- Caleb Horsch
Williams SL Recap: Rainy Day
By: Caleb Horsch
The Williams carnival kicked off on Friday with the Slalom portion. While GS would usually be raced first, poor weather forecasted for Friday meant the decision was made to race Slalom first. So, the 13 teams of the EISA conference returned to Jiminy Peak for the first time since 2020 for a rainy day slalom.
Despite extremely warm temperatures and rain that was off and on throughout the day, the salt took surprisingly well, leaving a smooth, fair surface that eventually developed into a two-footed groove.
The men got the action underway, with Cole Palchack setting the early mark. The Sophomore from the University of Vermont sits second in the Slalom standings, buoyed by his win at the Saint Michael's carnival. He was followed by his teammate and Slalom leader Mathias Tefre and Oliver Morgan from Dartmouth. Morgan has struggled to finish this season but has shown remarkable speed, exemplified by his third-place finish at the UNH carnival.
Oliver Morgan (Dartmouth) - Stephen R Cloutier
Similar to the Harvard carnival, margins were close, particularly around the flip 30. 17th to 30th place was split by only .83. Athletes had to charge hard out of the gate and on the top flat section before making a strong adjustment as the hill rolled over.
Hanna Larsson Nathhorst was unstoppable last weekend, winning both the Slalom and GS races. She started her day right where she left off, winning the first run just ahead of Cydnie Timmermann from UVM and Sofia Yubero from Middlebury. Timmermann's fast first run made up for the DNF of her teammate Justine Clement and the no-start of Moa Clemenston. The third member of the UVM trio of Clement and Clementson that have dominated Slalom races this season, Caroline Jones, sat in fourth. However, Jones was a distant .63 behind the leader.
The men's podium went almost unchanged from the first run. Morgan skied a solid second run in deteriorating conditions to hold onto third. The battle was now on over who would claim the top step of the podium. In the end, it couldn't have been closer. Tefre beat Palchack by .24 on the second run to win the day by just one-one hundredth of a second. Jagge Lindstoel, also from UVM, finished fourth, giving the Catamount's a 1-2-4 score on the day.
Defending a slim lead, Larsson Nathhorst would have to push top to bottom, and that she did. Her lightning-fast second run, even as the course deteriorated, gave her a third win on the season by a whopping 1.20 seconds. Also skiing very well on the second run was Sophia Tozzi from Middlebury, who moved up from fourth on the second run to finish second on the day and grab her first-ever EISA podium. Rounding out the podium was Timmerman in third, with Helene Kristoffersen in fourth and Sofia Yubero in fifth.
Before the race, the best Tozzi had done was 6th, but the Freshmen looks poised to earn an NCAA championships birth after today's race. "It was a tough environment with the conditions and the pouring rain," said Tozzi, but credited her and her team's positivity for the result. "[I'm] excited to carry it into tomorrow and the last race of the season next weekend".
Led by Tozzi and Yubero, the Middlebury women won the day with an impressive 116 points. UVM was far and away the winner on the men's side and took the overall win. As temperatures cool off tonight, the surface is expected to lock up for a fantastic day of racing tomorrow.
Sophia Tozzi (Middlebury) - Stephen R Cloutier