Fates of the Bates Carnival
The Bates Carnival weekend kicked off at Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine with the last 5k for the women at 10 am followed by the men's 15k freestyle race, both with 30 seconds intervals. The skies were sunny with some wispy clouds and mild winds with a high temperature of 31º. The warmth of the sun warmed the skiers' bodies but allowed the snow to stay cold enough to maintain the packed down and groomed conditions that were laid down last night. A huge thank you to the local Chisholm Ski Club for putting together such an organized event despite sharing the alpine basin and lodge of Black Mountain!
Crossing the finish line first on her skate skis was UVM skier Lina Sutro with a speedy time of 13:02, and just two seconds behind her was DAR skier Lydia Blanchet in second place. Teammates Katharine Ogden and Lauren Jortberg earned third and fourth with only one second separating them. Margie Freed (UVM) came in 5th with a time of 13:38 and teammate Anna Bizyukova was two seconds and two places behind in 7th. Taryn Hunt-Smith (DAR) claimed 6th, one second behind Freed for another top ten finish. Annika Landis (MID) stole 8th with Dartmouth skiers Leah Brams and Emily Hyde behind her in 9th and 10th places respectively. Top Harvard skier Hannah Hardenbergh worked hard for 11th place, finishing less than one second behind Hyde.
Kaelyn Woods from the home team, Bates, earned 12th, the top placer for the Bates women team today. Woods mentioned the stakes were high today, as racers were working for the NCAA spots in the upcoming NCAA Championships. Even though the team skis at another ski center closer to Bates College, they still had the opportunity to train at Black Mountain over the winter and this past week to acclimate to the beautiful course.
Top Colby female skier Claire Waichler earned 16th place in 14:06 after returning the racing from an injury. Waichler mentioned this was the "first 5k she was able to put together this season" and what helped keep her motivated was having Margie Freed skiing behind her, knowing she's a fast skier. Waichler was thankful for the soft snow and sunny conditions, a notable race compared to the wet conditions at the Dartmouth Carnival and 0º temperatures at the SLU Carnival.
The mens 10k freestyle race began at 11:30 am and concluded with Bill Harmeyer (UVM) at the top of the podium again with a time of 23:40. Harmeyer noted he likes to "go out with good energy and just hang on, without getting too blown out on High School Hill." He also had his eyes out for Sam Wood and Zane Fields, with his goals being to keep Fields out of sight since he started behind him, and chasing Wood as a rabbit.
Colby skier Zane Fields hammered it in yet another race and earned second place with a time of 24:02. Two seconds behind Fields was Sam Wood, skiing for Middlebury, with his teammate Lewis Nottonson just 10 seconds behind. Consistent top ten finisher Karl Schulz (UVM) skied for 24:24 minutes, claiming a top 5 skier, with Elliot Ketchell (6th) just 4 seconds behind representing Bowdoin. Callan Deline placed 7th for Dartmouth with Middlebury skier Peter Wolter (8th) less than one second behind him.UVM skiers Ben Ogden (9th) and Finn O'Connell (10th) honed in more top ten finishes coming in two seconds apart from each other. Dartmouth skier Gavin McEwen worked hard for another great finish, crossing the finish line of the 10k in 24:44.
Top finisher for Williams, Nick Gardner, came in less than a second behind Mcewen in 12th place. This was Gardner' last EISA race for his college career so he went out as hard as he could. Gardner said, "if you don't start fast you don't race fast" so he tried to go as hard as he could on the first 5k lap and "hang on" for the second lap with the inevitable round two of High School Hill.
With only one more EISA race left in the books, many skiers will be working for the NCAA spots in the upcoming NCAA Championships from March 6-9th, making tomorrow's race the final say as to who can continue racing this season. Amazing job to all of the skiers who have made it this far, as this is vanity race where only the top 6 from each team participate. Tomorrow will be another gorgeous sunny day, breeching above freezing temps with a forecasted 35º high in Rumford, ME. Skiers, get some well-deserved rest, and family and coaches keep up the great support! See you tomorrow for the classic races!