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  • Caleb Horsch

UVM Hangs on for Carnival Victory: Williams SL

By: Caleb Horsch

Williamstown, Mass. - An epic battle between Dartmouth and the University of Vermont underlined the final day of the Williams Carnival. The nail-biting contest would be decided by just 3.5 points, less than the difference between first and third.

Hosts Williams set the men's first run, putting down a challenging course that would test the best of the East. Only 40 of the race's 80 starters would complete the run successfully, making openings for move-ups and the victory. Declan McCormack (UVM), racing from outside the top 15 seed, bested the field on run one, surprising most after Maximilian Haussmann's (Plymouth State) very quick run looked poised to give him the lead. Matt Ryan (Harvard) in third was a bit off the pace of the top 2 but looked able to grab a fantastic result.

Eager to avenge a disappointing GS, by their standards, the UVM women's team started the day off hot. Justine Clement mastered a high-tempo set to finish the run in third. Just ahead of Clement was a duo of Middlebury racers in, Mika-Anne Reha and Kaitlyn Fynn. Both Middlebury skiers were seeking their first Slalom podiums of the season after posting multiple top 5s.

Magnus Berge Styren (University of Vermont) - Stephen R Cloutier

As the wind from the previous day began to pick up again, the men's second run began. Simen Strand (Saint Michael's), a disappointing 21st after run one, wanted to find another gear. His run was fast, and he stayed in the proverbial hot seat for 13 racers before finally being beaten. His run would land him in seventh place on the day.

A big mistake on the second run for Haussman meant he would not factor on the day and left the race thoroughly in the hands of McCormack. McCormack would not falter and actually built on his first run advantage to take his first Slalom win to match his three in GS. Oscar Zimmer (Dartmouth) moved up to take second place on the day, and Magnus Berge Styren (UVM) rounded out the podium.

Zoe Zimmerman (Dartmouth) - Stephen R Cloutier

Clement was hungry for another win after taking the Harvard GS three weeks ago. However, Reha possessed an advantage that she could not overcome, and she would have to settle for second on the day. Reha took her first win of the season to match her two podiums in GS. Rookie Zoe Zimmerman (Dartmouth) rounded out the women's podium.

For Reha, it was the culmination of a hot stretch of skiing, "It feels good to finally be on the first step of the podium. I've been working really hard in the past months with the team to fine-tune my skiing, and it is awesome to see that the efforts lead to great results." The level of competition in this league is such that full 'gas-pedal' skiing is required. "I knew I had to take risks and push the line, so I did, and it paid off," said Reha.

Mika-Anne Reha (Middlebury) - Stephen R Cloutier

On the backs of their Alpine team performance, the University of Vermont captured its third carnival victory of the season ahead of Dartmouth and the University of New Hampshire. Middlebury and Colby rounded out the top 5, with the Panthers grabbing three podium finishes over the two days of racing.


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