January 18, 2010

The Middlebury College ski teams opened up their 2010 season with a trip to New York for the St. Lawrence Carnival. Dartmouth won the event with 957 points, followed by UVM (849), UNH (828) and Middlebury (685). The men's GS squad and the women's 5K classical group both finished in second place in their respective events.

On Friday, first-year racer Brian Shpall (Englewood, Colo.) led the Middlebury alpine team, placing third overall with a time of 2:01.44 in the GS. Next for the Panthers in ninth place was senior Jonathan Hunter (McAfee, N.J.) in 2:02.26, followed by rookie Andrew McNealus (Woodstock, Vt.) in 15th (2:03.18). On the women's side, junior Lindsay Kraft (Coldstream, B.C.) led all Middlebury skiers with an 11th place finish in 2:08.08. Senior Leah McLaughry (Norwich, Vt.) scored for the Panthers in 19th place (2:09.72), followed by sophomore Sasha Rauch (Wilson, Wyo.) in 31st (2:12.05).

In Saturday's slalom event, junior Nicole Dvorak (Essex Junction, Vt.) turned in a solid fourth place finish with a time of 1:53.38. Placing ninth for Middlebury was junior Tasha Woodworth (Carlisle, Mass.) (58.51), while first-year racer Christine Schozer (Winhall, Vt.) placed 41st (2:14.73) as Middlebury's third scorer. In the men's race, Middlebury placed four racers in slots 7-11. Lund led the group in seventh place (1:38.40), followed by Hunter in eighth (1:38.61) and junior Bobby Poehling (LaCrosse, Wis.) in ninth (1:38.63). Shpall had the fastest time in the second run (48.62) and finished 11th (1:38.85), earning top rookie honors among all racers on the alpine hill.

The women's nordic team was led by senior Lauren Fritz (Chugiak, Alaska), who placed ninth overall (16:38) in the 5K classic race. First-year racer Keely Levins (Rutland, Vt.) was next for the Panthers in 14th (16:47), followed by rookie Corinne Prevot (East Burke, Vt.), who came in 21st (17:05). Saturday's nordic races saw Fritz finish seventh overall with a time of 49:49 in the 15K freestyle race. Prevot placed 29th (52:24) in the race, followed by Levins in 31st (52:40).

In the men's 10K classic race on Friday, sophomore Douglas Debold (Wayzata, Minn.) led Middlebury with a sixth place finish in 28:36. The Panthers then placed racers in 12th and 13th place, as senior Michael Mommsen (St. Louis Park, Minn.) (29:15) and junior Patrick Johnson (Anchorage, Alaska) (29:20) rounded out the point-earners. Johnson was the top Panther on Saturday in the 20K freestyle race, earning a time of 56:56, good for 13th place. Just two seconds behind in 14th was sophomore Chase Marston (Charlotte, Vt.), followed by junior Graham Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) in 18th place (57:10).
. Ski Team opens season
. Up next: 1/22-23 @ St. Michael's Carnival