Sunday, February 28, 2016

UVM Dominates Final EISA Nordic Championship Race

Ripton, VT
The EISA Nordic season concluded today in Ripton, Vermont with last day of racing at the Middlebury College Carnival. The season wrapped up with a Men’s 20 km and Women’s 15km Classic Mass Start. Racers used the same 5 km loop that was used for yesterday skate race, with a slight modification to the first loop. Instead of climbing the challenging A level climb on course, racers bypassed it on the first loop. Presumably organizers did this to avoid sending athletes in a tight pack down the extremely icy slope that follows the A climb.

In temperatures just rising above freezing, the men’s race went out first. Control of the lead pack was quickly taken by the men of the University of Vermont, but it was Eli Hoenig of Williams who took control for the latter half of the race. Though he put in a spectacular performance it was not enough to hold off Jack Hegman of UVM. Hegman out powered Hoenig to the line, beating him by just 3 tenths of a second to take the win. Third place went to Jorgen Grav of UVM, who finished just 6 seconds back of Hoenig. Fabian Stocek of Dartmouth took fourth, while Cole Morgan of UVM rounded out the top five.

Cole Morgan (4) leads the pack in the men's 20 km classic mass start. 
In the women’s race it was Olivia Amber of Colby who rocketed off the front of the pack to take the early lead. Amber would eventually settle for eleventh, as the day belonged to the women of UVM. They swept to victory on the day with a perfect score, taking places one through four. Iris Pessey raced to her third podium of the season, taking the win just over a second ahead of teammate Mary-Kate Cirelli. Top seeded Alayna Sonnesyn took third, ahead of Stephanie Kirk in fourth. Corey Stock of Dartmouth rounded out the top five.
Iris Pessey celebrates her win as she crosses the line ahead of teammate Mary-Kate Cirelli in the women's 15 km classic mass start 

Overall it was the University of Vermont who owned the weekend, taking home the carnival and conference wins with 989 points. Dartmouth finished second with 826 points, while the University of New Hampshire finished third with 749 points.

With the EISA season complete, the top Eastern athletes will head to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for NCAA Championships March 9th through 12th