Dartmouth Nordic skiing gets ready for Bates Carnival

by Max Kanefield | 1/14/16 6:34pm

After opening the season with good results in Nordic U.S. Nationals over the first week of classes, the Dartmouth Nordic ski team heads to Sunday River, Maine this weekend to participate in the Bates Carnival. It will be the team’s first tournament of the season against its Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association foes.

Men’s Nordic ski captain Oscar Friedman ’16 said that the team is excited to start the season after coming off some great performances at U.S. Nationals in Michigan.

“We showed a lot of depth and a lot of strength, so I am really excited to see how that translates to the Carnival season and the collegiate circuit,” Friedman said.

The team has competed at a high level already this season, with the Nordic team placing second overall among college teams at Nationals. Pleased with its performance so far, the team believes that it can improve on its early season performances against its division foes.

Women’s Nordic ski captain Mary O’Connell ’16 said that the team had a lot of fun at Nationals in Michigan, putting together some good races but not its best races.

“I think it was motivating to warm up a little bit but we are still hungry for more,” O’Connell said.

The team heads to the Bates Carnival after finishing second in the tournament last year to the University of Vermont. Vermont was the only team to beat Dartmouth during the collegiate season, pushing the Big Green to second place in each of their EISA carnivals during the 2015 season. Despite its struggles against its fellow powerhouse, the team believes that this year they can come out on top against their biggest rival on the East Coast.

“They are certainly our main rivals in the East,” Friedman said. “That being said, when it becomes time to race for NCAA championships they become more of teammates. Coming from the East, we represent the Eastern division together. But for now, its going to be fierce competition and we are hoping to come out on top.”

Given the tight-knit nature of college skiing at this level, most skiers know the athletes they are competing against. This makes for interesting competition but also strong bonds and mutual respect within the community.

“I think there is definitely some rivalry, I have not experienced it first hand yet,” women’s Nordic skier Taryn Hunt-Smith ’19 said. “But I know a lot of the UVM skiers from my past years at Nationals and they are really strong, some of the best in the country.”

When asked who the standout performers on the team were thus far, Friedman remarked that the team’s success has been a consistent effort from multiple players on the team, which he believes promises good things for this weekend’s carnival and beyond.

“I would say actually no and that’s the beauty of it,” Friedman said. “We have got three guys who are all skiing real strong, and that is myself, Jan Ketterson [’17] and Fabian Stocek [’17] . I think we are all putting in consistent, solid performances, and since the Carnivals are scored by the top three skiers, that bodes really well for the first carnival at Bates this weekend.”