Ski Team Opens Up Carnival Season at Bates - Mooney & Cone Earn Wins

Heather Mooney won for the seventh time this season.
Heather Mooney won for the seventh time this season.

The Middlebury ski teams opened up the 2015 carnival circuit by taking part in the Bates Carnival in Maine. The Panthers sit in fourth place after one day of competition with 357 points, as Vermont (447 points) and Dartmouth (426 points) pace the teams. Nordic action is taking place at Black Mountain, while the alpine events are being contested at Sunday River.

The nordic women had a great day on the 15K classic course, placing second overall. Middlebury was led by Heather Mooney, who won the event with a time of 49:33. The Panthers featured three racers in the top 11, as Kelsey Phinney finished 10th overall in 50:02. Just behind her was Stella Holt, who placed 11th with a time of 50:11.

On the men's side, three Panthers finished among four racers during the 20K classic race. Patrick McElravey led the group in 27th place, finishing with a time of 1:02.42. Next up was Adam Luban (1:02.48), who was just six seconds behind in 28th place, while Evan Weinman was 30th (1:02.50).

The men's alpine team also had a big day, with two finishers in the top three to help the squad win the GS. Rob Cone led the field with a combined time of 2:10.14, including a blistering 1:05.85 in the first run (almost two seconds faster than any other competitor). Not far behind was Christopher McKenna, who earned a third-place finish in 2:11.27. Rounding out the team's scorers was Ghassan Gedeon Achi, who covered the course in 2:13.30 to place 13th.

Mary Sackbauer led the Panther women, finishing with a time of 2:16.21 to place 11th in the GS.Kara Shaw was next for Middlebury in 24th place (2:17.56), followed by Elle Gilbert in 25th (2:17.59).