Harvard Carnival Nordic Day 1
Updated: Feb 10
Driving to the venue this morning, a dense fog filled the air. As we arrived, however, the sun started to shine and it opened up to a beautiful blue sky day. The snow survived last night’s rain admirably, and the double track held up decently well through the mushy conditions. As music blared and Klister torches flared, the EISA circuit reunited joyously for the second half of the Nordic season.
Volunteers from Dublin XC prepare before the first race.
Dartmouth women sporting some pink at the SMC carnival (photo courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Topping the podium today on the women’s side was Dartmouth. Skiers Ava Thurston (1st), Nina Seeman (2nd), and Garvie Tobin (4th), all skied to Top-5 results to bring home the win for the Big Green. February 14th is quickly approaching and along with it, the well-known circuit tradition of Carni Crush. Thurston says her freshly-dyed pink hair gave her “a little speed boost,” and that the “super bright and really fun” style helped her to the win. Her race strategy was, “Just to go out fast and ski the downhills really well,” she told me. “It was hard to balance, but I was just trying to catch people.”
UVM took second today, with Waverly Gebhardt (5th), Haley Brewster (6th), and Elizabeth Tuttle (11th) in top form.
Brams and Ogden racing at Jackson (photo courtesy of Dave Brams).
Middlebury women placed third, with Shea Brams (3rd) snagging an individual podium spot. Her teammates Quincy Massey-Bierman (14th) and Charlotte Ogden (15th) secured the place for the Panthers. Brams’ race plan was to “try and work with the people around me. Even though it was an individual start, I really like trying to find people to ski with.” She succeeded, despite the difficult slushy and wet conditions.
Barker racing at the Bates Carnival (photo courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Not all skiers were upset with the mushy racetrack. Hattie Barker (13th), a first-year at UNH, was ecstatic about her race. “These are my favorite conditions,” she told me, “So it was an awesome race.” Barker brought a positive and focused attitude to her two laps around the course. I asked about her strategy up the hills, and she said, “I was focusing on trying to have a really powerful stride and make my kick work today, because I love Klister days.” Hopefully Barker can bring a similar attitude to removing all that goo from her bases before tomorrow’s chill sets in.
Brian Beyerbach starts for the Saints today.
Dartmouth leaves with a double win today, as the men’s team also claims the top of the podium. Luke Allan (2nd), John Steel Hagenbuch (4th), and Jack Lange (7th) all skied to Top-10 performances to bring home the win. Allan describes his race as “Super awesome,” even though “the conditions were a little bit sloppy.” He told me, “I was just trying to go out and ski smooth and stay on my feet on the downhills which were pretty mash potato-y.” As he came back into the stadium to head up into the final section of the course, Allan knew he was skiing at the front. “I was getting some splits from coaches saying I was close to the podium.” He found motivation for the final push from other EISA competitors. “On the second lap I caught up to Sam Hodges, who tucked in behind me. We had a battle on the second lap there, which definitely helped me keep my technique together.” It may be noted that Allan, a sophomore, was not sporting a green wood-glue mullet on the course today. The aerodynamics of such a hairstyle are yet to be examined, however, as his teammate Lange might attest to, the $wag gained is surely enough to counteract the effect.
Allan starting for the Big Green at the Bates Carnival (photo courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Middlebury placed second, with Wilson Moore (3rd) racing to an individual podium spot. His teammates Logan Moore (6th), and Sam Hodges (8th) were close behind. Their assistant coach Adam Luban has been enjoying the season so far. “It’s a little busy and hectic at points but really fun,” he told me. “Our team is really fired up and bringing their best each weekend.” Luban has been pulling his weight with the waxing this season, and his efforts are paying off. For today’s race the focus was on finding consistency. “There were a lot of different types of snow out there,” he said. “So, we were trying to find something that would kick well on the second lap and still be pretty fast.” With three skiers consistently in the Top-10, the Middlebury Men’s relay team tomorrow will be one to watch.
Siblings Madeline and James Kitch racing for Harvard at the UNH Carnival (photo courtesy of Dave Brams).
Taking third today at their home Carnival was Harvard. Led by the individual winner, Rémi Drolet, skiers Mads Groeholdt (23rd) and James Kitch (26th) brought the team onto the podium. Drolet told me, “I woke up this morning feeling really good, and I was able to push hard out there. It was a fun course and suited me well.” Despite skiing alone for the majority of the first lap, Drolet said that he was “fighting all the way to the finish.” Although starting first was “lonely for the first lap,” being out front did have its advantages. “I had the whole track to myself and I could ski however I wanted,” he said. Waiting for others to finish, though, was nerve-wracking. “I was just waiting, biting my nails until they crossed the line,” to see if his place would hold. When it did, Drolet was happy and proud. “To come away with the win, especially at my home Carnival, it means a lot,” he told me, smiling.
Tomorrow brings a much loved and cherished event for the EISA, the 3x5km relay. With both men and women ripping a fast one around the course, it is sure to be an exciting and entertaining race.