Skiing Teams Ready and Raring for Middlebury Carnival

By JAKE TURTEL

To cap off syllabus week, the Middlebury nordic and alpine ski teams competed in the Williams Carnival. After Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17, Middlebury finished in third place as a combined team.

The men’s nordic team opened the competition in a strong way, finishing first in the 10K Classic event. Sam Wood ’19 highlighted the day with his first career victory, leading the entire pack and finishing in 29:45.4. Just two seconds behind him at 29:47.1 was Lewis Nottonson ’19 with a career-best finish of his own (second place). Rounding out the top-ten for the Panthers were Adam Luban ’18 (eighth place – 30:18.4) and Peter Wolter ’21 (tenth place – 30:26.9). Jacob Volz ’18 also contributed a fine effort, placing 14th (30:45.0).

When asked what led to such a strong showing, Luban said a lot of things came together. “The snow conditions were actually really sloppy and terrible, but our coaches did a fantastic job on our skis. We’ve worked a lot on mental toughness this year and being able to tough out the tough days and that really showed.” Luban emphasized that the men’s margin of victory (22 points) was the “largest margin of victory for our team in a decade.”

The woman’s side also saw some fantastic individual efforts and finished in second place, with Cate Brams ’18 tying a career-best finish of second place (16:39.4) in the Women’s 5K Classic. Katie Feldman ’18 placed eighth (17:16.5), while Alexandra Lawson ’21 achieved a tenth-place finish (17:28.4). Also doing well were Annika Landis ’20 (12th place – 17:35.3) and Orli Schwartz ’20 (15th place – 17:50.6).

For the Alpine teams, Caroline Bartlett ’19 paced the women’s squad with a two-run time of 1:45.43, good for 11th place in the Giant Slalom. Lexi Calcagni ’19 also finished in the top-20, finishing in 1:45.91 (16th place).

Erik Arvidsson ’21 was the first finisher for the men with a time of 1:42.25 (eighth place) and Riley Plant ’18 was the other top-20 performer (11th place – 1:42.54). Plant, however was .02 seconds away from a top-ten finish, and the men finished the Giant Slalom in second place.

On day two, Brams put on another strong performance in the 3.8K Freestyle. Brams crossed the line at 9:39.6, good for seventh place. Behind her were Feldman (13th place – 9:51.4), Lawson (16th place – 9:55.0), and Schwartz (19th place – 9:58.6). Wood also skied well, posting another top-ten finish at eighth place (8:28.8), with Wolter and Luban also earning points (13th place and 19th place, respectively). Both teams finished the event in third overall, with Brams and Wood named EISA women’s and men’s nordic skiers of the week, respectively.

In the Slalom event, Lucia Bailey ’21 finished in 2:09.38, which cracked the top-10. Katie Utter ’20 also finished in the top-20, ending up in 16th place (2:10.6).

Arvidsson continued to race well, posting a second-place time of 1:52.79. Plant was the lone other Panther male to score points, finishing in 19th place.

This Friday and Saturday the Panthers will return to the mountain for the Middlebury Carnival (EISA Championships) at the Snow Bowl. For Luban and the Nordic squad, they are “looking forward to throwing down at our home carnival and then sending a full contingent to NCAA championships.”

“We always joke on the team that [the Middlebury] Carnival is the only weekend that matters, but coming up to the last time I’ll race at Rikert, it doesn’t feel like a joke,” Bram’s explaims. “There’s so much pride in hosting NCAA Regionals at Middlebury, and then there’s also something special about the last Carnival of my college career being Midd Carnival. It’s always the best weekend of the year, and I’m just stoked to see what the team can do.”

With the College providing shuttles to the Bowl, come one, come all and bring the noise.

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