The alpine teams of the EISA returned to the Middlebury Snow Bowl today for a make-up race for the UVM carnival, which was rescheduled from two weeks ago after a perfectly terrible set of weather conditions rendered racing impossible. Today brought another GS—making this the second back-to-back weekend in a row, after last week’s double slalom at Dartmouth—and a whole new opportunity for skiers of the EISA to test their mettle on two new sets down Allen Trail.
Yesterday’s snow flurries and frigid gusts were replaced this morning by bluebird skies and ample sunlight—at least at the start and the top half of the course—and visibility stayed high through the rest of the day even as the sun ducked behind a thickening cloud cover.
The results look a bit different from yesterday, as the EISA’s fastest skiers got into the Snow Bowl groove and a new pair of sets brought some fresh variety to the mix. In the women’s field, the top 10 had representation from Dartmouth, Middlebury, St. Michael’s, UNH, and UVM. Stephanie Lebby, the UVM speed demon who won yesterday's race, hung on to the podium with a third place finish. Helene Kristoffersen of St. Mike’s grabbed the Purple Knights their first podium of the weekend with a second place. Dartmouth’s Ellie Curtis, who grabbed third place in yesterday’s race, catapulted into first place. John Dwyer, head coach of women’s alpine skiing at Dartmouth, underlined her performance today after the race and emphasized that it was good to see Curtis find her groove and string together two extremely strong days in a row.
Over in the men’s field, skiers from the exact same set of schools—Dartmouth, Middlebury, St. Mike’s, UNH, and UVM—found their way into the top 10. The fastest skier in yesterday’s race, Middlebury’s Justin Alkier, fell into fourth place after an impressive performance from UVM’s Kyle Alexander gave the carnival rookie his second third place finish in a row. That’s podiums in two days for Alexander’s first two carnival starts! Middlebury’s Bradshaw Underhill, however, couldn’t be budged. Underhill built on his momentum after his second place finish yesterday and cranked out another one today. UVM’s Joachim Jagge Lindstoel, who was knocked off the podium yesterday for only the second time this season, locked it in today and got back onto the top of the heap with a first place finish.
I caught up with Stever Bartlett, the head coach of host team Middlebury’s alpine squad, after the race was over—the Panthers had a great weekend, all things considered, with a whole lot of blue on the podiums thanks to the impressive performance of Alkier, Underhill, and Reha on their home hill.
Bartlett expressed his gratitude to the Snow Bowl for pulling off two days of racing after the challenging weather and maintenance conditions on Friday. Ski racing might mostly be about the skiers, but nothing can happen without the dedicated work of course crew, groomers, maintenance workers, and facility staff who help out behind the scenes and enable everything to go smoothly!
Next week brings the UNH Carnival and the regional championship for the EISA. Stay tuned to hear about skiers of the week!