Men's Nordic Dominates at Rikert as Wood Wins the 15K Classic

Sam Wood celebrates his win in the 15K classic at Rikert (Will Costello).
Sam Wood celebrates his win in the 15K classic at Rikert (Will Costello).

The Panther ski teams turned in excellent performances on day one of the 96th annual Middlebury College Carnival. Dartmouth leads with 458 points, followed by Middlebury (448), Vermont (397) and Williams (293). Sam Wood (nordic) and Erik Arvidsson (alpine) both earned wins on Friday afternoon for the Panthers. Action concludes tomorrow with nordic events beginning at 10:00 a.m. and the giant slalom getting underway at 9:30 a.m.

The men's nordic team had a dominating day on the course at the Rikert Nordic Center. The Panthers won the 15K classic event, owning three of the top four finishes. Wood earned his second collegiate victory, covering the course with a time of 39:16. Two spots back in third was Lewis Nottonson, whose time of 39:21 was just five seconds off the pace. Peter Wolter garnered fourth-place honors in the event, finishing with a time of 39:37. Also posting a career-best effort was Samuel Hodges, who placed 12th in 40:18.

The women raced to a strong third-place finish in the 10K classical event. Annika Landis paced the Panthers in fifth place, coming in with a time of 30:02. Earning a career-best finish of 10th place was Mae Chalmers, who finished with a time of 31:10. Just three seconds behind her in 11th was Alexandra Lawson with a time of 31:13.

Arvidsson earned his first-collegiate win for the Panthers at the Snow Bowl, taking home the slalom title with a time of 1:37.84. Justin Alkier placed a career-best 12th-place finish, earning a two-run time of 1:39.75. Rounding out the Middlebury scorers was Angie Duke, who came in 29th overall in 1:41.53. Tim Gavett was seventh after the first run, but fell on his second trip down the hill as the Panthers placed third overall.

The women's alpine team placed three racers in the top eight to finish second overall in the slalom. Lucia Bailey led the pack, with a career-best finish of third place in 1:45.46. Next for the Panthers was Caroline Bartlett, who came in with a time of 1:45.58 to place sixth overall. Also earning the top finish of her collegiate career was Madison Lord, who placed eighth overall with a two-run time of 1:45.88.