went to UVM’s Amy Glen, the third team score came from Caitlin Curran in 4th, and Jane McClelland finished right behind her in 5th.
UNH was the second place women’s team of the day: Elizabeth Guiney placing third, Natasha Kullas in 10th, and Clare Egan 13th.
Other top ten finishes were Isabell Caldwell (DAR) in 6th, Natalie Ruppertsberger(BAT) in 7th, and Olga Golovkina (CBC) in 9th.
Saturday – 10/15km Skate
The 5 and 10 kilometer races were held at Mount Van Hoevenberg on Saturday. The racing was tough, as 10 degree temperatures combined with slow snow and relentlessly undulating terrain. The course rolls and weaves through the forest surrounding the biathlon stadium at the Olympic Sports Complex, starting and finishing next to the shooting range.
The women’s race was first, and Caitlin Patterson managed a nearly half-minute victory over the field for her second weekend win.
Patterson also led her women’s team to another overall win, with teammates Amy Glen in 9th and Ellery Leeds in 13th , but the UNH women put up an impressive performance to score just three points behind by stacking their top five skiers in the top twelve: Clare Egan 3rd, Elizabeth Guiney 8th, Anya Bean 10th, Natasha Kullas 11th, and Kathryn Miller 13th.
Erika Flowers, of Dartmouth, placed second.
Other top-ten skiers were St. Lawrence’s Leah Hart (4th), William’s Sarah Tory (5th), and Bates’ Kirsten Gill (6th) and Beth Taylor(7th).
In the men’s race Dartmouth took back the leading team score from UVM, even without the top individual victory which came from UVM junior Alex Howe. Howe used his smooth, efficient technique to an advantage over the transition-filled and slow-snow course in order to earn a huge 49.5 margin over the field.
Dartmouth then stacked the next slots: Erik Packer, Nils Koons, Scott Lacy and Sam Tarling took 2nd through 5th, respectively.
UVM answered back with their second and third skier, Fritz Horst and Franz Bernstein, placing 6th and 7th.
The last two places in the top ten went to Chase Marston (MID) and Harrison Harb (UNH).