Saint Lawrence GS Recap: UVM v. Dartmouth
By: Caleb Horsch
The EISA Regional Championships hosted by Saint Lawrence kicked off on Friday with the GS portion of the event. Athletes got to race on the hill the day before with the makeup of the Saint Michael's GS. The surface was fantastic for the second day of the doubleheader, with a grippy layer on top that turned to hard snow early in both runs.
Mathias Tefre (University of Vermont) - Stephen R Cloutier
Cold temperatures were prevalent yet again, and high winds that appeared as mainly a tailwind made speeds higher and temperatures even colder. As everyone tried to warm their feet, the women's first run got underway.
The first run set by Stever Bartlett from Middlebury was fairly straight but allowed for full arcing top to bottom. The fastest on the run could take all of their speed through the chicane on Taylor's Turn and into the flat section.
Carly Elsinger, whose skiing yesterday landed her in second place, was looking to move up one step. She made the first move towards that with an aggressive and strong first run taking the lead narrowly over Justine Clement from the University of Vermont. The two were mules ahead of everybody else, with Elsinger's teammates Riley Grosdidier sitting nearly a second back.
Eirik Kveno from Saint Michael's ran first and set the early pace. His time would eventually be bettered by Jagge Lindstoel from UVM and Maximilian Haussmann from Plymouth State. However, the margins were close amongst those three, and with a long technical course like that of Whiteface, there would be considerable opportunities to move up.
Eirik Kveno (Saint Michael's) - Stephen R Cloutier
UVM continued to exhibit its dominance on the field, putting all six skiers in the flip and all in the top 17. Impressive first runs from deep in the field were also visible. Alec Nolan of hosts Saint Lawrence and Nicolas Hotermans from Bates allowed them to move into the flip 30 with bibs of 64 and 76, respectively.
The second run set from hosts Saint Lawrence brought a touch more turn shape, especially in the upper section. Two challenging delays on the upper pitch forced athletes to ski smart. The first involved a quick switch to the new ski to set up the rhythmical 'money section,' and the second, into Taylor's turn, was critical in carrying speed onto the flats.
Elsinger and Clement were head and shoulders above the rest today. Their second runs extended their leads over the rest of the field, making it a close and intriguing battle. In the end, Elsinger had the edge. She narrowly defeated Clement on the second run to take her first win on the season. The familiar sight of Hanna Larsson Nathhorst from Plymouth State rounded out the podium. Grosdider slipped to fourth, and Lydia Riddell from Colby rounded out the top 5.
The top men, eager to show their stuff after getting only one run the prior day, came out swinging. Haussman delivered a clean run, but with the tight margins, it was not enough to hold on for the victory. Instead, it was Lindstoel who mastered the course to take his third GS victory of the year and win the GS bib. Kveno moved up for a second-place finish on the day, and Mathias Tefre, also of UVM, landed on the podium again.
A look at the NCAA board showed little changes on both sides. Grosdidier's performance will put her in the mix, moving up four places to finish in 13th on the GS board. It remains to be seen whether that will be enough to qualify for NCAA Championships. A mistake on the second run hurt Alexandra Cossette from Middlebury, but she was able to hold onto her position.
Carly Elsinger (Dartmouth) - Stephen R Cloutier
The men's side showed few changes, even after two days of racing. A fantastic day from Marius Solbakken from UNH puts him in the mix, moving up to 15th. All others just about held their ground.
On the team side, UVM leads the pack. Their first-place finish on the men's side and a second-place finish on the women's side proved to be enough. However, the margins could not be any closer as they lead Dartmouth by just one point when accounting for the Nordic side. It will be an intriguing battle when EISA Championships wrap up on Saturday with the Slalom.