Harvard GS Recap: Salt Race
Updated: Feb 14
By: Caleb Horsch
It's been three years since Harvard last hosted a carnival, and the Crimson came out gunning. It's been a superb start to the season for the small semi-nomadic team, and today's race took them to new heights. The team saw two top 10 finishes from its men's team, which landed the men's side in third on the day.
Difficult weather conditions were always going to challenge racers, and challenge it did. Temperatures throughout the day sat at 40º, and heavy rain the night before did the surface no favors. The courses were bumpy, but race organizers did their best, and a solid racing surface was achieved.
The Plymouth State women's team came out charging with fantastic runs from Hanna Larsson and Tundra Bergstrand, who sat 1-2 after the first run. The course set allowed for full-charge skiing, and a few girls delivered. Middlebury placed Mika Reha and Alexandra Cossette in fourth and fifth. However, the conditions deteriorated later in the women's first run, making start position critical. Girls that had earned a start position in the top 30 were rewarded with a much smoother surface.
Hanna Larsson (Plymouth State) - Stephen R Cloutier
A few adjustments moved the track into smoother snow, and the men's first run began. It came as little surprise when Jagge Lindstoel put down the fastest run off the first run. However, he would have little breathing room on run two, with GS leader Eirik Kveno sitting just two tenths back. Rounding out the run one podium was Dartmouth's, Max Martin. Saint Michaels, led by Kveno, put three skiers in the top 10 after the run.
A long delay after the second run moved the schedule late into the afternoon. Coaches salted the hill hoping to preserve the track, but with the time lost throughout the day and lift closures, time was of the essence. Coaches weighed between calling the race and using the first run results or allowing just the top 30 from the first run to race their second. The decision was made to run just the flip 30 from both genders.
The soft snow provided a significant opportunity for racers to leverage their second-run start position. Megan Olsen from Colby won the second run moving from 27th to 14th on the day. Others followed suit, delivering seasons best performances. But, with big enough leads on the first run, the podium would come from the last few girls.
Lisa Olson from the University of New Hampshire skied an impressive second run managing a difficult piece of terrain over the Slalom start to take the lead. She would hold that position until almost the very end when Hannah Larsson took the lead by a whopping 1.28 seconds. Kristoffersen rounded out the podium in third after a solid second run.
The second run set held up better than the first, and the men were treated with a clean course and a flowy set. Oscar Zimmer skied a superb second run to move up from 14th to 1st. Not only did he win the second run, but he beat some of the best skiers on the circuit by seconds. Despite fast sections, a mistake from Lindstoel over the role dropped him to second. An excellent second run from Martin kept him on the podium in third.
Oscar Zimmer (Dartmouth) - Stephen R Cloutier
Close results abounded on the team score side, with three teams tying for fifth in the men's race and three tying for third in the women's race. Plymouth State won the women's race, banking on Larsson's win to score a whopping 109 points. Colby followed them in second, and UVM, Middlebury, and Dartmouth tied for third. On the men's side, Saint Michaels came out on top with Dartmouth in second and hosts Harvard in third.
Dartmouth leads the Alpine and Nordic standings after day 1, 68 points clear of Middlebury. But, on the Alpine side, Colby won the day with 174 points ahead of Dartmouth in second and the University of New Hampshire in third.
Lydia Riddell (Colby College) - Stephen R Cloutier
With temperatures predicted to drop dramatically overnight and plenty of moisture in the snow, the surface should lock up for a fantastic Slalom race tomorrow. Follow the race live at https://livetiming.usskiandsnowboard.org.