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UVM and DAR duke it out at NCAA East Regional

I swear. Coming from the South, my impression sometimes is that New England is all the same. Maine? Vermont? Massachusetts? Cold. Snow. Clouds.

But jeez. I live in Massachusetts now, and we don’t have 1/10 the snow cover Newry has. Was I speeding to make the coach’s meeting last night? Hard to tell. Couldn’t see the speed limit signs over the snowbanks. What if a deer had leapt out — I mean down to the road? Where would I have swerved?

More importantly: How would the GS track hold up for the NCAA East Regional Championships at the Bates College Carnival?

All things considered (All snow considered?) the conditions were pretty good. The GS at Sunday River is a lengthy race. Each run takes about 80 seconds. The course sets on the narrow top pitch, T2, were rhythmic. The surface scraped to durable ice. Skiers transitioned from T2 to Monday Mourning across a flat and broke onto Monday Mourning, a long extended downhill. Here, the gates were offset and the hill fell away to skier’s right. The snow was soft, chunky, and broke down throughout the day. The transition from T2’s ice to Monday Mourning’s soft snow required of athletes an ability to adjust turn development. Aggression on the top pitch was throttled back to something more finessed and delicate. Patience was key.

Control of one’s mental and physical faculties?

The ability to perform physically under varied conditions?

These seem like reasonable demands of NCAA Division I athletes at a regional championship.

So how’d everyone do?

The UVM women had a great day. They won the women’s race with 133 points to Dartmouth’s 118. UNH took third with 98 points, 10 ahead of Middlebury (88 points).

The Catamounts placed four in the top 10, led by Mille Graesdal in first place. She won the race in a combined time of 2:35.98 over Dartmouth College’s Patricia Mangan (2nd; 2:36.52). Graesdal and Mangan were well ahead of the field — nearly two seconds — and UVM’s Laurence St-Germain led the chase pack with a time of 2:38.45. In fact, Big Greens and Catamounts duked out the top-5 spots. Dartmouth’s Alexa Dlouhy was fourth in 2:38.78, and UVM’s Francesca English took fifth: 2:38.99.

DAR's Patricia Mangan finished second in 2:36.52.

UVM Assistant Coach Tim Kelley was pleased with the women’s team result today, and he noted that Graesdal has been improving towards this finish all season.

“It’s good. It was nice having a full team back. Having more depth was nice," Kelley said. "Mille Graesdal has been trending up all season, and her skiing has been getting faster and faster. We had a good week of training, and her and Francesca [English] have both been battling it out in training. It was cool to see them do it in the race.”

The University of New Hampshire’s Emma Woodhouse broke the green pattern by finishing sixth (2:39.21), and she led a streak of blue-suited skiers. Middlebury’s Lucia Bailey (2:39.47) was seventh, while Woodhouse’s teammate Lisa Olsson (2:39.53) was eighth. Colby College's Sandra Schoepke finished ninth before UVM’s fourth skier, Rachael Desrochers, rounded out the top-10 in 2:40.24.

Not to be outdone, the men’s Dartmouth squad placed five in the top-10 on the way to a men’s team score of 133. UVM and Saint Mike’s tied for second with 98 points, and Middlebury was close fourth with 94.

The Big Green’s James Ferri won his first Carnival this season, beating St. Michael’s College’s Guillaume Grand by a mere .12 seconds.

The Big Green's James Ferri won his first Carnival of the 2019 season.

Ferri came through in 2:35.72 to Grand’s 2:35.84. Drew Duffy (DAR) was third in 2:36.13. After a brief interruption by Middlebury’s Erik Arvidsson, who finished fourth in 2:36.34, three Dartmouth skiers came through in quick succession: David Domonoske (5th; 2:36.39), Kipling Weisel (6th; 2:37.10), and Kalle Wagner (7th; 2:37.28). Domonoske and Wagner skied from pretty far back in the field — they began with bibs 20 and 34, making strong moves to the front. (But, perhaps not as strong as Bates College’s Michael Cooper: Bib 45. Eleventh place overall.)

Plymouth State’s Karl Kuus (2:37.29) finished eighth, and two UVM skiers — Patrick McConville (2:37.37) and David Frisk (2:37.68) — finished ninth and tenth.

Tomorrow we head back to Monday Mourning for the SL races. The last races of the 2019 Carnival season. I’m fighting tears as I write these words.

See you there?


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