The EISA college teams returned for their second carnival ahead of NCAA championships, which will commence in early March. University of Vermont (UVM) came out on top following four GS races over two days at the St. Lawrence (SLU) carnival in Whiteface, N.Y.
Conditions were solid across the mountain for two days of racing. With heightened COVID-19 restrictions in the state of New York, the field of racers was condensed with only four teams representing the EISA circuit: UVM, SLU, University of New Hampshire (UNH), and Boston College (BC).
The ladies opened up the carnival on Thursday, Feb. 25., with a small field of 43. Senior Parker Biele from Boston College came away her career best finish and the win, taking the fastest time in both runs to finish ahead of a trio of UVM skiers by 1.46 seconds. Biele became the first female in BC program history to qualify for NCAA Championships last year before her NCAA debut was cut short with the cancellation of the slalom from COVID-19. Prior to her SLC carnival success, Biele had yet to make the podium in her collegiate career. Her momentum held strong going into the second race of the day, where she finished second.
Despite her win, Biele’s teammates fell just behind the mark to capture the overall for the day, with the next-best finisher in 15th. Meanwhile, there was a battle between UVM teammates Ella Renzoni, Josefine Selvaag, and Rachael Desrochers for the remaining podium finishes. Renzoni, the Canadian native, has shown strong skiing in GS this year, capturing first and second places in the eastern collegiate and FIS circuit this season. She captured second place once again, before disqualifying in the second race.
In the second race, UVM first-year racer Justine Clement earned the second EISA win of her career and led the UVM Catamounts to the podium for the second time in a day. Clement threw down an impressive first run, propelling her 1.11 seconds faster than the second-place time. Biele finished second, and SLU freshman Victoria Cubina made her collegiate podium debut on her home hill in third.
UNH had a collective solid showing between both races, placing four different skiers in the top 10 across the two races. Three UVM podiums left the women paving way for the overall ahead of BC, SLU, and UNH.
UNH was the talk of the day, earning the team win in both GS races and launching the team from fourth to second place overall, just 13 points behind UVM. Junior Crowley Gentile led the way for UHN on Friday Feb. 26., finishing the podium in both races and taking home a career first win in the opening race.
Gentile showed strong performances this season leading up to his win, having a streak of top ten finishes in every race entered this season. His teammate, Marius Solbakken, has seen similar success this season, finishing third in the first GS race and second later that afternoon.
Rounding out the podium in race one between Gentile’s win and Solbakken in third was Zachary Simmons from Boston College, the lone top-10 finish for the school. UVM had a strong roundup of the top tens with three skiers in fourth, fifth, and sixth, but was no match compared to UNH’s five skiers in the top ten.
In the second race, UVM took the top spot with skier Mathias Tefre edging out Solbakken and Gentile in second and third, respectively. The 21-year-old Norwegian took his first collegiate win of the season after a sixth-place finish that morning. UNH rounded out the top 10 in fifth, sixth, and seventh position, were Tefre had just one other teammate, Raphael Quenneville, in 10th, opening the gap for UNH in the overall team standings.
The entire field shifted to Proctor Mountain for Boston College’s carnival over the weekend where the EISA will complete their regular season before NCAA Championships. A full recap of that event to follow.