Conditions remained cold in Lake Placid today, with the temperature barely registering above freezing for the start of the women’s event. The tracks were the firmest I’ve seen all season, and the course held up wonderfully for both races. The last race of the EISA season, today was a series of emotions for the athletes, coaches and parents. Both women and men raced 20 km, a brutal four laps of the race course. On the final hill, the cheering was deafening, and the energy was high.
Marlia Richer racing for SLU at the SMC carnival. (Photo courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
UVM women placed first today, with Haley Brewster (2nd), Annie McColgan (3rd), and Marielle Ackermann (9th) bringing home the win for the Catamounts. McColgan was stoked about her performance but was equally excited about their team performance. “This week was a really big mental challenge more than it was physical,” she told me. “But it’s always a treat to be on the EISA with my teammates.” Racing for third place, McColgan was giving her all. She said knowing her competitor, Beth Granstrom of UNH, was also giving her best made the performance even more validating. “I just kept telling myself: I can do it, I can do it,” McColgan said, thinking back to the last lap, repeating her mantra: “always forward, never back.”
McColgan racing at the Bates Carnival (Photo courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
The Dartmouth women placed second today, with Ava Thurston winning the individual title, and her teammates Jasmine Drolet (6th) and Tatum Witter (10th) skiing strong. Their team assistant, Callie Young, said that the vibe on the team was great today despite the long and hilly course. “I was impressed that people were having fun out there, and they really were having fun!” she said, grinning. “It was a fun way to cap off the season.” Young was one of Dartmouth’s top skiers, graduating last year and moving to a management position this season. “It’s been a great transition from athlete to assistant,” she told me. “I’ve been loving it, and it’s so fun to be part of the Dartmouth ski team, just in a different role.”
Third today was UNH, with top skiers Beth Granstrom (4th), Lea Stabaek Wenaas (8th), and Lucinda Anderson (14th).
The University of Vermont is also on the top of the team podium for the men today. Skiers Jacob Nystedt (3rd), Finn Sweet (4th), and Gregory Burt (12th) skied strong for the Catamounts. Burt worked with his teammates Petter and Aidan before skiing away from that pack during the third lap. “It was a nice course where you can really get into a groove of striding,” he said. As a senior, this was his last race on the EISA. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he told me, “but I’m sure there will be some tears at some point.”
UVM teaming hanging out cheering after the SMC sprint. (Photo courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
Dartmouth men placed second today with skiers John Steel Hagenbuch (2nd), Jack Lange (8th), and Cooper Camp (14th) bringing home a podium spot for the Big Green.
Middlebury men got third, with Logan Moore (5th), Jack Christner (9th), and Willson Moore (10th). Logan debriefed the moment that he passed several other skiers to take 5th after 20 km on the course. In this moment, he told me, “I didn’t really think about anything except going fast.” As for the Middlebury team, Moore is ready to show the west-coasters what they’ve been training for out east. “We’ve been pushing each other all season long and it showed today,” he said. “We’re going to do the best we can, and we’ll come into NCAA’s ready to fire.”
Logan Moore racing at the Bates Carnival. (Photo courtesy of flyingpointroad.com)
St. Lawrence coach Ethan Townsend was happy with how the races at his team’s home Carnival turned out. “The energy today with the team is really good, it was probably one of our better days on both sides,” he told me. He is excited about the racing from athlete Emma Strack, who has put down several historic results for the St. Lawrence program this season. “To finish now, going into the National Championships with that performance brings a lot of confidence to her,” he said, “So that will bode well for NCAAs.”
Congratulations to all EISA skiers on a fantastic season! The last six weeks have been a whirlwind of crazy conditions and amazing energy – nothing but the best from the best in the East!