HANCOCK, Mass./WOODFORD, Vt. — Dartmouth senior Brian McLaughlin finished a personal sweep of the men’s alpine races at the Williams Carnival, winning the slalom on Saturday while junior Nordic skiers Taryn Hunt-Smith and Gavin McEwen both stepped on the podium for the first time in an individual race to lead the Big Green to victory with 990 points. That total bested the field with Vermont placing second (910) and Middlebury a distant third (756).
McLaughlin was strong right out of the gate in the morning run at Jiminy Peak, zipping his way to the fastest time with senior Thomas Woolson right behind him in second. With McLaughlin more than three-quarters of a second ahead of an opposing skier, he did not need to be perfect on his second run, but still put together a top-10 time to win the race in 1:52.36. Middlebury’s Erik Arvidsson (1:52.79) snuck past Woolson to take the silver, but Woolson did enough to hold on to the third podium step in 1:52.92. Rounding out the Big Green scorers was senior Prescott McLaughlin, who posted a top-10 finish with his combined time of 1:54.51.
In the women’s slalom, senior Foreste Peterson made like Brian McLaughlin in zooming to the lead on the first run (though just six-hundredths ahead of Vermont’s Paula Moltzan) with four other Big Green skiers in the top 10 — freshman Claire Thomas in sixth, sophomore Stephanie Lebby in seventh, senior Kelly Moore in ninth and sophomore Stephanie Currie in 10th — to put themselves in good position for the team standings. Peterson ripped off another solid run in the afternoon with the third-best time. Unfortunately for her, Moltzan was even better to claim victory in 2:05.75 while Peterson recorded a time of 2:06.19. Thomas moved up to fourth following her second attempt in 2:07.51, behind New Hampshire’s Genevieve Frigon (2:06.74), while Moore jumped three spots into sixth in 2:07.68, just ahead of Currie in seventh (2:07.72).
The women’s Nordic team members bunched their times in the 3K prologue freestyle race at Prospect Mountain with five skiers placing between third and eighth, led by junior Taryn Hunt-Smith. Five times this season she had finished fourth but finally broke through for her first career podium in an individual race in 9:20.2. Freshman Katharine Ogden, who had won the previous three carnival races, was right behind Hunt-Smith in fourth (9:24.1), while sophomore Lauren Jortberg (9:26.7) and junior Lydia Blanchet (9:34.9) place fifth and sixth, respectively. The other top-10 skier for the Big Green was freshman Sofia Shomento in eighth with a time of 9:41.5). Even with all of those skiers in the top 10, Vermont won the event with 130 points thanks to laying claim to the top two spots, led by Alayna Sonnesyn in 9:16.7. The top three Dartmouth racers totaled 124 points to finish second in the team standings.
The men’s race was eerily similar with two Vermont skiers at the top of the leaderboard and a Big Green skier — junior Gavin McEwen — in third to garner his first career podium step in an individual race. Karl Schulz claimed the gold in 8:20.9, while McEwen posted a time of 8:23.0 for his third-place finish. Senior Luke Brown skated across the tape in eighth with a time of 8:26.3, while freshman Adam Glueck rounded out the Dartmouth scorers in 13th (8:32.3). Dartmouth racked up 85 points, second only to the Catamounts’ 136.
The Big Green head to Middlebury next week for the EISA Championships on Friday and Saturday before heading to the NCAA Championships on March 7-10 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.