Nordic races at Middlebury
This past weekend, the men’s and women’s nordic skiing teams traveled to the Trapp Family Lodge to compete in the Eastern Championships hosted by Middlebury College. On Friday, Feb. 24, both the men’s and women’s teams raced the five-kilometer free technique, with the men coming in seventh out of 12 teams and the women coming in eighth out of 11. The teams from the University of Vermont (UVM) won both the men’s and women’s races.
On Friday, Levin Zars ’14 came in first for the men, finishing in 26th place with a time of 26:54.8. This was a big result for Zars—it was the first time that he has led the Mules this season. The next finisher for the Mules was Corey Park ’12, who took 29th place with a time of 27:03.5, followed by John Dixon ’14, who finished in 27:21.1 for 35th place. Paco DeFrancis ’14 was close behind, earning 37th place in 27:29.9. DeFrancis has been struggling to find his form since returning to racing two weeks ago. Jake Barton ’13, usually a top-20 finisher for the Mules, also had a disappointing race, finishing in 42nd with a time of 27:44.5. Captain Jared Supple ’13 was next, taking 61st with a time of 28:52.1.
In the women’s race, the Mules had a tight front pack, with Sarah Brockett ’14 (15:39.0), Lizzie Anderson ’14 (15:44.4) and captain Molly Susla ’13 (15:46.5) taking 30th, 32nd and 34th places, respectively. They were followed by Missy Krause ’12, who took 42nd with a time of 16:10.8, Olga Golovkina ’13, whose time of 16:13.1 was good for 44th, and Emma Donohoe ’14, who finished in 51st with a time of 16:31.8. The Mules did a good job of working together to stay competitive in the race.
The next day, the men competed in the 20-kilometer classic mass start, and earned an impressive fourth-place finish despite the poor conditions. They were led by Barton, who bounced back from his race the previous day to finish seventh overall with a time of 1:20:20.2. According to Barton, “we pretty much raced in a blizzard, and the race took about 25 minutes longer than it usually takes to ski the same distance because of the weather.”
Zars and DeFrancis also cracked the top 20, with Zars placing 14th in 1:20:55.3 and DeFrancis taking 18th in 1:21:11.3. Dixon was close behind in 23rd with a time of 1:22:10.2, and he was followed by Park (1:22:41.2) in 28th and Supple (1:24:07.3) in 40th.
Meanwhile, the women competed in the 15-kilometer classic mass start, coming in seventh place as a team. They were led by Golovkina, who came up big with a 14th-place finish in 1:07:40.1. Anderson was next, taking 33rd in 1:10:36.1, followed by Susla, who finished 38th in 1:11:37.7. Krause (1:11:39.2) Donohoe (1:15:38.9) and Brockett (1:17:01.4) rounded out the Mule racers.
Overall, this was the best result of the season so far for the men and a solid performance for the women as well. The Mules have next weekend off to get some rest before the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships.