Alpine Ski Kicks Off Season at St. Lawrence Carnival

By CECELIA SCHEUER

The men’s and women’s alpine ski teams took to the slopes at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York this past weekend to compete in their opening weekend of races at the St. Lawrence Carnival. It was a strong showing overall from the Panthers, one that included career-best results and “flashes of brilliance” across the board, according to Erik Arvidsson ’21. 

Slalom races took place on Friday, while giant slalom (GS) races were moved to Saturday due to strong wind gusts and cold temperatures. On the men’s side of the slalom event, Arvidsson came out firing to lead the Panthers with a time of 1:32.41, securing a third-place finish overall. Max Stamler ’19 was Middlebury’s second racer to complete the course, skiing a career-best finish of 12th overall with a time of 1:36.43. The final scorer for the men’s team, Pate Campbell ’20, whose two-run time of 1:47.61 was affected by hikers, clinched the 32nd spot. Tim Gavett ’22 started out strong, holding the fifth spot after his first run, but was forced to hike on his second trip down the mountain, ultimately placing 43rd.

“We had some unfortunate DNF’s (Did Not Finish), which happens in ski racing. With more reps and improved consistency, the sky is the limit for this team,” Arvidsson said, reflecting on the team’s room for improvement following the weekend’s performances. Despite only a few skiers completing clean runs, Arvidsson maintains that the men’s and women’s teams’ potential coming into the season is enormous. “I am really happy with how the whole team started the carnival season. We are way ahead of where we were this time last season,” he said.

This potential made itself particularly evident on the women’s side, with first-year Samantha McClellan’s first collegiate race culminating in a 19th place finish after her run time of 1:40.84. Caroline Bartlett ’19 was Middlebury’s top finisher in the Slalom event, ending her two runs with a time of 1:38.34 and earning eighth place overall. Finishing second for the Panthers was Madison Lord ’21, whose 1:40.08 time earned her a career best 15th place overall. 

Bartlett and Arvidsson continued to dominate Middlebury’s scoreboard in the giant slalom event as well. Bartlett came in with a two-run time of 2:12.20 to lead the women’s team and place fourth overall, and Arvidsson finished second for Middlebury, coming in ninth place overall in 2:13.27. Senior Lexi Calcagni finished second for the Panthers in 2:22.16 in the giant slalom to put her in 12th place, and Lord, the women’s third scorer, finished 16th in 2:23.37. In the men’s giant slalom, Gavett led the Panthers with a time of 2:11.90 to secure the fourth spot, and earning a top-20 finish in 2:14.90 was Stamler, the men’s final scorer.

 With UVM and Dartmouth once again being forces to reckon with this season, the team will focus its efforts this week on “building consistency so we can bring our speed in training into races,” Bartlett said. Both the Alpine and Nordic teams will race again this weekend at the University of New Hampshire Carnival.

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