Friday, January 17, 2014

UVM Holds Lead Over Colby After Day-One of Colby Carnival

Travis Dawson of the University of Vermont, after winning the men's giant slalom at the Colby College Carnival at Sugarloaf Mountain on January 17, 2014 in Carabassett Valley, ME. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)

Dustin Satloff
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, ME. - The University of Vermont holds a 44-point alpine lead after the first day of the 2014 Colby College Carnival.  This is no surprise.  What is a surprise, however, is that the 44-point lead is over Colby College.  UVM skiers Kate Ryley and Travis Dawson took first place in their individual events, but Colby’s performance at their home carnival overshadowed much of everything else.

Kate Ryley, of UVM, took her second GS win of the season by posting the two fastest times of the day, leading to a 3.64 second lead over runner-up, Abigail Fucigna.  However, Ryley’s dominance of the field was not supported by her teammates on the women’s side.  Neither Kristina Riis-Johannessen nor Elise Tefre finished their second runs, although Vermont received points from freshmen Celine Rytz and Brittany Lathrop, who finished 12th and 14th, respectively.

Travis Dawson, who finished 3rd last week at the UVM Carnival, took the win at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine on Friday.  Dawson and teammate Dom Garand took first and third place, with Kevin Drury also scoring for Vermont in sixth.  Vermont’s men took the team victory, scoring 138 points and besting second-place Dartmouth’s 92.

Colby College stepped up their performance at their home Carnival at Sugarloaf, and significantly so.  During a day with very unusual weather and variable snow conditions, Colby capitalized, and had three women finish in the top 10.  Jeanne Barthold’s top finish coming into today had been 21st place, at Colby’s carnival in 2013.  She crushed that record, taking 3rd place for the Colby College women, who edged out UVM by 10 points for the women’s team win.  

Jeanne Barthold of Colby College skis in the first run of the
Colby Carnival giant slalom at Sugarloaf Mountain  on
January 17, 2014 in  Carabassett Valley, ME. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)

“This is our home hill.  We’ve worked really hard this year and I’m so excited with our team,” said Barthold.  “It’s been a great day, and I am so proud of our team.  It’s a good start to our year.”

It definitely is a good start; Colby’s women have been performing far above expectations set for this season.  Mardene Haskell finished 5th; which was the first top 10 finish of her collegiate career.  Senior Brittney Ziebell also scored for Colby, finishing 9th.

Abby Fucigna of Dartmouth College skis in the first run of the
Colby College Carnival giant slalom at Sugarloaf Mountain on
January 17, 2014 in Carabassett Valley, ME. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)
Dartmouth’s Abby Fucigna, who placed third in the giant slalom at Colby’s carnival in 2013, continued to perform well at Sugarloaf.  “I like the hill,” Fucigna said.  “I like how it’s technical in the way it turns, but the pitches are more moderate.  You can really get a good feeling.”  Fucigna placed 2nd, and was Dartmouth’s top finisher.  Dartmouth’s other points scorers were Anne Strong, who placed 11th, and Sara Kikut, who took 17th.

Dartmouth’s top finisher for the men was Robert Overing, who took 8th place.  The Dartmouth men tied for second as a team with Middlebury, scoring 92 points; both teams are 46 points behind the UVM men.

The race conditions, particularly those during the second run, were anything but ideal.  After contending with a fog that continually rolled in and out during the first run, skiers had to deal with a very rutty, icy course.  Travis Dawson, who won the men’s giant slalom said, “I don't think I’ve seen many races with the course conditions the way they were.  The conditions were tough, there were holes, the snow was icy, we had fog, and we had darkness.  It was a crazy day and it was a tough day.”  Women’s second place finisher, Abby Fucigna commented, “the second run was the iciest, ripply, crazy [course].  I’ve never had my skis move under my feet like the way they did today.  It was the epitome of a ski race.”  These difficult conditions led to several DNFs, as skiers had trouble navigating the variable terrain.   Fucigna continued, “I like when it gets a little tough, and I know that some people don't, so I like to use that to my advantage.”