HANCOCK, Mass. — By virtue of its victories in the men's and women's 10K Classic races today and its performance in the giant slalom, the Dartmouth ski team was able to make its first-day lead at the Williams Carnival hold up to edge the University of Vermont by nearly 30 points, 869.5-840. Sophomore Annie Hart (Stillwater, Minn.) led the Big Green effort by winning the women’s 10K by more than 13 seconds.
Dartmouth began the day with an 18-point lead on host Williams, 191-173, while Vermont (which had won three of the first four EISA carnivals this season) lurked in third with 159 points. With the cancellation of the sprints yesterday due to a lack of snow, the 10K Classic races counted double the points and took place at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury Common, Vt.
Hart earned her first victory of the season with time of 30:36.0 and was joined on the podium by senior Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.), who took second in 30:49.7. Vermont claimed the next two spots before senior Erika Flowers (Bozeman, Mont.) crossed the line in 31:30.3 to earn fifth place. The points added up to 272 for the Green, while Vermont was second with 240. Williams was a distant ninth with 95 points.
In the men’s race, the Big Green went up against the Catamounts without All-American Eric Packer (Anchorage, Alaska), who is in Turkey preparing for the U23 World Championships. Vermont’s Franz Bernstein earned the top spot on the medal stand with his time of 26:29.8, but Dartmouth grabbed the second and fourth spots thanks to senior Gordon Vermeer (Minneapolis, Minn.) with a time of 26:42.5 and junior Sam Tarling (Cumberland, Maine) in 27:13.9. Two more Big Green skiers finished among the top 10 — senior Alexander Schulz (Johnson, Vt.) crossed the line in 27:35.5 to take ninth and freshman Silas Talbot (Anchorage, Alaska) placed 10th in 27:36.7 — as Dartmouth racked up 238 points to beat out the Catamounts (224) again with Williams placing fourth (170).
That left the giant slalom at Jiminy Peak to determine if the Big Green’s lead, which was now at 78 points over Vermont, would hold up. The men got top-10 finishes from freshmen Ben Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine) and Hunter Black (Keystone, Colo.) in eighth and 10th, respectively. Morse came on strong on his second run with the fourth-best time, finishing with a combined time of 1:46.37. Black matched a New Hampshire skier to tie for 10th with his 1:46.64, and Trace Cummings Smith gave Dartmouth all rookies scoring for them as he placed 17th in 1:47.58. The trio produced 88.5 points to come in third, while Middlebury edged Vermont, 124-122.
For the women, freshman Abby Fucigna (Hopkinton, Mass.) was the Big Green’s top skier in 11th with a combined time of 1:51.46. Fellow freshman Jackie Maier (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and junior Annie Rendall (South Burlington, Vt.) were neck-and-neck for 15th and 16th, finishing with times of 1:51.80 and 1:51.82. While New Hampshire claimed three of the top eight spots to win the event, Dartmouth scored 80 points for fifth, just 15 points behind Vermont in third to remain atop the standings to win the carnival.
The Big Green have one more carnival before the NCAA Championships take place March 7-10 in Bozeman, Mont. First they will participate in the Middlebury Carnival and EISA Championships next Friday and Saturday.