Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dartmouth back atop at Middlebury Carnival

Dartmouth’s consistency won them their fourth carnival of the season at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. The Big Green alpine team was able to accumulate 491 points to take first place. Dartmouth has now only lost one carnival this season, their home event at the Skiway last weekend. The University of Vermont finished second with 468 points and the home team of Middlebury finished third with 419. Dartmouth also took the overall win with 1,027 points.

The Middlebury men were certainly ready for the slalom on Friday as Rob Cone skied well enough to take home the win. Cone sat in second behind Dartmouth’s Brian McLaughlin after the first run, but McLaughlin failed to finish the second run, making Cone's win just slightly easier. 

“It’s good to get the win here on the home hill here because I’ve skied the trail a million times and I know the terrain on the hill and I know where to carry speed onto the flats and what parts of the course matter so it means a lot to win here,” Cone said.

Cone finished with a time of 1:34.51. After a strong second run, Dartmouth’s Tomas Woolson moved into second place, 0.59 seconds behind and another Middlebury athlete, Colin Hayes, finished third 0.63 seconds back.

The University of Vermont’s Paula Moltzan and Laurence St. Germain dominated the women’s slalom for the second week in a row. This week St. Germain was able to come away as the leader with an overall time of 1:36.32. Moltzan finished in second place, 1.10 seconds back and Williams’ Hannah Hunsaker finished in third 1.61 seconds behind.

“I am really happy, I had two really solid runs and last weekend I was first [after first run] and I ended up second so it feels good to have two good runs and stay in first. We have a really strong field in slalom so it feels good to win,” St. Germain said.

The giant slalom day at Middlebury gets rowdy and students cheering on the Panthers can be heard virtually throughout the racecourse. The fans must have been ecstatic as Caroline Bartlett, a sophomore at Middlebury, finished the second run to hold her lead.

Bartlett won with a time of 2:06.30. Moltzan took second place again on Saturday 0.34 seconds back and two Dartmouth women, Stephanie Currie and Kelly Moore tied for third, 0.76 seconds back.

Bartlett said that she was prepared coming down the course. She knew that she was going to be able to hear the crowd, something that doesn’t happen at any other carnival. Nonetheless she was happy to share the win classmates and friends.

“You can hear it, you can see it, it looks like you’re skiing into a wall of people,” Bartlett said of the crowds. “The day went as best as I could ask for,” she added. The Snow Bowl was not her favorite hill but “once you get used to the rolls,” it becomes fun.  

The Dartmouth men led their team to victory on Saturday putting three skiers in the top five. McLaughlin led once again after the first run and on Saturday he was able to finish the day on top. He finished with a time of 2:01.38. Cone finished second, 0.10 seconds behind and Dartmouth’s Dylan Brooks finished third, 0.73 seconds back.

At the end of the race most of the EISA racers congregated at the top of the course for a ski out in honor of Middlebury’s former teammate Murphy Roberts, who passed away in 2016. The moment came about organically, as Middlebury’s coach Steve Bartlett said. There was supposed to be a ceremony at the top of the hill where the team had placed a sign in Murphys honor, but it turned into something much bigger on its own.

“The Middlebury Carnival was like Christmas to Murphy. Every year he was so fired up for the carnival. He just had so much team spirit, so for everybody to try to remember him that way by showing this level of enthusiasm and even beyond the Middlebury kids,” Bartlett said, “it’s just awesome.”