St. Mike's Carnival Nordic Day 2
Overnight snow and colder temperatures led to a firm snowpack for today’s 15 km mass start classic race. Skiers completed six laps of the loop to finish. EISA fans, friends, and families lined the course to watch the first mass start race of the season, and it did not disappoint.
The women flying out of the start (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Gebhardt smiling after the sprint race this Friday (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Placing first for the women is UVM, with skiers Waverly Gebhardt (1st), Haley Brewster (3rd), and Elizabeth Tuttle (8th) taking the lead today. Gebhardt and Brewster led the pack for the majority of the race, not letting yesterday’s sprint get to their legs. A commanding force in the women’s field, this is shaping up to be a great season for the UVM women.
Luci Anderson racing for UNH (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
UNH took second today, led by Luci Anderson (4th), Lea Stabeak Wenaas (6th), and Georgianna Fischer (15th). Anderson was smiling and excited when I chatted with her about her race by the wax trailer. “I was feeling pretty good,” she said, “It felt really smooth and just a good day to classic ski.” The lead pack was charging ahead, but Anderson didn’t let that get to her. “I was thinking about staying with those girls and skiing smooth and controlled,” she told me. Anderson is looking forward to the rest of the mass start classic races, in which she will definitely be an athlete to keep an eye on.
Taking the third team spot today was Middlebury, with skiers Shea Brams (5th), Charlotte Ogden (12th), and Mica Bodkins (14th) leading the Panthers.
Strack chasing the leaders around the lap (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Taking second place overall today was St. Lawrence’s Emma Strack. A historic result for the program, Emma was beaming with excitement after the podium ceremony. “I’m feeling great,” she said. “It doesn’t feel real, to be honest. It was my dream to get on the podium once this season and I was so close last weekend.” This weekend, that gave her the drive to stick with the pack. The mental aspect of racing is big for Strack. Instead of getting in her head about her place during the race, she told me that “I just focus on staying around [Gebhardt and Brewster] who I know are amazing at what they do.” Although this simple race plan is no easy task, Strack stays modest with her success and gives me a shy smile before heading over to the food table.
The power podium from UVM: Nystedt, Ogden, and Bakken (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
UVM placed first for the men today, with Ben Ogden (1st), Jacob Nystedt (2nd), and Petter Bakken (3rd) sweeping the podium for the Catamounts. Bakken had a great day. “It was really good,” he told me after the awards ceremony. “I had very good skis, and overall a good performance.” This will be Ogden’s last appearance on the EISA circuit until he returns from Europe for the NCAA Championship. Fortunately for the Catamounts, it seems as though the men’s team is deep enough to maintain their stride with Ogden gone.
Moore tucking during the 15 km classic (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Middlebury men tied for second, with Logan Moore (6th), Jack Christner (13th), and Sam Hodges (18th) leading the team. Moore stepped on the gas to stay with the lead pack and has been starting off the season strong. With his eye on the podium, Moore will be one to watch over the next few Carnival weekends.
Tying with Middlebury today was UNH, with Scott Schulz (5th), Eli Gore (14th), and Roger Anderson (16th) skiing strong for the Wildcats.
Nemeth racing for Colby (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).
Zach Nemeth from Colby skied to an individual 4th place finish today. “I liked the snow, I was feeling good and I had good skis – no complaints,” he said. Nemeth and Bakken battled it out for the last podium spot, with Bakken ultimately taking the position. “I was trying to figure out a way to drop Petter there,” Nemeth recounted, “but he was good and just had a little more than I did at the end.” This is an exciting result for the Mules and a great day for Nemeth. “I knew I could be up there with some of those big guys and just ski my own race,” he said proudly.
Many skiers competed today after racing all the way to the finals yesterday, a showcase of the endurance it takes to ski on the EISA circuit. With smoke filling the air from UVM’s wood fire tailgate grill and cheddar cheese on the line, it was a great day of skiing in Vermont.
Ogden with the tailgate grill and infamous kebabs (courtesy of flyingpoint.org).