The second day of racing in Jackson started off snowy in the morning but cleared up to a bright and sunny afternoon. For the men, a thin layer of powder covered the course. By the women’s start, the warm conditions melted it into a transformed layer. However, the turns and tracks held up well for both races and the course was fast for all 20 kilometers.
Men racing the sprint (photo courtesy of flyingpoint.org)
UVM again took first place today, with Jacob Nystedt (1st), Finn Sweet (2nd), and Greg Burt (8th). Finn Sweet started off his Carnival presence strong this weekend. He had a good time racing today, and his favorite place on the course was the open field where the rest of the racers were visible. “It was cool to see the rest of the field,” he told me. “It gave me motivation to catch up to the people in front of me and get away from the people behind me, so yeah, it was fun.” Sweet had a great performance despite just returning from a week of racing at World University Games. He was focused on keeping calm despite the intensity of the event. Describing his race strategy, he said, “I was just trying to stay relaxed out there and ski into it a little. I felt really, really good on the first lap. The second lap was a little tougher, so I had to think about skiing smooth.” With Sweet and his teammates skiing strong, the Catamounts are shaping up for another dominating season.
The start of the men's race (photo courtesy of Ann Celi)
Middlebury men pulled a close second with a large pack finishing together. Logan Moore (3rd), Sam Hodges (4th), Wilson Moore (5th), and Jack Christner (6th) were a force to be reckoned with on the course.
Colby College snagged the last team podium spot today, with Zach Nemeth edging out Moore to score third in the individual race. His teammates Jack Young (12th), and Victor Sparks (22nd) brought their team home. Nemeth was excited about his performance and that this effort wasn’t coming out of the blue. “I knew I had it in me and that last race wasn’t just a fluke,” he told me proudly, “It feels good to do it consistently. The coaches waxed up the skis really well and they were perfect.” In a repeat of last weekend, Nemeth had to maintain his third-place spot throughout the course if he wanted to stand on the podium. “I just had to make sure that the pack of Middlebury guys hunting me down wouldn’t catch up,” he said. His race strategy? “All gas.”
Colby College Mules posing triumphantly post race.
The Middlebury women took the win over UVM this race, an achievement that they’ve been gunning for all season. With a commanding performance by Shea Brams (1st), Charlotte Ogden (2nd), and Quincy Massey-Bierman (5th), the Panthers pulled it off with no competition today. Ogden was stoked after her finish. “I was feeling pretty awesome. It was super fun to just open it up and ski with Shea for a while.” Both of them boldly led the race, staying out front the entire time. “It was such a fun pack to ski with in the beginning, I was just out there with my friends having a ball,” Ogden commented, “An awesome day all around.”
Brams and Ogden leading the race (photo courtesy of Ann Celi)
UVM placed second, with freshman Molly Moening placing third individually. Her teammates Libby Tuttle (7th), and Camille Bolduc (9th) skied to top ten finishes. Moening was excited to do so well today. “We had a small team racing this weekend and only three girls racing today. It was exciting because I knew I had an opportunity to do well. I just tried to stay relaxed the whole time and have fun out there.” Moening was so in the zone she didn’t even realize that she had a shot at the podium. “I heard someone say to Amelia in front of me that she was in third, and I was like oh shoot!” Picking up the pace, she came into the final stretch with gas in the tank. “I was feeling pretty confident and I didn’t feel too tired from the lap, so I knew I had a lot left for the finish.” Despite a run-in with some undercooked chicken, the UVM team stayed strong with both men’s and women’s teams landing on the podium.
The Dartmouth women placed third with Garvie Tobin (6th), Emma Reeder (8th), and Tatum Witter (20th) bringing home a podium spot for the Big Green.