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Gill leads ‘Cats to second-place finish

In what was UNH skiing’s best all-around performance this season, the team posted unprecedented marks.

Finishing second overall was one of the team’s major accomplishments this weekend. It’s their highest ranking thus far, but the team was especially pleased to finish above the Winter Carnival host, University of Vermont.

Head coach Cory Schwartz was proud of his team’s accomplishments.

“We came in second behind Dartmouth who had a pretty big lead, but we were excited to beat UVM. They’re a pretty tough team to beat,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz made some comments about the snow conditions in northern Vermont and how they factored into UNH’s success.

“We had a little different weather this weekend from what we’re used to—roughly half a foot of snow over the course of the day. It makes visibility quite hard, but [UNH] did a nice job on the trails and slopes, which is very impressive,” Schwartz said. “We took advantage of the situation and made the best of it.”

Schwartz was hardly concerned about missing three of his skiers this week to the World University Games, despite their importance to the team. Alpine skiers Phil Rivet (Quebec), Lisa Wedsjö (Sweden) and Sohvi Virkkula (Finland) are hardly insignificant—together, they put up 74 points last week at the UNH Carnival.

“The team did a good job this week, even without those three [skiers],” Schwartz said.

UNH had six skiers on the podium this weekend. An unsure Schwartz even questioned his own memory regarding the team’s history.

“We might not have ever had that many people on the podium in one weekend. As you can imagine, we’re all very proud of that performance. In the freestyle event, [the] women won yesterday’s race, beating both Dartmouth and UVM. That’s quite a feat,” Schwartz said.

The team has been and continues to be pushing forward with their goals in mind. While finishing first is high on that list, it’s one of the team’s top priorities to get as many qualifiers for the national championship as possible. Although it’s based on individual results, a full team effort will be important moving forward.

“Going forward, as we continue to come together strong, getting faster each weekend which is something we want to focus on this year,” Schwartz said. “We’re going to get as many people at national’s as we can.

With only three weeks left until the national championship, teams are using what few opportunities they have before then to prepare. Among those are the Dartmouth and Middlebury Carnivals before the NCAA Regional Championships.

Cross-country standouts Silje Wilson, Elizabeth Gill and Maddy Pfeifer dominated at Trapps Nordic Center and piloted the Women’s team to first place, stomping out Dartmouth and UVM soundly.

Next weekend the team travels to Oak Hill/Dartmouth Skiway to take on the first-place Dartmouth on their home turf. There, the complete UNH team will seek to put it all together and come out strong with the gold.

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