HANCOCK, Vt. — The University of Vermont Catamounts overcame adversity, extending their lead from Friday to claim victory in the Middlebury Carnival by 74 points over Dartmouth. Host Middlebury College skied to third place with 766 points.
Vermont’s win did not come easily, and inconsistent snow conditions and lighting on day two led to a unique set of results and new faces on the podium.
In the women’s race, athletes in the top 15 struggled to find their rhythm while other athletes were able to mount attacks from the back.
The University of New Hampshire’s Randa Teschner started bib 24 and won the first run. She held her momentum in the second run to win the race. Middlebury’s Mary Sackbauer, who has been charging hard inside the top 10 lately, collected her first EISA podium in second place on her home hill. New Hampshire’s Jenna Kantor showed her potential to the field by rounding out the podium in third, giving the UNH women a team victory.
Vermont struggled after losing one of its top racers, Kristina Riss-Johannessen, to a dislocated shoulder in Friday’s slalom. Riis-Johannessen has a history of shoulder injuries and even dislocated one in last year’s NCAA Championships but continued to race at the time. Her return to competition at this point is unknown. Kate Ryley was the top scoring lady Catamount in seventh.
For the men, Vermont’s Jonathan Nordbotten, the striking Viking from Norway, grabbed his first giant slalom victory of the season. Coming into first run, Nordbotten was concerned with maintaining his speed onto the flats.
“You have to skate as hard as you can out of the start to the pitch, and then you have to ski those three first gates on the pitch really well,” Nordbotten said.
After winning first run, Nordbotten battled the bumps that come with running 30th in the second.
“It was a little bit rough,” Nordbotten said. “I didn’t expect it to be that rough. I had some wobbles here and there. I came out of the pitch and I was just trying to send it.”
Catamount teammate Travis Dawson, who won Friday’s slalom race, skied to second place and won the second run, placing the Vermont men’s team in first position. Middlebury’s David Donaldson placed third for the day, demonstrating that he’s a serious contender for an NCAA title on his home hill this season.
With Middlebury hosting NCAA Championships this March, fans can speculate about the surprises that are in store at the Snow Bowl. Until then, the EISA circuit has Eastern Championships hosted by Bates College at Sunday River, Maine from Feb. 22-23.
Team scores at the conclusion of the Middlebury Carnival:
1. UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT 933.0
2. DARTMOUTH COLLEGE 859.0
3. MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE 766.0
4. UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE 734.0
5. WILLIAMS COLLEGE 550.5
6. ST LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY 445.0
7. COLBY COLLEGE 441.0
8. BATES COLLEGE 400.0
9. HARVARD UNIVERSITY 332.0
10. ST MICHAELS COLLEGE 266.0
11. BOWDOIN COLLEGE 186.0
12. UNIVERSITE’ LAVAL 158.0
13. BOSTON COLLEGE 141.5
14. UNIVERSITY OF ME – PRESQUE ISLE 131.0
15. PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY 90.0
16. COLBY SAWYER COLLEGE 47.0