Nordic starts strong
The men’s and women’s nordic skiing teams have gotten off to a solid start this season, competing well in three different meets hosted by Bates College, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the University of Vermont (UVM). On the first day of the Bates Carnival, Jan. 20, the men took sixth place out of 12 teams in the 10-kilometer freestyle, and the women took seventh place out of twelve in the five-kilometer freestyle. Junior Jake Barton was first for the Mules on the men’s side, finishing in 12th place with a time of 27:48.6. According to head coach Tracey Cote, “It was one of Jake’s best skate races to date in an extremely competitive field.”
On the women’s side, sophomore Lizzie Anderson had an impressive 20th place finish in 15:48.0. The next day, both teams competed in the 10-kilometer classic mass start, with the men finishing in eighth and the women in sixth. Barton was once more the leader of the Mules, finishing 28th with a time of 28:26.7. Junior Olga Golovkina was the first finisher for the women, coming in 16th place with a time of 33:17.8. On Jan. 27 and 28, the nordic skiing teams competed in the UNH Winter Carnival, their second meet of the year. The first day, the Mules raced the classic sprint, with the men finishing ninth out of 12 teams with a score of 47 and the women finishing seventh out of 11 with a score of 58. Sophomore John Dixon was the first finisher for the Mules, clocking in with a time of 3:35.89 seconds, which was good for seventh place overall. On the women’s side, sophomore Sarah Brockett led the Mules, finishing in 15th place with a time of 4:21.49.
The next day, the men competed in the 20-kilometer freestyle mass start, while the women raced 15 kilometers. The men performed very well, finishing fourth out of 13 teams. They were led by Barton, who earned seventh place with a time of 50:00.9. Dixon had another great race, finishing 20th with a time of 50:43.2. In the 15-kilometer freestyle mass start, the women finished ninth out of 11 teams. Golovkina had another strong race, finishing 24th with a time of 45:08.0.
This past weekend, the Mules traveled to UVM to compete in the UVM Carnival against 12 other teams. On the first day, the men finished sixth in the 10-kilometer freestyle. They were led by Barton, who earned 13th place with a time of 25:44. Golovkina was the top performer for the women, coming in 30th with a time of 31:21.8 and leading them to an eighth-place finish. The Mules had a strong lead pack in the race, with Brockett (31:24.2) and Anderson (31:32.5) finishing close behind Golovkina, in 32nd and 33rd places respectively. On Saturday, the men raced the 10-kilometer classic, with Barton leading the team to fifth place with a time of 29:48.5 for 12th place overall. The women tied with Bowdoin for eighth place in the 5-kilometer classic, with Golovkina taking 24th place with a time of 17:17.7.
Over the past three weeks, the Mules have competed against some of the top teams in the region and held their own, showing significant improvement each meet. With a few weeks of competition under their belts, the nordic team heads to Dartmouth next weekend for the Dartmouth Carnival.