The Middlebury Carnival began with the men's freestyle 10k race at 10AM with 15 second interval starts. They completed two laps of the 5k course featuring the series of corkscrew downhill turns. Next came the women who started shortly after at 12PM who raced just one lap of the 5k course. This weekend's race was an Eastern Cup and Carnival, combining high school skiers with collegiate skiers. With such a large age group and amount of skiers due to the Eastern Cup happening this weekend, there were many new racers and faces at Rikert Ski Area. Saturday morning started off snowing and at 28ºF, warming up to a beautiful and sunny 31ºF.
Karl Schulz (UVM) earned his first-1st place victory in the 10k men's race with a time of 22:11. Also representing UVM was Bill Harmeyer who came in 2nd place just 9 seconds after his teammate. Sam Wood (MID) performed well again today, finishing 3rd with a time of 22:23. Another UVM male skier, Finn O'Connell, slid into the top 5 gaining 4th place with hometown Middlebury skier, Lewis Nottonson, 4 seconds behind. Colby skier, Zane Fields, worked for another top 10, finishing in 6th place. Callan Deline demonstrated his endurance earning 7th place for Dartmouth College. 8th place was taken by Peter Wolter (MID) adding another top Middlebury skier in today's leading pack. Isaac Freitas-Eagan represented Willams in 9th place only 6 seconds faster than Bowdoin skier Elliot Ketchel rounding off the top 10 male skiers of the day.
Dartmouth skier, Gavin McEwen, had a breakout race in the 10k at Rikert earning 11th place. McEwen said "today was a good day to say focused on staying balanced on your skis and also keeping the tempo going because time gaps will be small, also just knowing that every second counts out there." As he was only 5 seconds from 10th place, and 12th place skier Williams Dumas (LAV) was only 6 seconds behind McEwen!
Honing in another 1st place victory was Lina Sutro for UVM with a speedy time of 12:51. Sophomore at Dartmouth College, Katherine Ogden, reigned in 2nd place just 5 seconds behind Sutro for another top 5 finish. Teammates Lydia Blanchet and Lauren Jortberg followed in 3rd and 4th.
Blanchet noted that she disliked the layout of the finish as there was a hair-pin turn right before the last 20 meter stretch, saying it was one of the most challenging parts of the race. Blanchet also mentioned the "second finger," what they call the trickiest downhill, was super icy and scary unless you rode the berms on the sides. Blanchet knew the course well, so she went into to the 5k knowing "it's broken up into three different sections, and you can tackle each one individually and push hard through each portion then get a rest."
Margie Freed (UVM) earned 5th place with an official time of 13:21 and only three seconds after was Middlebury skier Annika Landis.
Landis said this "has been a pretty fun season, and a season that has been a result of years of hard work and keeping my head down and training, so it was really fun to see it pay off." Not to mention this was a home Carnival for Landis, so many friends and family members were able to add to the support of the coaches. Landis' parents flew out from Idaho to see her race which she appreciated greatly to have them out on the course cheering for her.
In 7th place was Leah Brams (13:40 min) from Dartmouth with teammates Margaret Gellert (8th, 13:48) and Taryn Hunt-Smith (9th, 13:51.0) right behind her. Top Harvard skier in today's race was Hannah Hardenbergh who also finished in 13:51.3, and Bowdoin skier Renae Anderson was less than a second away from her. Hunt-Smith pushed both Hardenbergh and Anderson from 9th place, by less than a second!
Awesome job to all the EISA skiers and all those who participated in the Eastern Cup at Rikert in Ripton, VT. See you next weekend for the Bates Carnival in Rumford!