- Caleb Horsch
SMC SL Recap: Cold Toes
By: Caleb Horsch
Frigid temperatures battering the Northeast could not stop the EISA circuit as the rescheduled Saint Michael's carnival got off the Slalom portion of the event. Record-setting temperatures forced the abandonment of Friday's GS race, but the league was determined to get one race off.
Using the old Smugglers Notch T-bar and then hiking the eight gates to the start provided sufficient vertical drop for a valid FIS race. However, the race would be a sprint, forcing athletes to charge from top to bottom. Temperatures sat at -17º F at the base for the start of the day, but the sun shone down, and the wind was minimal, keeping athletes and coaches warm through the first run.
A high-tempo set from Colby coach Eric Harlow challenged the men's field with Slalom leader Mathias Tefre losing his line and last week's skier of the week, Jagge Lindstoel straddling on the top pitch. Their teammate Cole Palchak stepped up, crushing the field with a lightning-fast run lasting only 38 seconds. He was followed not so closely by Oscar Zimmer from Dartmouth and Declan McCormack, charging from bib 32.
Some higher bibs on the men's side took advantage of DNFs from the top-seeded skiers to make the flip 30. Amongst them was Joergen Hedenstad Breivik from Plymouth State, who moved from bib 50 to finish the run in 22nd.
As the temperatures continued to warm, the ladies got their go. Allie Resnick, who has been in the driver's seat for all collegiate races this season, smashed the rest of the field, leading over UVM's Moa Clementson and Caroline Jones.
Moa Clementson (University of Vermont) - Stephen R Cloutier
The snow was grippy from top to bottom, which caused several straddles across both the men's and women's fields. However, there was a strong surface, and later bibs had the opportunity for considerable move-ups. Such was the case for Carissa Cassidy from Colby, who moved from outside the top 30 to 11th in just the first run.
The men's and women's sets were very straightforward, allowing for full gas skiing. Playing with a significant lead Palchak skied a clean, strong run that was enough to give the Sophomore his maiden collegiate win. Despite his best efforts, Zimmer could not make enough of a dent in Palchaks lead. He would have to settle for second-place. McCormack held off a charge from Maximilian Haussmann from Plymouth State to grab the final spot on the podium.
Maximilian Haussmann (Plymouth State) - flyingpointroad.com
Returning to collegiate skiing was the Canadian Kyle Alexander, who scored a fifth-place finish to get UVM its third scorer. Alexander, who raced the World Cups at Wengen and Kitzbuehel last month, scored his result from bib 41, making it an even more impressive feat.
A faster second run set brought more high-intensity skiing but kept margins close across the field. Needing to make up nearly four-tenths of a second on Resnick, Clementson took the risks she needed to take. She came down in the lead by over half a second over her teammate Jones and won the second run. Resnick could not ski comfortably, and she did just enough. Her second run, which went down as the second fastest of the day, earned her a tie with Clementson.
Resnicks win gives her a third podium in Slalom and a second win in just three races. Clementson earns her first win of the season and a second podium. Resnick will retain the Slalom leader's bib after sharing it with Jones coming into the day.
After his win, Palchack credited a 'home-hill advantage', he grew up skiing at Smugglers Notch. "The team is pushing each other so much, and I'm so grateful to be a part of this group." UVM continues to dominate the team standings, winning both the men's and women's races on the day. Middlebury finished second on the women's side, and Dartmouth finished second on the men's side.
Cole Palchack (University of Vermont) - flyingpointroad.com
After defrosting their toes, the EISA action will return with the Harvard Carnival at Waterville Valley. Those races can be streamed live on ESPN+.