MIDDLEBURY, Vt. –- Vermont extended its EISA Carnival win streak to five with a victory at the Middlebury Carnival on Sunday. Vermont won both Nordic team events and Jonathan Nordbotten added a first-place finish in the men’s giant slalom to help the Catamounts pile up 933 points and outdistance rival Dartmouth, which posted an 859 team score.
Scott Patterson paced the men’s Nordic team, winning the 20K freestyle to earn his sixth win of the season. He finished with a time of 45:13.77. Rogan Brown (46:18.8) and Pete Hegman (46:32.4) added top-10 finishes and all six Vermont skiers placed in the top 20.
In the women’s 15K freestyle, Anja Gruber earned a spot on the podium for the eighth time in nine races this year. Gruber was runner-up to Dartmouth’s Mary O’Connell. O’Connell clocked in a 39:35.0 and Gruber recorded a time of 39.52.5. Newcomer Linda Danvind Malm earned her first career podium appearance as a Catamount, placing third in the race with a time of 40:21.2.
Kate Ryley was Vermont’s top skier in the women’s giant slalom. She placed seventh overall, marking the first race of the year where she did not place within the top five. Taylor Rapley earned a 15th-place finish and Elise Tefre followed right behind in 16th to round out the top three Vermont skiers on the hill.
In the men’s giant slalom, Nordbotten earned his second win of the season, posting a time of 1:00.06 to beat out Middlebury’s David Donaldson (1:00.37). Sean Higgins earned his third podium appearance of the year by finishing third with a time of 1:00.55. Dom Garand added a ninth-place finish for Vermont. Garand ended the race tied with New Hampshire’s Taylor Vest-Burton for the ninth spot.
The Catamounts have won eight of the past 10 carnival events on the EISA Circuit and now will be aiming for their third consecutive EISA championship. The EISA Championships will be hosted by Bates on Feb. 22-23. The alpine races will be held at Sunday River, while the Nordic events will be at Black Mountain.