Northeast Wild Western Mass Weekend
In collegiate racing, we see down turns and upswings. This past weekend was one of those times. If it could be described with just one word, it would be “resurgence.” Women’s A racing had more starts then in the previous four years. The Men’s C endurance fields were jaw dropping in contrast to the last couple years. Finally, the camping scene at Holiday farm encompassed nearly have of the weekend’s participants.
The Women’s XC race featured two new comers to ECCC MTB racing. Laura Ralston (MIT) and Elizabeth White (UVM) were the main agitators. Ralston has a huge engine developed from as a multiple time road national champion; although, her technical skills left her at a disadvantage. In the end, the world cup level skills of White proved too much for Ralston.
Women’s Dual Slalom featured a showdown between Elizabeth White (UVM) and Carolyn Carlstrom (RPI). When the dust settled, White was the victor. The course favored a ride who was strong in the dusty, loose terrain.
The women’s STXC was a study in teamwork. After the first couple of laps, a duo of UVM riders (Elizabeth White and Emily Paxson) emerged at the front, mirrored by a tandem from UNH (Molly Bulger and Emily Peltilt) several seconds later. This was the status quo for nearly half of the race, each group striving to set the race on favorable terms for their team. In the twilight laps of the race, Paxson’s pace proved too high for her teammate, White faded back. By the time the bell rang for the final lap, Paxson’s lead was well established; she had time to savor her victory. White held on for second place and Bulger fought in to third place.
The Women’s downhill was an open and closed affair. Elizabeth White (UVM) ran away with the race, winning by over a minute. Carolyn Carstrom (RPI) confirmed her second place DS finish with the same result in the DH. Emily Paxson (UVM) came down with a strong third place finish, despite riding a hardtail xc bike with rim brakes.
Forest Parsons (UVM) emerged the victor in the Men’s XC race. Greg DiSanto (UNH) finished over a minute back. Rounding out third place was Jacob Warshaw (UVM).
The Men’s DS boiled down to Adam Gange (UMASS) and Ben Elliott (UDel). The first heat went to Elliott, but only by a slim margin.Thanks to the ECCC’s laser eye system, finishes can be gauged down to the thousandth of a second. It was a good thing too. The second heat was close, but the victory went to Elliot.
The Men’s STXC started with the same script as the XC race from the day before. Forrest Parsons (UVM) started the race quickly. His efforts filed the race down to a select few, including: Greg DiSanto (UNH), Jake Warshaw (UVM), Nathaniel William (UMASS), and Taylor Smith (UVM). Parsons led the race around the course for several laps. Once the race entered the second half, Greg DiSanto attacked. Parson’s efforts had left the other riders powerless to respond. From that point on it was a solo effort for DiSanto to the line. The other riders were left to fight it out amongst themselves. Parsons eventually secured second and Smith charged to third.
Ben Elliott (UDell) was able to repeat his win from the day before. Adam Gange (UMASS) and Rowan Bateman (Cornell) had a close decision for second place. At the line, a mere eight tenths of a second distinguished the two. In the end, it was Gange who reclaimed his second spot from the day before.