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Women, Ben Morse Take Giant Slalom at UVM

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Erin Fucigna     By Dennis & Ellen Curran
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STOWE, Vt. — The trio of junior Annie Rendall (South Burlington, Vt.) and the Fucigna sisters — senior Erin and freshman Abby (Hopkinton, Mass.) — helped the Dartmouth women’s alpine team to the highest score in the giant slalom among the 13 competing teams on the opening day of the University of Vermont Carnival at Stowe Mountain Resort. In addition, freshman Ben Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine) posted the fastest combined time for the men to send the Big Green into the lead after the first day of competition at the three-day carnival with 204 points, 16 ahead of the University of New Hampshire.

Rendall and Erin Fucigna finished less than half of a second apart to place fifth and sixth, respectively, with Rendall posting a two-run time of 2:12.53 and Fucigna 2:12.92. The younger Fucigna came in 13th to round out the scorers for the Big Green with a combined time of 2:14.50. Ashley-Kate Durham of St. Lawrence posted the fastest times in both runs to win the individual honors at 2:10.37. Although the fastest skier for Bates only finished seventh, the Bobcats clustered their skiers together well enough to finish in second place as a team with 94 points, nine shy of Dartmouth’s 103.

Vermont, which has held a stranglehold on the alpine events in the early carnivals, only had two skiers participate in the women’s giant slalom, one of which did not finish, leaving the Catamounts well behind with just 30 points.

In the men’s giant slalom, three rookies picked up the points for Dartmouth. Morse zipped down the course on his first run with the quickest time, 1:03.26, then followed that up with the third fastest on the second run to hang on for the title at 2:05.13. Hunter Black (Keystone, Colo.) came in 11th in 2:07.51, and Trace Cummings Smith (Dedham, Mass.) in 22nd in 2:08.95. Vermont fared better on the men’s side, nipping New Hampshire by seven points, 118-111, while the Big Green placed fourth with 101 points.

The carnival continues tomorrow with the slalom as well as the first Nordic races, the 5K Classic for the women and the 10K Classic for the men. The slalom begins first with the men starting down at 9:30 a.m., while the 5K starts at 10:45 a.m. at Trapps.