Two Panthers prevail at Carnival

RIPTON/HANCOCK — The Middlebury College ski team this past weekend finished third at its own winter carnival, which also served as this winter’s Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association championship. The NCAA meet is up next for the Panthers; it will be hosted by the University of Utah from March 5 to 8.
Vermont won the Middlebury Carnival with 1,031 points, followed by Dartmouth (905), Middlebury (664) and Colby (641). Action took place at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton and the Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock.
Panther men won two individual events: Hig Roberts prevailed in the giant slalom on Saturday, and Ben Lustgarten took first in Friday’s 10-kilometer Nordic classic race. That was Lustgarten’s first collegiate win of the winter after competing most of the season in Europe.
Roberts’ win in the GS was his fourth straight; he covered the course in 1:54.75. Joining Roberts as scorers were Liam Mulhern, who finished in 17th in 1:57.09, and Ghassan Gedeon-Achi, who took 21st (1:57.38).
On the women’s side, Elle Gilbert earned her best GS finish of the season, finishing fourth in 1:58.83. Isabel Kannegieser came in 23rd in 2:03.54, and Lisa Schroer took 26th (2:03.81).
On Friday, high winds and sleet did not slow down Lustgarten in the men’s 10K classic, as he won in 27:18, 50 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. Dylan McGarthwaite was 25th (30:06), followed by Patrick McElravey in 31st (30:24.).
Heather Mooney paced the women in the 5K classic, placing 11th in 18:00. Finishing in 17th was Emily Attwood in 18:15, followed by Stella Holt (24th in 18:32).
At the Snow Bowl on Friday, wild conditions, including a lightning strike, cut the women’s slalom to one run. Kara Shaw earned the best time for the Panthers, finishing in 51.12 to take 11th. Katelyn Barclay tied for 17th in 52.18, and Yina Moe-Lange took 19th in 52.35.
The men were able to get both runs in, and Middlebury took third in the slalom. Nick Bailey earned a season-best fifth-place finish with a time of 1:37.86. Roberts earned his eighth-straight top-10 slalom finish, placing eighth in 1:38.01, and Christopher McKenna took 12th in 1:38.24.
On Saturday, Middlebury placed three in the top 20 in the women’s 15K freestyle Nordic race, led by a 14th-place effort from Kelsey Phinney in 41:23. Placing 17th was Holt in 41:35, followed by Attwood, who took 19th in 41:53.
Lustgarten was unable to complete in Saturday’s 20K freestyle due to injury. Adam Luban turned in a season-best 17th-place finish to pace the Middlebury men, finishing in 45:56. Placing 21st was Austin Cobb in 46:13, followed by McGarthwaite in 27th (47:05).

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