Bates Carnival Nordic Day 2
Skiers at the start line this weekend (image courtesy of flyingpointroad.com).
UVM men had a second strong showing, with Ben Ogden (1st), Jacob Nystedt (2nd), and Bjorn Westervelt (4th) taking the team win. Nystedt commented on the changing conditions after last night’s freeze. “It was still kind of sugary out there,” he said, “So we definitely had to work for it.” However, despite the soft conditions, he had a great race. “I felt better today than yesterday,” he told me. With four in the top five today, the Catamounts establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with this season.
Nystedt racing for UVM (image courtesy of flyingpointroad.com).
The UVM coach Patrick Weaver was proud of his team but doesn’t think his waxing was the reason for their success today. “I don’t think it was a wax day,” he told me, “It was more of a stay on your feet type of day.” His favorite part of the weekend was being back on the EISA circuit. “There’s so much good energy out here, it’s just enjoyable to race as a team all together.”
Moore racing for Middlebury (and seemingly having a great time despite the weather) (image courtesy of flyingpointroad.com).
Taking second today was Middlebury. The Panthers follow up their performance yesterday with an impressive four in the top ten, including Wilson Moore (6th), Logan Moore (7th), Jack Christner (8th), and Sam Hodges (9th). Wilson is ecstatic about the men’s team this season. “Everyone’s kind of a threat at the top of the pack and that’s just super fun to be a part of,” he told me, grinning. As a native of Southern Maine, he loved racing at Black Mountain. “People that grew up skiing around me were out here cheering and it got me really fired me up.” If the “Manthers” keep this up, they might be giving the “Catabros” a run for their money by Regionals.
Schulz mid-skate (image courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
UNH took third today, led by Scott Schulz (3rd), Seth Wyatt (10th), and James Schneider (23rd).
Schulz said that he felt good and had a good time on the course today. “Yesterday was definitely tougher conditions,” he told me, pulling apart two pieces of grilled cheese sandwich. “Today it firmed up with a bit with more speed on the skis for sure.” Despite his position on the podium today, Schulz is easy-going and self-reflective. “I think it’s always great to have a good result,” he said between bites, “but being able to have your effort sit well with yourself is always equally worth it.”
With the Eastern Cup – Carnival combination today, the course was much busier than yesterday. Jack Lange, a freshman from Dartmouth, had a good time navigating the hectic trails. “Fifteen second intervals with four laps is just a lot of people,” he said. Despite that, he had “fun giving it everything.”
UVM took first today on the women’s side, winning over Middlebury by a larger margin than the men. The team was led to victory by Hailey Brewster (1st), Waverly Gebhardt (3rd), and Annie McColgan (8th). I talked to Brewster as she returned from the awards ceremony, arms full of maple syrup and cheese. “It was definitely easier conditions than yesterday,” she told me. “My race plan was starting out fast and seeing if I could hang on,” and clearly, it worked.
Brewster smiling after a smooth race on course (image courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
Middlebury took second, with first-year Shea Brams (2nd), Charlotte Ogden (14th), and Quincy Massey-Bierman (16th) skiing fast for the Panthers. Brams finished out an incredible first weekend, with two podium results in a competitive field and surely has a great season ahead of her.
Third place in the women’s field today was up for grabs. Bowdoin snatched the last podium spot with UNH, Dartmouth, and Colby all close behind. Skiing for the Polar Bears was Agnes Macy (9th), Morgan Richter (13th), and Jordan Grialou (15th).
Strack putting on her game face (image courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
Emma Strack, a sophomore skiing for St. Lawrence, placed 5th today. She is focused and determined, telling me, “I was so in the zone I didn’t realize how I was feeling. I didn’t feel tired at all until the fourth lap.” A testament to the physical and mental toughness that a top five race requires, Strack describes her race mantra. “Instead of thinking about things as challenging, I was thinking about them as little blips that I can power through.” Expect more top ten results from Strack this season.
Massey-Bierman skiing strong for the Panthers (image courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
In the EISA spirit, the cheer squad was powerful this afternoon. Loud music and cow bells filled the air as skiers pushed themselves up the steepest hill on the course. Middlebury’s Massey-Bierman was grateful for the energy and enthusiasm from the cheer squad and would like to “Shoutout all the dawgs playing music,” because “That got me amped up!” After the rain, today’s race was a welcome return to the best parts of the circuit.