The calm [SL race] before the storm
FRANCONIA, NH The UNH Carnival wrapped up today with men’s and women’s slalom (SL) races at Cannon Mountain’s Taft Superslope.
Dartmouth College earned 986 points to beat out last week’s winner, UVM, who finished today with 849. Middlebury ranked third, scoring 738 points — well ahead of fourth-place team and host UNH (604). Colby College narrowly edged Williams College for fifth: 510 to 506.
In the women’s race, UVM’s Laurence St-Germain put on a clinic. She won the race by nearly two seconds, stopping the clock at 1:49.77. Dartmouth’s Alexa Dlouhy came in second at 1:51.50, and Emma Woodhouse (UNH) was third (1:53.14).
After the first run, St-Germain was in third place. Teammate Paula Moltzan won the run by 0.40 seconds over Dlouhy, and St-Germain was 0.88 seconds back from the lead.
Then, in Run 2, St-Germain stormed down the course, winning the run by 1.70 seconds. The only competitor within two seconds of her was Dartmouth’s Patricia Mangan, who was second on the run and sixth overall (1:54.13). (Interestingly, they’re both Olympians.) Moltzan failed to finish the run.
It was thrilling to see St-Germain competing (and winning) again in a Catamounts suit after taking the past two seasons off to race the World Cup circuit. UVM Assistant Coach Tim Kelly was pleased with the results.
“To see her let it go and ski the way she can ski on the second run. It was awesome,” Kelly said.
He noted that St-Germain was under pressure to do well as she juggles collegiate races with her international commitments.
“With her schedule — qualifying for World Champs and racing World Cups — she’s going to have a limited number of starts for us, unfortunately,” Kelly said. “She was kind of stressed out. Putting a lot of pressure on herself to get a good result, to qualify for NCAAs. I think last weekend [the season’s first Carnival] was stressful for her. Skiing well, but straddling. You could tell first run [today] that she was still not skiing to her full potential. A little tentative.”
And then…Well, we saw today why Canada is so eager for her to compete for them overseas. When it all comes together, she’s pretty quick.
Following St-Germain, Dlouhy, and Woodhouse: Dartmouth’s Steph Currie took fourth place (1:55.33), and her teammates Claire Thomas (1:53.62) and Mangan were fifth and sixth. Middlebury’s Lucia Bailey took seventh in 1:54.68.
The men’s race resulted in a familiar face atop the podium. Dartmouth’s Tanguy Nef (1:43.66) took the SL win by 1.50 seconds over Middlebury’s Erik Arvidsson (1:45.16). Nef’s teammate Drew Duffy — yesterday’s GS winner — came in third at 1:45.47.
There’s something intriguing about having racers like Nef, St-Germain, and Moltzan in the field. On the one hand, they’re great talents who often deliver riveting performances. But, part of the fun is when there’s a relative upset and someone else takes the podium’s top step. It helps keeps the spark going for many racers through a sort of transitive property: St-Germain races World Cups. I just beat her. That means that maybe someday I could be on the circuit.
Today, though, we saw flashes of the level these racers are at. Take St-Germain’s second run, for instance. And: when Nef came towards the finish across the considerable distance that makes up the final flat, he looked fairly, well, unhurried. Most everyone else was weaving side-to-side, grinding their way to the last gate, and he was just chillin’.
Aside from the usual cast of Dartmouth skiers in the top-10 (the aforementioned Nef and Duffy, as well as Kipling Weisel (7th; 1:46.93) and Jimmy Krupka (9th; 1:47.59; stellar second run)), there was a nice mix of EISA representation scattered at the top of the results page.
Guillaume Grand (1:45.47) of St. Mike’s was fourth overall, and UNH’s Will Bruneau-Bouchard took fifth in 1:46.53. Karl Kuus (PSU; 1:46.69) finished sixth, and Colby’s Matthew Wilson (1:47.26) took eighth. Rounding out the top-10: SLU’s Carter Armstrong, 1:47.81.
Next week is the rare off-weekend before we pick back up at the UVM Carnival at Stowe on February 1.