Brrr. Today marked the first day of the St. Michael’s College carnival up at Smuggler’s Notch deep in Vermont’s Green Mountains. It was a cold one! Racers were met with a day full of subzero temps (around -14 degrees at first run inspection), a grippy and firm surface of the sort often brought by weather this cold, and a bright bluebird sky that bathed parts of the hill in sunlight in the late morning and early-early afternoon.
Two runs of rapid-fire GS through the twisting Black Snake trail brought a fair bit of excitement for EISA skiers, and a resilient track—which held up remarkably well as the women’s and men’s fields hammered along—allowed quite a few higher bibs to knife their way to victory.
Here is a brief overview of today’s results and some standout performances:
In the women’s field, Dartmouth, UVM, and Middlebury once again battled it out for spots on the podium—with Vermont’s Catamounts getting shut out of the top three thanks to two dynamite performances by Panthers Lucia Bailey and Alexandra Cosette.
Cosette started off the day strong with a second place first run, finishing in third place after the second run. Bailey screamed out of the start gate and charged through the fastest first run in the field, tying for fourth place on her second run and ending up second place overall. Points for consistency! Bailey finished second in both the slalom and GS races at last weekend’s Colby Carnival up at Sugarloaf.
Dartmouth’s Gwen Wattenmaker, a Junior with a standout record from the last full carnival season in 2020, ultimately skied onto the top step of the podium today with the third fastest first run and the fastest second run by more than half a second.
In a stacked men’s field—the back of the flip was a mere 1.30 seconds out from the fastest first run—third place was ultimately claimed by UVM’s Declan McCormack. McCormack also laid some trenches last week with a third place slalom finish at Sugarloaf.
Benjamin Throm, defending his home turf for St. Michael’s but skiing from pretty deep in the field with a #40 bib, overcame the ultimate ice-out—a DNF’d skier in front of Throm interrupted his second run and forced him around for a re-run—to claim second place.
Tucker Strauch of Colby College also had a successful attack from the back of the pack with a 5th place finish from bib 53. Strauch shared fifth place in an extremely uncommon three-way tie with Eirik Kveno of St. Michael’s and Axel Bailey of Middlebury.
Finally, league newcomer Bastien Stroud—a veteran of the German National Ski Team now skiing as a graduate student for UNH—brought the Wildcats back to the top of the EISA podium with a first-place finish, laying down a 10th place first run before locking in the win with the fastest second run.
Tomorrow brings a day of rowdy slalom, the conclusion of the St. Michael’s carnival, and two more EISA Alpine Skiers of the Week! Stay tuned.