By: Caleb Horsch
As the EISA season hits the halfway mark, the NCAA qualifying picture becomes clearer. The Harvard carnival offered a fantastic opportunity for racers, particularly on the slalom side, where the surface was incredible. No one did it better than Hanna Larsson Nathhorst, who won both races earning skier of the week honors.
The freshman from Plymouth State could not be stopped as she took down a talented women's field. Plymouth State sits just 20 minutes from Waterville Valley, and the Panthers took advantage, delivering arguably their best carnival performance ever. Larsson Nathhorst was untouchable in the GS, winning the race by an impressive 1.28 seconds. This despite a course that deteriorated quickly on the second run.
Larsson Nathhorst was just as quick in the Slalom, where despite tight margins, she mastered the sprint-like hill to take the win. Going into the series Larsson Nathhorst had never done better than 6th in GS and 9th in Slalom, but she proved she is a factor on the circuit, defeating a trio of strong UVM skiers, amongst others.
The men's side has been incredibly competitive this season as racers battle for the top few places. Simen Strand has been right in the mix in all five races before the start of the Harvard carnival. He had never done worse than 16th and had four top 10s. However, he was without a podium. That changed on Saturday when he finished third which, coupled with an 8th-place finish in the GS, makes him the skier of the week on the men's side.
Simen Strand (Saint Michael's) - Stephen R Cloutier
Larsson Nathhorst will look to back up her wins, and Strand will look to grab another podium next weekend at the Williams carnival at Jiminy peak.
Plymouth State Team - Stephen R Cloutier