At last weekend's St. Lawrence University Carnival in Lake Placid, N.Y., the Big Green's perseverance combined with hard and firm snow put them that much closer to the top this season.
On Jan. 18 and 19, the Big Green men's and women's ski teams placed second with 788 points in a field of 16. The University of Vermont led with 1,013 points and The University of New Hampshire came in third with 748.5 points.
While the alpine skiers faced tough snow conditions in Stowe, Vt. at the Vermont Carnival on Jan. 11 and 12, more typical conditions this time around left the team better prepared.
"We didn't have a good game plan for dealing with the conditions [in Vermont], and sometimes you have to modify your strategy," head men's alpine coach Peter Dodge said.
The first day of competition included the men's and women's freestyle Nordic races and the men's and women's giant slalom.
Highlights included the men's 20-kilometer freestyle, in which four out of the top six finishers were from the Big Green. Silas Talbot '15 took second place with a 48:05.8, while Scott Lacy '13 took third place with a 48:16.7. University of Vermont junior Scott Patterson finished first, with a time of 45:54.5.
For the men's alpine team, Hunter Black '15 placed fifth overall in the men's giant slalom with a time of 1:59.94. Black said he was "more satisfied with the results" of this weekend, and definitely saw improvement in his skiing from the Vermont Carnival.
"The hill was more suited for me," he said.
The women's Nordic team secured a third-place victory in the 15-kilometer freestyle on the first day, with the Big Green women scoring 88 points total. Carly Wynn '15 was the Big Green's top finisher, taking sixth place with a 42:13.5. Wynn said that hard work and dedication helped her thrive.
"Sustained climbing is tough for me, which made the courses this weekend tough," she said. "I wish my classic skiing was as good as my skating."
For the female alpine skiers, Lizzie Kistler '16 finished in sixth place in the giant slalom with a combined time of 2:05.90.
Aylin Woodward '15 placed 11th in 2:07.20 and Abby Fucigna '15 came in right behind Woodward in 12th with a time of 2:07.31.
On the second day, the men and women competed in slalom races and free sprints.
Kistler improved from the day before, and finished in third place in the women's slalom, with a total time of 1:29.35.
Wynn, also building on momentum from the previous day, finished third in the women's three-kilometer free prologue, with a time of 9:13.9.
The Big Green men represented six out of the top 12 in the three-kilometer race. Thomas Rabon '16 took fifth, finishing in 8:07.2, and Lacy placed sixth, with a time of 8:07.8. David Sinclair '14 came in eighth, with a time of 8:09.2. These finishes helped boost Dartmouth's overall score in the event to 107 points.
"I'm trying to get everyone up to competing better," Dodge said. "We're training well, and our technique is good, but we need to be more aggressive and more confident. There is a learning curve and, with improved conditions and a little more experience, who knows?"
The men's alpine team is young, with three freshman starters.
"[The freshmen] are adjusting mentally, from viewing skiing as an individual sport to competing as a team," Black said. "It takes adjustment, racing for 24 other people."
The team looks forward to competing on their home turf during Winter Carnival, Feb. 8-9.
"It's a lot of fun to be on your home hill, and nice to have the advantage," Black said.
Improved conditions during future carnivals would also benefit the Big Green.
"Hopefully we get some snow," Wynn said.
The Big Green alpine team will compete at the Colby Carnival at Sugarloaf in Maine on Friday and Saturday. The Nordic portion of the carnival will take place in Waterville Valley, N.H.