UNH Carnival at Mittersill: Day 1 (GS)
The UNH Carnival began today with men’s and women’s GS races at Mittersill in Franconia, NH, the heart of the White Mountains.
Dartmouth College took an early lead and tallied 492 points (counting today's alpine and Nordic competitions). UVM and Middlebury are within shouting distance: the Catamounts scored 424 points, and the Panthers are in third with 398. Further back is host UNH, in fourth place with 287. Williams College is in fifth (253).
The race was held on Baron’s Run, a winding, sinuous trail that begi—
“Wait. Who is Baron?”
Ah, great question. Baron Hubert von Pantz is the founder of Mittersill and the namesake of Baron’s Run. Of Austrian descent, he came to the US during WWII (back when Mittersill — I am not making this up — could be reached by a two-mile sleigh ride from the nearby town of Easton). He became smitten by the Franconia landscape, which closely resembled the familiar hills of his home among the Alps. So taken was he that he developed Mittersill Alpine Resort, an Austrian-style ski area, forbear to what we know today as Mittersill.
Now, as I was saying:
The race was held on Baron’s Run. Baron’s resembles trails more typical of Europe in that it follows the topography of the mountain. (Contrast it with its antipode next door, the clearcut Taft Superslope.) Baron’s starts steep and meanders through its length. There are significant trail-turns, and its flat runs out naturally — and lengthily — towards the finish near the mountain’s base. The snow’s surface was dry and chalky, unforgiving for skiers who failed to account for the surface’s relative inability to absorb a stivot.
In the results column, Dartmouth had a banner day. Both their men’s and women’s squads placed three finishers in the top-five of each race.
The Big Green’s Steph Currie won the women’s race in 2:13.13, just outpacing teammate Patricia Mangan (2:13.16). UVM’s Paula Moltzan came in third, nearly a full second back in 2:14.11. Emma Woodhouse (UNH) was once again in the mix, placing fourth in 2:14.25, and Dartmouth’s Audrey O’Brien made a big move from bib 33 to place fifth in 2:15.38.
Dartmouth Women’s Head Coach John Dwyer was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I was pumped,” Dwyer said. “I was really psyched for the girls. Really psyched for Steph [Currie] to get the win, and I’m really psyched for Trish [Mangan] to get second, .03 off Steph overall.
Dwyer especially was proud of O’Brien’s performance. Last week she didn’t compete for Dartmouth at the SLU Carnival; instead, she raced a FIS Development Race Series at West Mountain.
“She won both the SL and GS [at West Mountain],” Dwyer said. “She earned her spot to come this week, so for her to take advantage of that is really cool.”
Dartmouth handily claimed the women's GS win with 136 points. UNH came in second with 100. The Wildcats were led by Woodhouse, whose teammates Rachel Nawrocki (2:16.60) and Lisa Olsson (2:16.77) backed her up in 11th and 12th.
Middlebury was third (87 points) in the women’s GS and placed two individuals in the top-10. Lucia Bailey (2:15.57) moved all the way from bib 34 to finish seventh, and Madison Lord was ninth in 2:15.95. Midd might have had three in the top-10; unfortunately, first-run winner Caroline Bartlett lost a ski early during her second run.
In the men’s competition, Dartmouth’s Drew Duffy (the winner of last week’s SL and GS races) once again finished in first, edging teammate Tanguy Nef by .11 seconds: 2:08.75 to 2:08.86. Kipling Weisel (DAR; 2:09.88) finished fourth, and the Big Green party was crashed by Midd’s Erik Arvidsson who claimed the third podium spot in 2:09.49.
This is Nef's first weekend back racing EISA Carnivals. He has been in Europe this winter racing World Cups. Dartmouth Men's Head Coach Peter Dodge is glad to have him back with the team, and also as a training partner for teammate Duffy and the rest of the squad.
"It’s nice having him [Nef] back," Dodge said. "He brings a good attitude to the team, and of course gets a lot of respect from the guys for what he’s doing [on the World Cup circuit]. Drew’s fast and skiing really well, so it’s good to have that marker there. And you know, Nef now will push [the pace] even more."
For those of you wondering: Dartmouth placed five in the top-eight. (Although their fourth and fifth guys, James Ferry and Jimmy Krupka, tied for seventh place. So is that five in the top-7 or top-8? Either way, not bad.)
The Dartmouth men won the GS competition with 138 points, and UVM was second with 102. (The Catamounts’ Max Roeisland settled for fifth in 2:10.03, and his teammate Patrick McConville was ninth in 2:11.25.) The UNH men finished in third with 88 points, barely ahead of Middlebury (87).
Tomorrow we gather again, hopefully to beat the snowstorm for some SL racing out on the Taft Superslope.