Catamounts Win Fourth Straight Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Championship
- By Lisa A. Champagne
The Vermont Catamounts dominated the hill at Middlebury Snow Bowl and swept the women's 10K freestyle mass start race to win its fourth straight Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championship. Vermont piled up 1,031 points to out pace Dartmouth (905 points).
The Catamounts win the EISA title for the 34th time in their program history and finish the EISA circuit unbeaten for the 18th time since 1979. UVM also extends its unbeaten carnival streak to 14 as the EISA Championships also doubled as the Middlebury Carnival.
At the Middlebury Snow Bowl, a Catamount took five of the six podium spots between the men's and women's giant slalom races.
The UVM women swept the podium. Kate Ryley won her 22nd EISA race and third straight GS race at the EISA Championships. She posted the fastest run of the day in the first run (58:48) and finished with a two run total of 1:58.92. Krstinia Riis-Johannessen was second with a time of 1:59.01 and Elise Tefre rounded out the Vermont podium with a time of 1:59.48 to take third.
Middlebury's Hig Roberts won the men's GS with a time of 1:54.75, but was followed by three Catamounts. Kevin Drury placed second with a time of 1:55.20, and Jonathan Nordbotten was third (1:55.47). Travis Dawson finished fourth overall and was the third Catamount to score with a time of 1:56.04.
At the Rikert Nordic Center, the Vermont women swept the 10K freestyle. Sophomore Stephanie Kirk picked up her first collegiate victory, crossing the finish line in a time of 38:59.0. Anja Gruber placed second at 39:02.0, and Linda Danvind Malm was third at 39:04.3.
The UVM men's squad followed up with a 2-4-6 finish in the 20K freestyle. Patrick Caldwell of Dartmouth posted the winning time of 43:07.8. UVM's Scott Patterson was the runner up, crossing the finish line in a time of 43:11.3 and was followed by Rogan Brown in fourth place (44:11.7) and Jorgen Grav in sixth place (44:25.1).
Up next for the Catamounts are the NCAA Championships, March 5-8 in Utah. The alpine races will take place March 5 and 7 at Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah, while the Nordic races will be held at Soldier Hollow Resort in Midway, Utah. Vermont won the NCAA National title in 2012 and finished third last season.