January 23, 2012

The Middlebury College ski teams opened up their carnival season with two days of racing hosted by Bates College. Nordic races took place at Black Mountain, while the alpine events were contested at Sunday River. The Panthers finished the event third overall with 699 points, trailing UVM (1,004) and Dartmouth (837).

Senior Patrick Johnson (Anchorage, Alaska) had an impressive opening weekend, winning the 10K freestyle race on Friday in 26:20, while placing third in the 10K classic on Saturday (27:34). Sophomore Benjamin Lustgarten (Burlington, Vt.) finished ninth in the classic (27:42) and 15th in the freestyle (27:51), while senior Chase Marston (Charlotte, Vt.) was 16th in the freestyle (27:59) and 18th in the classic (27:59).

On the women’s side, rookie Annie Pokorny (Spokane, Wash.) earned a pair of top 10 finishes, coming in ninth in both the 5K free (15:09) and the 10K classic (32:41). Classmate Stella Holt (Whitefish, Mont.) also scored for the Panthers in both races, placing 17th in the 5K free (15:40) and 22nd in the 10K classic (33:30). Another rookie, Rachel Hall (Cumberland, Maine) placed 15th overall in the 5K race with a time of 15:27, while senior Sophie McClelland (Keene Valley, N.Y.) was 11th in the 10K race in 33:04.

The men’s alpine team was solid in both events, placing second in the GS as well as Saturday’s slalom race. Sophomore Hig Roberts (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), junior Bryan Shpall (Englewood, Colo.) and junior Andrew McNealus (Woodstock, Vt.) were the team’s top skiers in both races, with five of the six finishes coming in the top 10. Roberts finished fourth (2:29.01) in the GS, followed closely by Shpall in fifth (2:29.80). Two spots back was McNealus, who came in seventh overall in 2:30.02. Roberts again paced the team in the slalom, finishing fourth overall with a time of 1:47.62. McNealus came in seventh (1:48.21), followed by Shpall in 19th (1:51.18).

After a rough GS race, the women’s team came back with some solid finishes in Saturday’s slalom. Junior Christine Schozer (Winhall, Vt.) led the pack in ninth place with a time of 1:48.56, followed by rookie Katelyn Barclay (Pittsford, N.Y.) in 13th (1:50.68). Classmate Yina Moe-Lange (Sammamish, Wash.) rounded out the Panther scorers with a 30th place (2:00.60) finish. The previous day, Schozer placed 35th, Moe-Lange was 42nd, while Barclay came in 44th place in the GS.
• Ski team third at Bates Carnival
• Up next: 1/27-28 @ UNH Carnival