Bartlett Skis to Giant Victory in Giant Slalom

Excellent Crowd Turnout Bolsters Brilliant Racing at 95th Winter Carnival


Emma Stapleton


Winter Carnival means different things to different people. To most of the school it means no class on Friday, starting early Saturday morning to climb (and somehow get back down) the Snow Bowl later that day. To the Alpine and Nordic teams, it marks their only home carnival of the year, when they race in front of all their friends, family and alumni.

Last weekend, Feb. 23 and 24, the Ski team finished third, with some scintillating personal performances, highlighted by Caroline Bartlett ’19 winning the Giant Slalom event outright. It was her fourth career victory in the race.

On the first day of the carnival, both the men’s and women’s teams achieved third-place finishes in the slalom event. Taking part in his first winter carnival, Erik Arvidsson ’21 led the way for the men’s side, finishing in third place (two-run time of 1:34.63). In his last home carnival, Riley Plant ’18 was the next to cross the line (14th – 1:36.67) with Max Stamler ’19 and Angie Duke ’19 not far behind (18th and 20th, respectively).

On the slalom, Bartlett was the first Panther finisher, crossing the line with a time of 1:39.38, good for ninth. Lucia Bailey ’21 finished 14th (1:40.42) with Madison Lord ’21 finished just .02 seconds behind. Rounding out the top-20 was Katie Utter ’20 at 19 (1:40.88).

On the Nordic side, Lewis Nottonson ’19 described our home trail: “It’s a 5km loop starting and finishing in the field at Breadloaf campus. The loop is shaped somewhat like a 3-leafed clover each with its own climb and downhill. The first leaf being the smallest climb, the middle-leaf a steep climb to the highest point on the course and then down a series of S turns and the final leaf a long gradual climb and gradual downhill back to the stadium area, with a short quick uphill right before the finish.”

In the men’s 10K Classic, Middlebury placed six skiers in the top 20, good for second place in the event. Leading the way with a career-best fourth-place finish was Jacob Volz ’18 (24:39.5). Behind him was Peter Wolter ’21 (ninth place, 24:56.5). Also in the top-20 was Nottonson (15th), Adam Luban ’18 (16th), Evan Weinman ’18 (18th), and Sam Wood ’19 (20th).

On her home snow, Cate Brams ’18 was the fastest Panther woman in the 5K Classic, earning a fifth-place finish with a time of 14:04.8. Katie Feldman ’18 also cracked the top 10, placing 10th with a time of 14:30.8. The next two Middlebury scorers were Alexandra Lawson ’21 in 13th place and Annika Landis ’20 was next in 14th.

The second day of the competition brought not only a raucous crowd but an outright Panther victory.

Bartlett used the home mountain advantage to cruise through the giant slalom, earning a time (2:06.71) that was more than two seconds faster than her second-place opponent. The victory was not as easy as it appeared, however.

“Behind the scenes, I was battling some pretty big nerves right before my second run, but Hig Roberts ’14 skied up to me and said exactly what I needed to hear; he reminded me to ski inspired and that’s what I tried to do,” Bartlett said. However, “getting back on top of the podium was gratifying, emotional, and just a lot of fun…There’s nothing like winning at home.”

Lexi Calcagni ’19 posted a career-best fourth-place finish (2:08.98) that qualified her for NCAAs, just a quarter of a second off the podium, due to her “comfort on Allen” (the race hill). Bailey (12th) and Utter (18th) also finished in the top-20. These performances gave the women’s team a second-place finish in the giant slalom.

For the men’s side, Arvidsson completed his first carnival with a strong third-place showing (2:04.45), with Plant the next finisher (10th – 2:05.35). Duke was right on his tail, however, finishing just a hundredth of a second behind Plant. Devon Cardamone ’18 (16th) and Jack Schibli ’18 (19th) also finished their final carnival.

Brams once again led the squad, this time in the 15K Nordic Freestyle, finishing in fifth with a time of 40:15.6. Feldman was just behind in sixth (40:21.2). Landis and Lawson (16th and 20th) also scored Panther points.

Luban led the men in the 20K Nordic freestyle event, crossing the line in 46:31.1 (fifth place). Wood also made an appearance in the top-10 with a time of 46:46.3, with Nottonson (12th) and Wolter (18th) also in the top-20.

Calcagni was excited to see how many people came out to enjoy the events and support the Panthers.

“This year I think was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen! From the start, you could hear the roar of students at the roost as skiers went by,” Calcagni said. “I am so proud to be a Panther on days like Saturday.”

Calcagni will return next year, but for Plant, Brams and the other seniors, this carnival was their last.

“It definitely was an emotional weekend,” said Brams.

Plant concurred: “It was definitely a pretty emotional day for the Seniors, but we’ve had a great run and the sport has given us a lot to be thankful for.”

But the emotions didn’t stop when the last skier finished their race.

“Afterwards, the entire race sent it down the Allen (with a lot of clothes missing) in memory of Murphy Roberts, a tradition that exemplifies how special the Middlebury skiing family is,” Bartlett said.

Several Panthers will head to NCAAs next week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Roberts’ hometown.