The carnival circuit got underway this weekend, starting – on the Nordic side – with a 20k freestyle skate around a 2.5k loop at Quarry Road, hosted by Colby. Before the 5k classic, wind chill brought temperatures well below zero, halting Saturday's race.
Alpine continued along at Sugarloaf on Sunday, but Nordic's single day postponement got extended for a while. So, without further ado, the Nordic skiers of the weekend, and the winners of the 20k freestyle:
Gebhardt skied to victory on Friday. She finished with a time of 56:47.6, only four tenths of a second ahead of the second-place skier. The junior from Colorado had a good first season on the EISA circuit with UVM in 2020, achieving seven top-ten EISA finishes. During that last full EISA season, her best finish was a fourth place at the 2020 Bates carnival 15k classic.
This first-place finish at a technical course like the Quarry Road loop marks a strong start to the new year for Gebhardt, and she'll aim to continue with more top results as we head into the St. Michael's College Carnival.
Leading a pack of UVM skiers to the finish line in Waterville Maine, US Ski Team member Ben Ogden won the 20k freestyle with a time of 48:41.6. Ogden, like his female skier of the week counterpart, is a junior for the Catamounts. Winning the 20k freestyle skate at Colby continues a strong 2022 for Ogden, ahead of the Olympics.
The win is an addition to a new year of fast skiing for Ogden. The Vermont native was racing in the World Cup in Germany to welcome in the new year, and finished the classic sprint at 22nd as the top American.
UVM had a regularly uninterrupted 2021 winter, so it may not be a surprise they opened the EISA Circuit with authoritative wins. The Catamounts will hope to continue their dominance next weekend, down the road at the St. Michael's Carnival.