Monday, February 2, 2015

Mooney back on top at Saint Michael's Carnival

The EISA season picked up again this weekend with the Saint Michael’s College winter Carnival at Sleepy Hollow in Huntington, VT. A full weekend of classic racing began with the Women’s 5 km and Men’s 10 km classic races, and finished with an exciting mixed 4 x 3km classic relay. Snow fell heavily throughout Friday, making for soft conditions on course. The mornings warm temperatures began to fall as the men got going and temperatures were forecast to continue falling through the night, with bitter cold greeting racers on Saturday morning. Race organizers made the decision Friday afternoon not to delay Saturdays race because the temperature was not forecast to rise significantly Saturday morning.

Racers fought heavy snow during Friday's racing. (Silke Hynes/EISA)

Through the tough Friday conditions, Heather Mooney (MID) raced her way back to the top of the podium. She bested second place Mary-Kate Cirelli (UVM) by a full 30 seconds. Olivia Amber (CBC) finished just 3 seconds back of Cirelli for her first podium of the season in third place. Rounding out the women’s top 5 were Katrin Larusson (UNH) and Hallie Grossman (BAT), who both finished within four seconds of the podium. Stella Holt and Kelsey Phinney finished 7th and 8th respectively to help the Middlebury women take victory on the day.

Heather Mooney powers to the finish for her third win of the season. (Silke Hynes/EISA)

On the men’s side, with Patrick Caldwell notably absent from this weekend’s races, it was his teammate Fabian Stocek who climbed to the top of the podium in the men’s 10 km classic. He edged out Eirik Fosnaes (UNH) and Jack Hegman (UVM), for the win. Silas Eastman of Colby College and Eli Hoenig of Williams rounded out the top 5. Strong skiing from Per Lindgren and Sam Reed gave the UNH men the lead on Friday.

Silas Eastman heads out on course on his way to a 4th place finish in the men's 10 km classic. (Silke Hynes/EISA) 

Saturday dawned clear and cold, and the tracks were perfect for a 4 x 3km mixed classic relay. The women lead off an exciting race, with the lead being exchanged several times. The transition zone proved a challenge for many teams, with skiers working hard to avoid fallen competitors and teammates alike. In the end it was the Middlebury team of Stella Holt, Adam Luban, Heather Mooney, and Patrick Mcelravey who powered their way to victory. The UVM team of Marion Woods, Rogan Brown, Mary-Kate Cirelli, and Jack Hegman finished in second, followed by the Dartmouth team of Mary O’Connell, Jan Ketterson, Cara Piske, and Fabien Stocek in third. UVM’s second team of Madison Keeffe, Cully Brown, Stephanie Kirk, and Tobias Trenkle finished 7th to help UVM take overall victory on the day.

 Rogan Brown tags Mary-Kate Cirelli on their team's way to second place. (Silke Hynes/EISA)
Of special note were also the performances put in by New Hampshire’s Lizzie Gill and Dartmouth’s Jan Ketterson. They each put in the top individual leg times of the day, with Gill besting the women’s field in 9:53.6, the only woman to break 10 minutes. Ketterson topped the men’s field in 8:48.9 over the 3km course.

Mayhem in the relay transition zone. (Silke Hynes/EISA)

The carnival circuit will resume this upcoming weekend with the Dartmouth Winter Carnival in Craftsbury, VT. The all skate weekend will coincide with the SuperTour, and should lead to some very exciting racing.