HANCOCK/RIPTON, Vt. — The Dartmouth ski team wrapped up its second straight NCAA Regional title on the strength of winning three of the final four events at the Middlebury Carnival today, beating out rival Vermont by 138 points. Freshman Katharine Ogden completed a sweep of the women’s cross-country races with a win in the 15K freestyle, while senior Brian McLaughlin grabbed the gold in the men’s giant slalom as his coach, Peter Dodge, was named the EISA Alpine Coach of the Year for the third time in his 29-year career.
The women’s 15K free brought about a case of déjà vu at the Rikert Nordic Center as the top four finishers from yesterday’s 5K Classic repeated their places today. Big Green freshman Katharine Ogden completed a sweep of the regional races, taking the lead during the second of three laps and extending that lead throughout the third lap to win by over 30 seconds in 38:19.7 for her fifth victory of the season. The leader after the first lap was junior Lydia Blanchet, then settled into third all by her lonesome in 39:16.1, more than 20 seconds behind Vermont’s Alayna Sonnesyn (38:54.0). Sophomore Lauren Jortberg was in the pack of leaders on the first lap as well, and kept the rest of the field at arm’s length the rest of the way to take fourth in 40:08.1, giving Dartmouth 135 points, well ahead of Vermont in second with 113.
Junior Gavin McEwen and senior Callan DeLine were both in the lead pack through the first two laps of the 20K freestyle, but Colby’s Zane Fields and Williams’ Braden Becker opened up some space on the third lap. Meanwhile, senior Luke Brown gradually worked his way into the midst of his two Big Green teammates after sitting 11th through the first 5K. During the final lap, McEwen was locked in a battle for fifth with Middlebury’s Adam Luban, and came up a tenth of a second short to take sixth in 46:35.2. Brown crossed the tape shortly thereafter in seventh (46:39.7), while DeLine posted a time of 46:49.2 to place ninth for a total of 103 points, second only to Vermont with 115. Fields took the top step of the podium for Colby in 46:06.3.
The giant slalom at the Snow Bowl began with the women, and the Big Green put themselves in good position to score with four skiers recording times among the 10 fastest, led by senior Foreste Peterson in second in 1:01.58 with sophomore Stephanie Currie right behind in third in 1:01.61. That duo traded places on the second run with Currie coming through with her best-ever finish and third career podium in second with a combined time of 2:08.72. Peterson could not have come much closer to Currie’s time, posting a 2:08.74 for her sixth podium in six giant slalom races, ninth overall this season and 20th of her career. Also finishing in the top five for Dartmouth was senior Kelly Moore in fifth with a time of 2:09.06, rounding out the Big Green scorers for a total of 130 points.
Middlebury’s Caroline Bartlett took advantage of her knowledge of the home course to win the giant slalom by two full seconds as the Panthers took second with 120 points. Any chance Vermont had of catching Dartmouth ended in this race as only one Catamount completed the two runs.
McLaughlin made his presence known on the first run for the men, zipping down the slopes with the fastest time, 1:00.45, more than half a second ahead of sophomore teammate Tanguy Nef. On the second run, McLaughlin repeated with the best time, winning the event by more than a full second ahead of Vermont’s Max Roiesland in 2:03.05. The win was his third of the season and seventh of his career, not to mention his 17th podium overall.
Nef fell just short of the podium — something he had not done in any race he had completed this winter — placing fourth in 2:04.59, just behind Middlebury’s Erik Arvidsson (20:04.45). Junior James Ferri and senior Thomas Woolson engaged in a battle as to who would represent the final scorer for Dartmouth, and Ferri won out by claiming sixth in 2:04.81, 0.32 seconds ahead of Woolson. The trio amassed 128 points to beat out Vermont, which had 115 with the hosts finishing third with 108.
The ski team will be back in action for the NCAA Championships on March 6-9 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.