East, meet West: an NCAA Alpine Championship Recap!
This season has seen some seriously fast skiers rise to the top of the pack in the EISA field, with a few squads (read: UVM men and women, Dartmouth women) standing out for consistent performance across a variety of conditions. Last week, it all came to a head in the NCAA championship when the best of the best of the EISA rocked up to Park City--skis blazing--to show some Rocky Mountain racers what a little ice coast conditioning looks like.
After a sneaky powder dump on Wednesday pushed the GS races to Thursday, the league dove in headfirst for some classic carve-city carnage. And despite some seriously fierce competition from our western counterparts, eastern skiers were nonetheless well represented among the top 10 in each event.
In the women's GS race, a ferocious pair of runs from the western teams closed EISA skiers out of the top seven, but Dartmouth's Ellie Curtis led a trifecta of easterners to fill out the top 10 with St. Mike's Helene Kristoffersen and UVM's Marina Vilanova close behind.
In the men's GS, UNH's Bastian Meisen staked out a fifth place finish, while another Dartmouth-UVM-St.Mike's trio closed out the top ten with Dartmouth's Oliver Morgan in 8th, UVM's Jagge Lindstoel in 9th, and St. Mike's('s) Simen Strand in 10th.
With a promising start to the championship (but with much work to be done) the league stepped into their slalom skis on Friday to finish up the series and make some moves on the western contingent. The men's race accomplished just that, with UVM's Mathias Tefre laying down the fastest run in the field and Tefre's teammate Jagge Lindstoel returning to lock down third place. The eastern surge continued with Simen Strand of St. Mike's grabbing a fifth place finish. (Middlebury's Justin Alkier, for what it's worth, delivered the fastest second run and moved from 18th to 11th).
In the women's race, UVM's Moa Clementson broke into the top 5 with the fastest second run in the women's field catapulting her into fourth. Dartmouth's Hannah Utter was close behind with a seventh place finish, while teammate Gwen Wattenmaker grabbed 9th and UNH's Zoe Michael nabbing 10th.
All said and done, the EISA maintained a strong presence in Park City and by the end of the championship (with nordic and freestyle results figured in) three EISA teams stood strong in the top 10: Middlebury in 10th, the University of New Hampshire in 6th, and the University of Vermont in 2nd. First place went to the University of Utah.
As for the other EISA Alpine teams: Boston College finished in 21st, Harvard in 20th, Plymouth State in 19th, St. Lawrence in 17th, Colby in 15th, St. Mike's in 13th, and Dartmouth in 11th.
Stay tuned for a season review!