LYME, NH. - It has been three weeks since the University of Vermont women occupied the top two spots on the podium. On Friday, February 7, however, Kate Ryley and Kristina Riis-Johannessen did just that. But on the day that UVM’s women returned to their dominance, the men underperformed. For the first time all season, the men’s winner was not from UVM, and in fact It is the first time that UVM did not make an appearance on a podium at all. Kevin Drury finished in fourth for Vermont, Jonathan Nordbotten, competing in his first EISA carnival of the season, took sixth, and Travis Dawson rounded out the scoring in ninth. Dawson, whose worst finish of the season coming into Dartmouth was fourth at the UNH slalom, had his worst finish of the year.
|Jonathan Nordbotten of the University of Vermont, skis during the first run of the men's giant slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival at Dartmouth Skiway on February 7, 2014 in Lyme, NH. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)|
In contrast to the men, Vermont’s women were able to take control of the top five spots. Ryley and Riis-Johannessen finished one-two, and teammate Elise Tefre finished in fifth. These three skiers, who more often than not are Vermont’s point-scorers, have led UVM’s to a 27 point lead over Dartmouth (136.0-109.0). Ryley used a very strong first run to keep her first position, and hold off her teammate. Riis-Johannessen, who finished six hundredths of a second behind Ryley, posted the fastest second run of the day. “I felt a lot better second run,” Riis-Johannessen said. “I was trying to go cleaner and get more speed off the pitch into the flat, because that was what I missed the first run.”
|Kristina Riis-Johannessen of the University of Vermont, skis during the first run of the women's giant slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival at Dartmouth Skiway on February 7, 2014 in Lyme, NH. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)|
Dartmouth, who sits in second place behind Vermont after the giant slalom, had a presence on both the men’s and women’s podium. Robert Overing, who had struggled in the last few races, matched his season best finish taking second. “I came into [the UNH Carnival] skiing fast,” Overing said. “I had an unfortunate crash and was a little rattled the next couple of races, so it was good to have a week off to recuperate and remember that I was skiing fast.” Overing added, “I have to keep doing what I’m doing.” Dylan Brooks finished in seventh place, and Sam Macomber took 13th. Dartmouth’s men tied for second with UVM finishing 2 points behind Middlebury.
|Robert Overing of Dartmouth College, skis during the first run of the men's giant slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival at Dartmouth Skiway on February 7, 2014 in Lyme, NH. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)|
Dartmouth’s women were able to place three skiers in the top 10 at their home carnival. Abby Fucigna had her second podium finish of the season finishing in third place, which was her first career podium at a Dartmouth Carnival. “I’ve never really had a good race here at the Skiway,” Fucigna explained. “I’m really excited to put it together in front of my family and friends.” Meg Currie finished in seventh place and Lizzie Kistler finished in tenth.
Hig Roberts continued to put up very strong results. After taking three podiums two weeks ago, Roberts was able to seize the individual win today. It is Roberts’ best finish of the season, and his first carnival GS win of his career. Roberts had struggled at the beginning of the season, not finishing in the first three races of the season. “The first races I ran into some bad luck,” Roberts said. “Those things happen in ski racing. I pulled it together, trained really well, was really calm in the start, and was able to pull it off.” Chris McKenna was also able to place in the top 10 for Middlebury, finishing in eighth place. Nick Bailey finished in 12th and was Middlebury’s third point scorer.
Middlebury’s women weren’t quite as strong as their men. Yina Moe-Lange was once again Middlebury’s top point scorer, finishing ninth. It was her fourth GS top 10 finish in as many races this season. Kara Shaw and Elle Gilbert finished in 15th and 21st respectively.
Colby’s women, led by Jeanne Barthold’s fourth place finish, took third in the women’s giant slalom. Barthold now has two top 5 giant slalom finishes on the season in four races. Her career best coming into this season was 21st. “This is where I grew up skiing, so I love skiing here,” Barthold said. “I found that the key for me is being patient, and I’ve started to be a lot more patient in my turns, and it’s made a world of difference.” Mardene Haskell finished in 18th for Colby, and Brittney Ziebell finished in 22nd place as Colby’s third point scorer. Colby’s men did not perform quite as well. Craig Marshall notched his best finish of the season, leading Colby’s scoring taking 14th place and finishing immediately in front of teammate Michael Boardman, who took 15th. Matt McKenna finished up the scoring in 24th.
|Jeanne Barthold of Colby College, skis during the first run of the women's giant slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival at Dartmouth Skiway on February 7, 2014 in Lyme, NH. (Dustin Satloff/EISA)|
UNH struggled on both the men’s and women’s sides. Coley Oliver finished in fifth, while Jay Ogle took tenth. The squad’s third scorer was Sam Coffey in 22nd. Coffey has yet to crack the top 10 this season despite several very strong performances over the last couple of years.
Randa Teschner who finished in eighth was UNH’s top female finisher. No other UNH skier finished in the top 20. Laura Rozinowicz finished in 21st place and UNH’s third scorer was Celine Guilmineau in 26th.
Today’s giant slalom loss for UVM’s men is the first race that they have not won in 2014. Day two of the Dartmouth Carnival will feature the slalom events, giving UVM’s men a chance at redemption, but also giving the rest of the men’s field the opening that they have hoped for in their combined effort to keep UVM off of the podium. That opening may be no more than a crack, however, as UVM’s men have won every slalom, both individually and as a team, thus far this year.