The Middlebury alpine ski team returns all of its racers on the women's side from a year ago, while the men must fill three spots lost to graduation. Last year's team results saw the Panthers come on strong with third-place finishes in the final three carnivals of the season prior to NCAA competition. Middlebury qualified five of six potential racers to the NCAA Championships in Colorado, where the team finished eighth overall.
Returning to the carnival circuit this season for the women are NCAA qualifiers Caroline Bartlett, Lexi Calcagni and Lucia Bailey. As a junior, Bartlett finished in the top five on four different occasions, highlighted by a victory in the giant slalom during the EISA Championships at the Snow Bowl. A few weeks later at the NCAA Championships, the 2019 captain and three-time NCAA participant earned All-American accolades in the GS, when she raced to a fourth-place tie.
Calcagni had an impressive junior year, earning top-20 finishes six different times, including a fourth-place effort in the GS at the EISA Championships. A two-time NCAA entrant, she also crossed the line 17th in the GS and 25th during the slalom in the national meet a season ago.
Sophomore Lucia Bailey along with juniors Katie Utter and Jackie Atkins each earned solid results a year ago. Bailey tallied four top-10 finishes last winter, including a fifth-place performance in the slalom at the season-opening Colby Carnival. She also crossed the line in 20th during the GS at the NCAA event. Utter placed in the top 20 seven times in 2017-18, including a pair of 16th-place efforts in the slalom during the Dartmouth and Williams Carnivals. Atkins, a 2017 NCAA qualifier, recorded a season-best sixth-place run in the GS at the Colby Carnival.
On the men's side, the Panthers graduated a deep and seasoned group and will have some carnival spots to fill in 2019. Three experienced racers will aid the team's efforts this season, as sophomore Erik Arvidsson and seniors Angie Duke and Max Stamler return with quality carnival experience.
An NCAA All-American in the slalom during his first year with a fourth-place finish, Arvidsson posted top-10 finishes in 10 of the 12 races he completed last winter. He earned a podium spot in four races, highlighted by a runner-up effort in the slalom at the Williams Carnival. The 2018 EISA Rookie of the Year also tallied the 11th-quickest time in the GS during the NCAA Championships in Colorado.
Duke has six career top-20 finishes to his credit, highlighted by an 11th-place showing in the GS during last year's EISA Championships. Stamler competed in all but one carnival last winter, posting a season-best 18th-place finish in the slalom during the eastern championships.
Led by head coach Stever Bartlett, now in his 13th season at the helm of the program, the Panthers began their season with a November camp in Loveland, Colorado and pick things up after the winter break with a training camp at the Snow Bowl. Middlebury's six-carnival schedule begins with the St. Lawrence Carnival on January 11-12. The Panthers won't have to travel far when they conclude their season at the NCAA Championships, slated to happen from March 6-9 at the Stowe Mountain Resort and Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.