Saturday, February 15, 2014

UVM and Middlebury take Nine of Ten for the Men; UVM and Colby on the Women’s Podium

Taylor Wunsch of the University of Vermont, skis during the first run of the men's slalom at Jiminy Peak on February 14, 2014 in Hancock, MA. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)
Dustin Satloff
HANCOCK, MA. - One week ago, the University of Vermont took the top four spots at the Dartmouth Carnival Slalom.  Dom Garand explained that “[UVM is] definitely a strong slalom team.  It doesn't really matter what type of hill.”  One week later on February 14, 2014 at the Williams Carnival, his statement still holds true.  UVM once again swept the slalom podium, and Taylor Wunsch achieved the first individual carnival victory of his career.  “It’s been a real fun year, and we’ve all been doing really well,” Wunsch said.  “We’re all pushing each other, and today helped to boost our confidence.”  Kevin Drury finished in second for UVM; his first podium finish of the season.  “I’ve been struggling with my broken hand, Drury explained. “I came out and just sent it, and it worked out really well.”  Travis Dawson was Vermont’s third point scorer taking third place.  Dawson has scored in every race for UVM this season.  Vermont’s men scored the maximum 141 points in the slalom.

UVM’s women rebounded from last Sunday’s slalom performance.  Occupying the top spot on the podium for the eighth time in nine races, Vermont took the top two spots.  Kristina Riis-Johannessen nailed her first victory of 2014 after posting the two fastest times of the day.  Riis-Johannessen finished 0.72 seconds ahead of teammate Kate Ryley.  Ryley, after finishing in second on Friday, has six victories and nine podiums in nine races.  Riis-Johannessen has held multiple leads going into the second run this season, but had not been able to hold on until Friday. “I needed [a win] for my confidence, and now I can just keep going,” Riis-Johannessen said.  “I kept focusing on the positives and tried to focus on myself.  Today was my day.”  Elise Tefre anchored the scoring, finishing in sixth place.  “It’s always great when we get three in the top-10” Ryley explained.

Kristina Riis-Johannessen of the University of Vermont, skis during the first run of the women's slalom at Jiminy Peak on February 14, 2014 in Hancock, MA. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)

Hig Roberts once again led the scoring for Middlebury.  After failing to finish the first three races of the season, Roberts has been able to finish in the top 5 the last six races, including a fourth place finish on Friday at the Williams Carnival Slalom.  Colin Hayes and Ghassan Gedeon-Achi also scored, finishing in sixth and seventh places for Middlebury.  Additionally, Chris McKenna finished in eighth and Nick Bailey took 10th place.

Middlebury’s women were not quite as successful.  After a poor showing in last Saturday’s slalom, Middlebury improved slightly, but still finished in 5th place as a team.  Kara Shaw was Middlebury’s first point-scorer finishing in 13th position.  Yina Moe-Lange finished in 20th and Katelyn Barclay also scored in 25th place 

Dartmouth had a strong performance, scoring 197 alpine points during Friday’s slalom.  Ben Morse finished in fifth place, and was the only skier in the top 10 not from Vermont or Middlebury.  Dylan Fisher McCarney and Mathieu Bertrand rounded out the scoring for Dartmouth, finishing in 13th and 14th places.

Ben Morse of Dartmouth College, skis during the first run of the men's slalom at Jiminy Peak on February 14, 2014 in Hancock, MA. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)

Dartmouth’s women were able to place two skiers in the top 10.  Maisie Ide was Dartmouth’s top finisher, matching her career best finish in fifth place.  Sara Kikut finished in seventh; it was her fourth top 10 slalom finish of the season.  Anne Strong was Dartmouth’s third point-scorer in 14th place.  Dartmouth’s women were able to edge out Colby by a single point to hold onto the second spot in the slalom behind UVM.

Colby’s women once again powered the Mules, who sit in third place overall after the conclusion of Friday’s events.  Mardi Haskell had her career best result and first podium of her career finishing, in third place behind UVM’s Riis-Johannessen and Ryley.  “The beginning of the season I was a little nervous, but when I started skiing a little bit better I was more confident,” Haskell said.  “It took a little [time] to realize that I could ski with these guys, because they’re so good.  Everyday I have to think that I did it before, so I can do it again.”  It was Haskell’s fourth top 5 finish of the season, and her fourth top 10 slalom finish of the year.  Paige Whistler also cracked the top 10 for Colby and had her career-best finish taking eighth place.  Brittney Ziebell was Colby’s third point-scorer, who had her best slalom finish of the year, taking 18th place.  Colby’s women finished with 99 points, 1 point behind second place Dartmouth.

Colby’s men were not able to pull off the same level of performance as the women.  Craig Marshall, who ran into trouble towards the bottom section of the course during the second run, finished in 19th.  Jim Ryan and Michael Boardman also scored for Colby taking 24th and 29th places respectively.

Mardene Haskell of Colby College, skis during the second run of the women's slalom at Jiminy Peak on February 14, 2014 in Hancock, MA. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)
Williams, in their home carnival, rank sixth in alpine points produced after Friday’s events, but fourth in points overall.  Christoph Lentz was Williams’ top point scorer for the men, finishing in 21st position.  Carson Houle and Victor Major finished in 23rd and 27th places.  Shannon Campbell once again cracked the top 10 for the women.  Sarah Cottrill was the second scorer, finishing in 22nd, with Gabrielle Markel as the final point-scorer, finishing in 47th place.

While New Hampshire’s men struggled, the women put forward a solid effort.  Randa Teschner finished in fourth place, her fourth fourth place finish and her fifth top 5 slalom finish of the season.  Morgan Klein and Katie Farrow finished in 11th and 12th positions, helping UNH score 98 points, which put the women in fourth place, one point behind Colby and two points behind Dartmouth.

UNH’s men had a tough time with Friday’s slalom.  Charlie Kidd finished in 12th, however the next UNH skier was Sam Coffey who finished in the 30th spot.  Kris Hopkins was the final scorer, finishing in 44th place.

The remaining events for the EISA season include tomorrow’s giant slalom, representing the conclusion of the Williams Carnival, and next week’s Middlebury Carnival and EISA Championships (and NCAA East Regional Competition) on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22, 2014.