Nordic and alpine ski teams take second at Bates Carnival

by Manisha Apte | 1/22/12 11:00pm

by Nicholas Root and Nicholas Root / The Dartmouth

"I am really happy with the team's results," women's Nordic co-captain Sophie Caldwell '12 said. "I think we had a solid weekend, but I think we can definitely do better in the next Carnivals."

The men's Nordic team emerged with Dartmouth's only event wins, as it took first place in the 10-kilometer freestyle with 127 points and the 10-kilometer classic with 130 points. The women's cross-country team also contributed to the Big Green's results, placing second in both Friday's five-kilometer freestyle with 114 points and Saturday's 10-kilometer classic with 118 points.

The men and women's alpine teams also drew respectable numbers on the board, as the women finished in third place in their giant slalom race, while the men nabbed fourth place in both their giant slalom and slalom runs.

Jump-starting Dartmouth's point accumulation, the men's Nordic team claimed the second, fourth and fifth place spots in Friday's 10-kilometer freestyle. Clocking in at 26:23.10, Sam Tarling '13 was the first finisher for the Big Green, while co-captain Erik Packer '12 and Gordon Vermeer '12 secured fourth and fifth place with respective times of 26:48.90 and 27:03.40.

Tarling's results should not come as a surprise, as he was the 2011 NCAA champion in the 10-kilometer freestyle race.

Saturday's 10-kilometer classic saw another strong showing by the Big Green cross-country team, as Packer took first place with a time of 27:25.00, making him the only Dartmouth skier to win a race at the Carnival. Tarling finished soon after at 27:35.2, pulling in a fourth place finish. David Sinclair '14, Steven Mangan '14 and Vermeer took the fifth, seventh and eighth spots.

Packer entered the Bates Carnival after a successful weekend at the U.S. Cross Country Skiing Championships, where he qualified for the 2012 International Ski Federation Under-23 World Championship Team for the United States.

Caldwell, who also qualified for the World Championships, finished in third place for both her five-kilometer freestyle and 10-kilometer classic, securing the best finishes for the Dartmouth women's team.

Erika Flowers '12 also finished well on Friday's five-kilometer freestyle, trailing 11 seconds behind Caldwell to nab fourth place.

Meanwhile, in Saturday's 10-kilometer classic, Annie Hart '14 took sixth place with a time of 32:04.60 and Isabel Caldwell '14, Sophie Caldwell's younger sister, followed in eighth place at 32:10.70.

While the women's Nordic team is adjusting to racing without the members of the Class of 2011 who helped keep Dartmouth a top competitor for the past several years, the team's younger members have transitioned smoothly to the new roster, Sophie Caldwell said.

"We have great freshmen who have added to the team and have performed really well," Caldwell said. "Most of them have been skiing for a long time, so they come in with their own strategies everyone is different."

Annie Rendall '13 posted the best finishes for both the men's and women's alpine teams, as she took sixth place in her slalom race and fourth for the giant slalom. In the men's races, Ben Morse '14 grabbed the best Dartmouth finish in the slalom at eighth place, while co-captain Trevor Leafe '12 captured 11th place in the giant slalom the next day.

Due to rule changes this year, which state that only the top 60 first-run finishers of each race are eligible for a second run, Leafe could not ski a second run in the slalom as his first run ended badly and he was forced to hike. Despite these changes, the team does not expect any added pressure to perform well in their first runs, Leafe said.

"The rules were changed because we have a few more schools added to our conference from the division below us," he said. "There are a lot more racers, so for time's sake they need to cut down [the number of skiers]."

After this weekend's results, one of Dartmouth's goals for the season will be to beat UVM, Caldwell said. The Catamounts have been one of Dartmouth's toughest competitors in the past, and this year proves to be no different. UVM won every race except for the two men's Nordic events that Dartmouth took home, and the women's slalom, which Williams College won.

"UVM definitely set the tone this weekend they put their foot down and said, If you want to beat us, you have to beat us in every event,'" Leafe said. "They have a really strong team so it's going to be tough."

The Big Green will have the chance to topple the Catamounts at next weekend's University of New Hampshire Carnival, which is scheduled to take place next Friday and Saturday in Bartlett, N.H. and Jackson, N.H.

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