Williams Carnival Day 2
Updated: Feb 21
The Williams Women cheer on the men in matching cow print hats (photo courtesy of Ann Celi).
In the contrast of the century, the conditions today were clear and cold. On my lap of the course, sun shone down on yesterday’s frozen slush puddles and my breath froze in the crisp air. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Prospect staff and volunteers, the course held up surprisingly well. The snow was firm but not too icy and the course was wicked fast. Instead of the final hill heading up over the alpine trails to the 4 km mark, today’s 5 km lap used more of the flatter, flowy woods trails. Men raced two laps for a 10 km, and women raced one for a fast 5 km.
Keelan Durham, a sophomore from Williams, talked to me about the well-known concept of a “Prospect Miracle.” Emerging from the grim, rainy puddle of Friday to the triumphant, snowy glory of today, Prospect Mountain did not disappoint. “All of the volunteers and staff really pulled through for us here,” said Durham.
Winning for the men today was UVM. Top skiers Jacob Nystedt (3rd), Finn Sweet (5th), and Greg Burt (11th), brought home the win for the Catamounts. Sweet was happy with his performance. “I felt good and skied fast,” he told me at the wax trailer. “The course was nice and firm after the freeze up last night.” Sweet was excited to race a different course today, an unusual circumstance in EISA competitions. “I think it was good to throw around what we’re racing day to day,” he said, “It was fun.”
Skis prepped for racing in front of the touring center.
Dartmouth took second in today’s competition, with John Steel Hagenbuch taking the individual win and his teammates Luke Allan (7th), and Jack Lange (15th) bringing them the podium spot.
Jack Christner, a sophomore from Middlebury, talked to me about his race strategy on the course today. “It was big, fast, glide-y skiing.” His strategy for speed? “Get big, tall, and try to stay on one ski as long as possible.”
Durham races down the final hill on the course (photo courtesy of Ann Celi)
Harvard men took third, with Rémi Drolet (2nd), Everett Sapp (12th), and Mads Groeholdt (15th) all skiing to strong finishes. Coach Chris City is “pretty psyched” about his team’s performance this season. “It’s nice to have a mid-winter drop in like Rémi, but everybody’s been skiing faster week to week,” he said. “It’s been fun to watch the development of our team over the course of the year.” With the Harvard team cracking into the team podium spot, City was excited and proud. “I knew we had this kind of speed in us, so it’s fun to see that showing up,” he said, smiling. “I couldn’t be happier with the way we skied today, it was just really solid across the board.”
UVM took the win for the women with Haley Brewster (3rd), Waverly Gebhardt (6th), and Elizabeth Tuttle (7th) skiing strong for the Catamounts. “I’d never skied a weekend quite like the juxtaposition of today and yesterday,” Gebhardt told me, laughing. “My plan was to ski the first 3km as fast and smooth, and then just to hammer to the finish.” She and Brewster were grabbing snacks together at the food table, soaking in the Prospect sun. “It was nice to end the weekend on today rather than yesterday,” said Brewster. This dynamic duo will surely be one to watch next weekend at Regionals.
Amelia Tucker racing for the Harvard Crimson (photo courtesy of Ann Celi).
UNH took second today, with senior Luci Anderson taking the individual title by six seconds over Dartmouth’s Ava Thurston. Her teammates Lea Stabeak Wenaas (4th) and Beth Grandstrom (20th) filled out a strong team. Wenaas brought her toughness to the race today. “I liked that it was a course where you had to work a lot,” she told me. “It was hard, but super fun to only do a 5 km race.” Not lacking in mental fortitude, Wenaas had a simple race strategy. “Just go out there and push the whole time,” she said, smiling brightly.
The Dartmouth women took third, with first-year Ava Thurston (2nd), Jasmine Drolet (11th), and Nina Seemann (17th) bringing home a podium spot for the Big Green.
I swear, these EISA skiers are getting younger and younger every year! (photo courtesy of Ann Celi)
After the fifth weekend of EISA racing, the season concludes next weekend at Regionals. See you all in Lake Placid for the last EISA race of the season!