Skiing Fourth and Third Straight Carnival

By Colin McIntyre

The ski teams participated in three carnivals surrounding the February break, taking fourth at all three. UVM hosted a carnival at Stowe on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23 and 24, followed by the St. Michael’s Carnival the following weekend. The teams then traveled to Dartmouth on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7.

 At the UVM carnival, the men’s nordic team began the weekend with in the 10K skate race with a seventh place finish. Patrick McElravey ’17 placed 15th in the race after posting a time of 26:24.2. His teammates Adam Luban ’17 and Jacob Voltz ’18 placed 19th and 51st with times of 26:42.2 and 28:03.2, respectively. The next day, the men took sixth in the 15K classic race. McElravey paced the team with his first top 10 of the season, taking eighth after completing the course in 42:31.3, 55 seconds off the winning time. Voltz came in 30th while Evan Weinman ’18 came in 31st with a time of 44:27.2, three seconds behind his teammate.

 The women’s nordic team fared better. Friday’s 5K skate saw the team put all three racers in the top 10, lead by Heather Mooney ’15 who placed third with a time of 14:35.3, 25 seconds off the pace. Kelsey Phinney ’16 placed ninth in the race in 14:48.4, nine seconds ahead of Stella Holt ’15 in 10th. Despite these individual performances, UVM and UNH were both able to best the women in the race, leading to a third place finish for the Panthers. On Saturday in their 10K classic race, the women again placed third, with Mooney coming in at 33:31.5, 55 seconds behind the winner for fourth place. Phinney came in 7 seconds behind Mooney in seventh place. Holt finished another minute back in 18th place.

 On the alpine side of the carnival, the women improved on last weekend’s result to place fifth in the GS race. Mary Sackbauer ’15 again led the team with a 10th place finish of 2:15.53. Elle Gilbert ’16 and Katelyn Barclay ’15 also scored for the Panthers in 12th and 16th, respectively.

 “As a whole our girls team had a strong finish,” Sackbauer said of the GS showing. “That was the first time in my four years that all six girls were in the top 30.”

 On Saturday, the women took sixth in Slalom. Sackbauer again finished first for Midd, taking 10th with a combined time of 2:00.02. Barclay took 20th, 8 seconds behind Sackbauer, and Yina Moe-Lange ’15 took 22nd, another second behind.

 The men’s team fared well in the GS competition, finishing second, the leading the Panthers with the highest place finish. On Saturday, Rob Cone ’17 won his second straight GS race. On each run, he placed second and his consistency earned him the top time, 2:08.12, 0.59 seconds clear at the top. Christopher McKenna ’17 placed 12th with a time of 2:10.61, and Ghassan Gedeon-Achi ’16 placed 15th, finishing with a combined time of 2:10.86.

 In slalom, UVM swept the top four spots after Cone was disqualified for missing a gate on the second run. Middlebury posted a fourth place finish led by McKenna (1:54.12) in 15th, and the duo of Jack Schibli ’18 (1:55.62) and Christoph Niederhauser ’16 (1:56.07) who came in 20th and 21st, both scoring their first points of the season for the Panthers.

 At the St. Michael’s carnival on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30 and 31, the fourth place showing was highlighted on the nordic side by a Panther win in the women’s 5K classic race, and a second place showing in the mixed 4x3K skate relay. In the relay, the two teams of four combined to take second, but Holt, Luban, Mooney, and McElravey crossed the line first by 11 seconds. Mooney also won the individual 5K classic race, with Holt and Phinney in the top 10.

 On the alpine side, Barclay, Sackbauer, Kara Shaw ’15, and Moe-Lange all put in top 15 finishes for the panthers for a fourth place finish in GS. Cone again led the men’s GS squad, finishing a half second clear at the top, with McKenna in sixth and Devon Cardamone ’18 in 35th for a third place team showing.

 The women also placed fourth in slalom with Sackbauer in 9th, Barclay in 16th, and Gilbert in 21st.  The men suffered a sixth place showing in Slalom: Cone placed third and McKenna 15th, but no other panther finished both runs.

 The Dartmouth carnival saw another fourth place finish, the third consecutive carnival with UVM, Dartmouth, UNH and Middlebury in the same order. For the first time on the carnival circuit this season, Cone did not win the giant slalom race, coming in second by 0.19 seconds. McKenna (sixth) and Gedeon-Achi (10th) turned in two top 10 times to see the team to a second place finish in the event. The women again put four racers, in the top 15 for a fourth place finish in GS. Gilbert, Shaw and Sackbauer scored for the panthers, placing 11th, 12th and 14th, respectively. 

On the nordic side, Mooney led the women both days, winning the classic sprint on Friday. Phinney placed fourth while Nicolette Amber ’16 was 14th. Mooney followed her win with a second place finish in the 10K with a time of 30:51, with Phinney in seventh and Amber in 23rd.

McElravey paced the men with a seventh-place finish in the sprint race. On Saturday, McElravey brought the Panthers home in the 10K with a 20th-place finish in 27:43. Luban followed in 23rd (27:55), while Volz rounded out the scoring.

All teams return to compete on home turf on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14, at the Middlebury Carnival.