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Ski Team Neck and Neck with Vermont at Middlebury

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Senior Annie Rendall     By Dennis & Ellen Curran
HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth women’s alpine team came up with its first victory at a carnival this season, winning the slalom on Friday afternoon to help the Big Green finish the first day of the Middlebury Carnival in second place, just 11 points behind Vermont in the overall standings, 454-443. The men’s Nordic squad also won the 10K Classic with two podium finishes, while the women took second in the 5K Classic and the men’s alpine team placed fourth in the slalom.

Vermont had won all seven women’s downhill races this season and did have one skier on the podium in second. But Dartmouth, led by freshman Sara Kikut (Burlington, Vt.), was able to end the Catamount stranglehold. Kikut earned her second podium stop of the year by taking third with two strong runs that totaled 1:40.69. Senior Annie Rendall (South Burlington, Vt.) was less than a half-second behind Kikut to claim sixth in 1:41.10, while Kikut’s twin sister, Anna, finished in seventh in 1:41.45. The top seven skiers were the only ones to record a time under 51 seconds on both runs, and the Dartmouth trio amassed 116 points with Vermont placing second with 98.

In the men’s 10K Classic, senior Sam Tarling (Cumberland, Maine) won the race by nearly eight full seconds ahead of sophomore teammate Silas Talbot (Anchorage, Alaska). Tarling trailed Vermont’s Scott Patterson after the first of two laps by just a couple of seconds in third place with Talbot running in fourth 11 seconds behind Tarling. But the tandem pulled away down the stretch with Tarling posting a time of 25:36.7 and Talbot at 25:44.3. Dartmouth also had three other skiers among the top 12 with junior David Sinclair (Waitsville, Vt.) scoring points in sixth with a time of 26:27.5, senior Scott Lacy (Aspen, Colo.) in eighth at 26:42.8 and junior Cameron Woodworth (Yarmouth, Maine) in 12th at 27:13.1.

Junior Annie Hart (Stillwater, Minn.) was the top finisher for the women’s Nordic squad in the 5K Classic, just missing out on the podium in fourth with a time of 15:52.9, three-tenths of a second behind Vermont’s Anja Gruber. Crossing the finish line in sixth was freshman Corey Stock (Lincoln, Mass.), sandwiched between a pair of Catamount skiers in 16:10.3. Senior Emily Blackmer (Hopkinton, N.H.) rounded out the scorers for the Big Green, taking 12th in 16:38.1. But with Vermont claiming three of the top seven slots, Dartmouth came in second, 11 points behind the Catamounts.

Dartmouth tallied 86 points in the men’s slalom with sophomore Hunter Black (Keystone, Colo.) providing the team’s top finish in 11th with a combined time of 1:36.28. Junior Mathieu Bertrand (Montreal, Quebec) was right behind Black in 12th at 1:36.55, and Dylan Fisher McCarney (Toronto, Ont.) wasn’t much further back in 14th at 1:36.87. The Catamounts won three of the top six spots to earn 126 points, ahead of Middlebury’s 111 and New Hampshire’s 108.

The Middlebury Carnival will conclude tomorrow with the giant slalom, the women’s 15K Free and the men’s 20K Free. On Sunday, the teams will return to the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, N.H., to finish the Dartmouth Winter Carnival with the slalom that was postponed due to wind last weekend.