JEFFERSONVILLE, Vt. — Sophomore Tanguy Nef and senior Foreste Peterson won the men’s and women’s giant slalom, respectively, for Dartmouth on Saturday at the St. Michael’s Carnival as the Big Green gained a little ground on Vermont in the team standings. Dartmouth outscored the Catamounts in the two events by five points, but still finds itself trailing in the team standings, 725-684, with the only slalom remaining on the docket.
The women began the bright, frigid day with their first run at Smugglers Notch in the morning, and Peterson set the pace with the fastest time of 54.29 seconds, more than half a second ahead of New Hampshire’s Lisa Wedsjoe. The Big Green were in excellent position with four others among the top 10 — senior Kelly Moore (55.35, fifth), freshman Claire Thomas (55.41, sixth), junior Alexa Dlouhy (55.46, eighth) and freshman Stephanie Lebby (55.60, 10th).
But with the racers tightly packed in the top 10 past Peterson and Wedsjoe, the winner of the team title was very much up in the air. Both Moore and Lebby produced two of the 10 fastest times on the second run in the afternoon, allowing the former to claim sixth with a combined time of 1:52.85, one-tenth of a second ahead of the latter in seventh. Peterson, meanwhile, had to put together another solid run to fend off Vermont’s Paula Moltzan, who charged hard after placing 17th on the first run. The World Cup skier came up with another solid run and edged out Moltzan by 0.14 seconds with a time of 1:51.64 to take the top step of the podium, her eighth career victory and 17th podium. Yet Vermont came away with the team title by taking the other two podiums spots plus another in fifth, garnering 130 points to Dartmouth’s 122.
Nef was stellar in both of his runs in the men’s GS, posting the fastest time each time down the mountain. He was the only skier to break 52 seconds on the first attempt, then was the lone competitor to best 54 seconds the second try, coming up with a combined time of 1:45.76, a full 1.2 seconds ahead of Vermont’s Sandy Vietze. It was Nef’s second career carnival victory having won the New Hampshire GS last year as a rookie.
With the top two steps on the podium taken, the battle for the third was heated. Senior Thomas Woolson completed his first run in eighth place, but certainly within striking distance, while one of the Big Green’s usual contenders, senior Brian McLaughlin, found some trouble and was stuck back in 37th. Freshman Kalle Wagner and sophomore David Domonoske had solid first runs to give Dartmouth hope of winning the team title, but in the end, it was the veterans that made the big push. The trio of Nef, McLaughlin and Woolson had the best three times of the second run, allowing Woolson to take that third step on the podium in 1:47.60, while McLaughlin was the only skier to beat his first time to vault into ninth in 1:48.73. Those performances gave the Green 125 points, topping Vermont by 13.
The slalom will begin with the men getting things started on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.