Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dartmouth wins the EISA championship

The EISA Regional Championship took an unconventional turn due to uncooperative weather and horrid conditions. The giant slalom was completed with just one run and athletes throughout the field had to fight some off the worst course conditions of the season in order to make it to the finish line in the slalom. Dartmouth’s alpine team prevailed and won their fifth carnival with 446 points, followed closely by the University of Vermont with 444 points. Middlebury placed third with 388 points.

Dartmouth also won the overall with 896 points. UVM placed second with 820 followed by Middlebury with 659. 

Although the weather forced an early end to the giant slalom, it worked out in Dartmouth’s favor as each gender won the event. The men finished with three in the top five and the women finished with three in three in the top six.

Dartmouth’s Brian McLaughlin won his second GS race in a row, leading his team to victory and giving him the EISA giant slalom title. He won the only run of the day with a time of 1:13.36, just 0.06 seconds in front of his teammate, Tanguy Nef. Middlebury’s Robert Cone took third place, 0.16 second back.

“By the time the guys were going it was really beat up,” McLaughlin said of the GS course. Even at bib five he could tell that the course was deteriorating.

“It didn’t feel too good but you just have to try to keep it in the fall line and push before you start hitting those big bumps and hope that the ski keeps coming around. It was tough, sometimes it was slushy and sometimes there were really hard bumps but you just have to keep pushing,” he said of his own performance.

McLaughlin said that it’s tough to have only one run because it doesn’t feel like a real race but he was happy to take the win and the GS title.

Dartmouth’s Foreste Peterson won her third GS of the season on Friday, with a time of 1:11.83. Middlebury’s Caroline Bartlett finished 0.51 seconds behind, and Mardene Haskell of Colby followed her, 0.70 seconds back.  Peterson’s finish helped win Dartmouth yet another Carnival but Bartlett’s second place finished solidified her as the EISA’s top giant slalom skier.

Middlebury’s sophomore finished with three wins and five podiums altogether, and she handily took the GS title.

Although the racers were able to ski two runs in Saturday’s slalom race it was not easy as the snow was soft and deteriorated from the very first racer. Five of the six podium finishers between the men and women held bibs three or lower.

Paula Moltzan won her third slalom of the season with a combined time of 1:49.24. Her teammate Laurence St. Germain finished in second, 0.36 seconds back and Genevieve Frigon, from the University of New Hampshire, finished in third, 2.29 second back.

This is the third slalom in a row that St. Germain and Moltzan have been able to hold the top two spots. Moltzan, a freshman, was also able to take the EISA slalom title with the victory.

“I had a pretty nice advantage going first, it was a really clean course for me but I think it broke down pretty quickly,” Moltzan said, while adding the the heavy fog made the race even more difficulty. “It’s one thing having bad course conditions but the second thing is not being able to see it,” she said.

“I’m pretty excited to be able to come in here as an old freshman and clinch it. I’ve worked pretty hard this year and a lot of years before this so it’s nice to get this title under my belt,” Moltzan said of winning the slalom title in her first year.

Robert Cone won the men’s slalom for the second weekend in a row with a combined time of 1:51.03.  UVM’s William St. Germain followed, 1.40 seconds back and Dartmouth’s Tomas Woolson finished third, 1.76 seconds back.

William St. Germain may have only won one slalom this season but his consistency at the top gave him the EISA slalom title. St. Germain finished in the top four in each slalom he started this year. He missed his home carnival at Stowe as he was racing in a NorAm series in Colorado.

“The year was good, my slalom has been good all year and pretty consistent,” St. Germain said. He also added that his first run on Saturday was good but the conditions got the better of him on the second run. “ 

The next race for the top racers in the EISA circuit will be the NCAA championships, which will be held by UNH at Cannon, March 8-11.