“We’ve had really good training this year,” Ryley says. “We had an excel-
lent Colorado camp in November, and training at Stowe has been awe-
some — great conditions, always timing. But I think the real reason we’re
having success as a team is that we have awesome coaches. Their number
one goal is to make sure we’re having fun, and I think if you’re having fun
you’re going to ski fast.”
UVM has indeed been the dominant alpine force on the EISA circuit
this season, with athletes such as David Donaldson having also won five
of eight races and Lyndee Janowiak finishing just ahead of or just behind
Ryley in nearly every race. But Ryley says the best is yet to come.
“Lyndee is skiing so well,” Ryley says. “She’s got so much speed, she’s
winning training runs every day and she’s going to win a few more races
this season. The rest of the team, too. Looking to NCAAs, New Mexico
has an unbelievable alpine team, but I think we’ll give them a run for
Because she turns 24 later this year, Ryley has only a single season left
of NCAA eligibility, but she says the focus and perspective she’s gained
while being at UVM has been invaluable, and that she’s now better than
ever at embracing the moment.
“When I was on the national team, I was always worried about what I’d
be doing next month or next year,” Ryley says. “I was never really focused
on what I was doing at the time. At school you’re just exposed to so much
more than the sport. Of course I think about the future, but I’m much
more focused on just appreciating the moment.”
Whatever the secret, Ryley is skiing fast enough so that the Canadian
Megan Ryley races the UVM
LINCOLN BENEDIC T/EISA ( 3)
national team is definitely taking notes. Though she she’s not certain
she’d go back to the national team even if the opportunity presents itself, she knows she’ll be better equipped to succeed in the event that she
does. She also says that, because of the perspective it lends, more people
should take a serious look at using college as a stepping-stone for the
“My [frame of mind] would be so much different if I went back to the
national team,” Ryley says. “Four years ago, skiing was starting to feel like
a job. Now, I realize it’s only a sport — and I realize how lucky I am to be
doing it. I was telling my parents not long ago that I feel bad for people
who never get a chance to experience college racing.”
Dartmouth Carnival Roundup
The Dartmouth College Carnival took place on Feb. 12 and 13 at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth Skiway and at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. For the fourth time this season,
Dartmouth finished first and UVM finished runner-up. There was, however, finally a shake-up
in the top five, as Middlebury bumped New Hampshire from the third-place spot after UNH
had a stranglehold on third throughout the first half of the season.
Patrick Johnson at the
On Feb. 12, Middlebury’s Patrick Johnson, Dylan Grald, and Graham Egan dominated
the men’s 3 x 5K relay, besting Dartmouth’s Patrick O’Brien, Nils Koons, and Eric Packer
by more than 20 seconds. Johnson also put down the fastest individual time of the relay,
and then followed it up with a third-place result in the 20K mass start classic on Feb. 13.
Middlebury’s alpiners also performed well: Nicole Dvorak finished second in slalom and
fifth in GS as Bobby Poehling led the men with a stellar second-place slalom result.
In what now seems to be routine fashion, Dartmouth placed five skiers in the top 10
of the ladies’ 15K mass start classic, and Big Green was again led by Ida Sargent, who
scored still another compelling victory. UVM’s Caitlin Patterson and Jennie Bender finished
second and fourth, while teammate Caitlin Curran — who seems to get stronger each
week after switching from alpine to nordic just a few years ago — pulled through with a
fine seventh-place result. Bates skier Natalie Ruppertsburger finished fifth, making that her
second top-five finish in as many weeks.
RMISA action resumes at the Nevada Invitational in Lake Tahoe on Feb. 19 and 20. EISA
schools will race the Williams College Carnival on the same dates.
Dartmouth’s Ida Sargent
at her home event.