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  • Caleb Horsch

Home-hill Advantage: Midd SL

By: Caleb Horsch

The EISA Championships began on Friday with the Slalom at the Middlebury Snowbowl. With athletes looking to lock up spots at the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs, pressure was high. An unfortunate overnight snowstorm left a few inches on top of the track and challenged racers all day long. 

The Slalom took place on the famed "Allen" slope, which starts with a twenty-gate flat before breaking over to a moderate pitch and flattening out at the finish. The men were up first, and Declan McCormack (UVM) showed that he was eager to back up his Slalom win from a week ago at Williams. He pushed hard on the opening flats and came down with a slim lead over Hunter Brayton (UNH). Margins were tight across the men's field, with the flip 30 separated by only 2.39 seconds. 

Mika-Anne Reha (Middlebury) -

The women had a full attack first run set, and Justine Clement (UVM)  took full advantage. Clement has been a force in Slalom this season, with four podiums in five races but only one win. Mika-Anne Reha, winner of last weekend's Slalom race and carrying some serious momentum into her home carnival, was in second place, hot on Clements's tails. 

As the sun came out in full force, leading to a peely layer that would challenge racers. Amidst all of this, Hayden Dahl (UNH) skied a superb second run to move up ten spots to fifth. Maximilian Haussman (Plymouth State) moved up slightly to fourth, his season's best result. The podium was shaped by Dan Gillis (Dartmouth), who ended an unfortunate string of DNFs to grab his fourth podium of the year. Impressively, Gillis has finished on the podium in all Slalom races he has completed this season. The top two remained unchanged, with Brayton unable to best McCormack by a sufficient margin.

As the sun continued to bake, the women tackled a challenging second run set. A difficult flush set at the end of the flats proved a critical piece. Still, the best found a way, as they always do. Cydnie Timmerman and Moa Clementson joined Clement in the top 5 on the day. The podium was composed of Emma Reynolds (Dartmouth), who moved up five spots to grab her first collegiate podium. Reha skied an incredible second run that would prove to be more than enough to snatch the win from Clement. 

Declan McCormack (University of Vermont) -

On the team side, the University of Vermont holds an incredibly narrow eight-point lead over Dartmouth. UNH, in third, sits narrowly ahead of hosts Middlebury and Colby.

The forecast calls for temperatures to cool dramatically overnight, setting the surface up for a fantastic day of racing. 


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