Tuesday, March 3, 2015

EISA Carnival Season Wraps Up Under Blue Skies in Lake Placid

The EISA post season kicked off this weekend under clear blue skies at the Saint Lawrence University Carnival and EISA regional championships this weekend. While the race morning temperatures were little warmer than they had been all season, the sunshine more than made up for the cold conditions.

Racing began Friday with the men’s 10 km skate race on the grueling Ladies Olympic 5km loop. The brutal climbs didn’t seem to faze the men from Dartmouth and UVM, as they went on to dominate, taking the top 8 positions. Patrick Caldwell (DAR) put to rest any lingering doubt from the Middlebury Carnival, cruising into first more than 30 seconds ahead of Rogan Brown (UVM) who took second. Jan Ketterson (DAR) raced to third, edging out Jorgen Grav (UVM) by a little over 4 seconds. Silas Talbot (DAR), Fabian Stocek (DAR), Jack Hegman (UVM), and Cole Morgan (UVM) rounded out the two schools’ 8 position sweep. Dartmouth managed to secure the win on the day, 133 points to 125.

Patrick Caldwell of Dartmouth powers his way up the grueling climbs on his way to victory in the mens 10 km skate. (Silke Hynes/EISA).

Next up were the women, racing just one loop of the 5 km course. With the course doing the vast majority of its climbing in the first 3.5km, the women had to ski aggressively right from the start. Heather Mooney (MID) did just that, securing her 6th carnival win of the season. Annika Taylor (UNH), wearing the red freestyle leader bib, finished second, just 2.6 seconds ahead of UVM’s Stephanie Kirk. Kirk’s teammates Alayna Sonnesyn and Marion Woods rounded out the top five, giving the UVM women the win on Friday.

Stephanie Kirk of UVM races to her first podium of the season in the women's 5 km skate. (Silke Hynes/EISA)

Saturday dawned one of the nicest race days all season, but the sunshine and rapidly warming temperatures proved to be a waxing challenge for coaches. The men’s 20 km mass start classic started first, doing 4 laps of the Ladies 5km loop for a total of 732m of climbing. Once again it was Patrick Caldwell (DAR) who topped the podium, racing to a commanding 2 minute and 24 second win. He was followed by a very close race between Jorgen Grav (UVM) and Fabian Stocek (DAR). Grav just beat Stocek to the line, taking second by 0.8 seconds. Jack Hegman and Rogan Brown of UVM rounded out the top 5. The race was once again dominated by UVM and Dartmouth with just one UNH skier breaking up the two school sweep of the top ten. Dartmouth came out on top, beating UVM by just 4 points.

The men from Dartmouth and UVM dominated the field in the men's 20 km Classic mass start. (Silke Hynes/EISA)

The final race of the 2015 carnival season was the women’s 15 km classic mass start. UNH senior Annika Taylor made her final carnival start count, taking victory by more than 10 seconds. She was followed by Heather Mooney and Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury in second and third respectively. Cory Stock (DAR) and Marion Woods (UVM) rounded out the top five. A strong supporting performance from Stella Holt in 11th place helped the Middlebury College women take victory on Saturday.

Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury celebrates after edging out Cory Stock (DAR) by half a second for 3rd place. (Silke Hynes/EISA)

The St. Lawrence carnival marked the end of a very cold carnival season, but for the top EISA athletes racing continues in just over a week’s time. They will be back in Lake Placid for the NCAA Skiing Championships hosted by Saint Lawrence University March 11th-14th