Big Green leads at Middlebury Carnival - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Big Green leads at Middlebury Carnival

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Friday, February 17th

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Freshman Abby Drach and senior Fabian Stocek won their respective cross country races at the Rikert Nordic Center on Friday as Dartmouth finished the day with five skiers on the podium to build a 63-point lead (498-435) over Vermont at the Middlebury Carnival. The host Panthers sit in a distant third with 365 points, while Williams (329) and New Hampshire (323) make up the rest of the top five.

The day began with the women's 15K Freestyle, and after the first of the three 5K loops, freshman Lauren Jortberg was the Big Green's leading skier in third, just five seconds behind Vermont's Alayna Sonnesyn, with sophomore Taryn Hunt-Smith in fourth and Drach lurking in fifth. On the second lap, the front of the pack had been whittled down to three as Drach closed within 4.2 seconds of Sonnesyn with New Hampshire's Elizabeth Gill in third, right on her heels.

Drach reached down for the final kick, however, and blistered past Sonnesyn to win the event by more than 15 seconds in 40:02.5. Jortberg also closed hard and just nipped Gill by a tenth of a second at the tape to claim the third and final spot on the podium in 40:32.0, while Hunt-Smith took ninth in 41:23.2. The trio totaled 133 points, easily beating out the Catamounts (96) to win the race.

The men were nearly as dominant in the 20K Freestyle with Stocek and junior Luke Brown finishing one-two. Stocek, who picked up his seventh carnival victory this year, to a jump on the pack to take the lead after one lap with Brown close behind in third. The duo dropped off a bit the next time around, barely lingering in the top 10, though they were still within 17 seconds of the leader, Williams' Jordan Fields.

But the lost time was almost completely made up on the third lap with Stocek second and Brown third before they overwhelmed Fields. Stocek held off Brown by 2.3 seconds in 46:17.9, and Brown held his own to best Colby's Zane Fields by two seconds with the former Fields well back in fourth in 46:39.9. Adding to Dartmouth's team total was sophomore Gavin McEwen in seventh place, giving the Green 132 points with Williams the next closest team with 111.

Over on the slopes at the Snow Bowl, junior Brian McLaughlin was sitting pretty atop the heap after the first run, posting a time of 46.69 seconds. Freshman Tanguy Nef and senior Thomas Woolson were also among the top 10 heading into the second run. Unfortunately for McLaughlin, his second run did not go nearly as well as he failed to finish the course.

But Woolson stepped up with the second-fastest time on his second attempt to climb from ninth up to third with a combined time of 1:35.10. Nef also performed well, moving up two places into fifth in 1:35.22, while freshman David Domonoske rounded out the Big Green scorers in eighth at 1:36.38. With Robert Cone of Middlebury winning the race and William St. Germain of Vermont taking second, the team scores were tight with the Panthers edging Vermont, 120-119, with Dartmouth placing third with 116 points.

Although the Catamounts took the top two spots on the podium in the women's slalom, Dartmouth put its depth on display with five skiers finishing in the top 10, led by sophomore Alexa Dlouhy in fourth in 1:38.00, just seven-hundredths of a second from a podium step. Freshman Stephanie Currie had a terrific second run with the fastest time in the field to move up from eighth into fifth in 1:38.21, while junior Kelly Moore put together two solid runs to claim sixth in 1:38.49. Also in the top 10 were senior Meg Currie (1:38.73, eighth) and junior Foreste Peterson (1:38.78, ninth). The Big Green finished the event with 117 points, 15 behind Vermont at the top of the heap.

The carnival will conclude on Saturday, beginning with the first run of the women's giant slalom at 9:30 a.m. and the women's classic sprint relay kicking off at 10 a.m.

Courtesy: Dartmouth Sports Infomation

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