HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth freshman Mary O’Connell (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) won the women’s 15K Free on Saturday afternoon at the Rikert Nordic Center on the final day of the Middlebury Carnival, but the Big Green could not overtake Vermont, which entered the day with an 11-point lead in the team standings. The Catamounts won the carnival with 933 points while Dartmouth finished second with 859, nearly 100 points ahead of host Middlebury in third (766).
O’Connell was among the top two skiers at each of the four checkpoints during the race with no more than four seconds separating her from the other leaders. At the final checkpoint, she held a 1.5-second lead on Vermont’s Anja Gruber, then pulled away to win the event by more than 17 seconds in 39:35.0. The top-six skiers were all from Dartmouth or Vermont with junior Annie Hart (Stillwater, Minn.) taking fourth in 40:50.1. But with the Catamounts taking the other four slots at the top, UVM was able to edge the Big Green, 130-124. Sophomore Carly Wynn (Queensbury, N.Y.) was the other Dartmouth skier to score, placing ninth in 41:40.7.
The men’s Nordic race was even closer in the team standings with Vermont besting the Green by just two points, 126-124, despite Dartmouth claiming two of the three podium spots. Senior Sam Tarling (Cumberland, Maine) was entrenched in second from the first checkpoint until the end of the race. His time of 46:09.2 was nearly eight seconds better than classmate Scott Lacy (Aspen, Colo.), who rallied from seventh at the first checkpoint to finish in third with a time of 46:16.9. Claiming eighth was sophomore Silas Talbot (Anchorage, Alaska) in 47:12.7, while junior David Sinclair (Waitsville, Vt.) and Cameron Woodworth (Yarmouth, Maine) came in ninth and 10th, respectively.
On the slopes, the women finished second in the giant slalom after winning the slalom yesterday. Sophomore Abby Fucigna (Hopkinton, Mass.) enjoyed two fine runs to finish fifth in 2:11.03. Dartmouth had another top-10 finish with freshman Sara Kikut (Burlington, Vt.) placing 10th in 2:11.86, while her twin sister Anna came in 15th in 2:13.25. New Hampshire took three of the top six spots to finish with 131 points, well ahead of the Big Green’s 95.
Senior Ian Macomber (Cambridge, Mass.) posted the fastest time for Dartmouth in the men’s giant slalom, finishing 14th with a two-run time of 2:04.56. The others to score for the Big Green were sophomores Ben Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine) in 23rd at 2:05.99 and Dylan Fisher McCarney (Toronto, Ont.) in 25th at 2:06.09. Vermont had three of the top-five skiers to take the event with 136 points, while Dartmouth finished fifth with 73.
The alpine teams get no rest before hitting the slopes again tomorrow at the Dartmouth Skiway to complete the Dartmouth Winter Carnival with the running of the slalom. The Big Green sit in second, 38 points behind Vermont.