The EISA returned to Craftsbury Outdoor Center this weekend for the 106th Dartmouth Winter Carnival. With just one day of racing this weekend, it was all on the line in today’s distance races. In anticipation of extremely cold weather the race organizers chose to move race times up, trying to get ahead of dropping temperatures that threated to fall below the legal race limit of -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Though still challenged by the lack of snow, organizers were able to expand onto a 3.2km loop for today’s races. The expanded loop was more challenging than last weekend’s, adding a new climb and a few twists that, when repeated over the course of 5/6 laps, made for a challenging race.
In temperatures hovering around zero, the men’s 20 km classic mass start got underway at 9:30 am. The race was tightly contested with the top 5 all coming in within 19 seconds. After trailing Eli Hoenig of Williams College for most of the race, Jack Hegman moved ahead to take the win in 47:33.0 for the University of Vermont. Hoenig finished 2nd in 47:39.4, followed by Fabian Stocek of Dartmouth College in 47:45.3. Peter Holmes of the University of New Hampshire, and Jorgen Grav of UVM rounded out the men’s top five in 4th and 5th respectively.
The women’s 15 km classic race played out in a similar fashion, with the top five all finishing inside a 20 second window. Classic bib leader Kelsey Phinney held on to her lead, finishing first in 44:59.0. She held off a chase by Olivia Amber of Colby College who finished 2nd in 45:03, just seconds ahead of Mary-Kate Cirelli of UVM. Katrin Larusson of UNH raced into 4th, followed by Mary O’Connell of Dartmouth in 5th.
The University of Vermont returned to dominance, taking the win on the weekend with 888 points, 30 points ahead of second place Dartmouth.
EISA Nordic racing will resume February 19th with the Williams College Carnival. Due to poor snow conditions at Prospect Mountain the venue has been changed to the Lake Placid Ski Jumps.