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Fine relay performances follow Ellefson's win for Nordic team

Sylvan Ellefson '09 became the first Bates man to win an EISA carnival Nordic race. (Photo by Kris Dobie / EISA)

WOODFORD, Vt. -- The Bates College men's Nordic ski team finished fifth and the women's team finished sixth in the Classic 3x3 Sprint Relays Saturday as the Williams College Winter Carnival concluded.

Bates' Nordic and alpine teams combined to place seventh out of 11 teams at the carnival. With 471.5 points, Bates was edged by Colby (478.5) for sixth place. Dartmouth won with 617 points.

Bates juniors Dylan Mogk (Bozeman, Mont.) and Sylvan Ellefson (Vail, Colo.) teamed up with sophomore Brandon Cooper (Aspen, Colo.) to place fifth out of 20 three-man teams, winning 66 team points with a combined time of 28:09.1.

On the women's side, first-years Megan McClelland (Keene Valley, N.Y.), Ingrid Knowles (Cumberland, Maine) and Kirsten Gill (Jackson, N.H.) finished seventh out of 19 groups in a time of 33:44.7, earning 59 points. Finishing just behind in eighth were the Bates trio of sophomore Abby Samuelson (Freeport, Maine), junior Nicole Ritchie (East Dummerston, Vt.) and first-year Natalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.).

In Friday's Nordic action at Prospect Mountain, Ellefson won the 10K Freestyle race, becoming the first Bates man to win an Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association carnival Nordic ski race.

Ellefson finished in 23:19.2, 5.4 seconds ahead of runner-up Nick Kline from Colby, scoring 33 points in the carnival team competition and reaching the ultimate total of 100 NCAA Championship qualifying points.

Ellefson qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second straight year in 2007 and finished 11th in the Men's 10K Free Technique race, but he was hampered by illness as the 2008 carnival season began. But he has returned dramatically to form in his last two individual races. Last Saturday at the UVM Carnival he placed fifth in the 20K Men's Free Technique race.

Ellefson's performance propelled the men's Nordic team to second place as a unit in the Men's 10K, with a whopping 79 points. The Bates ski team as a whole ends the first day of the carnival in seventh place out of 11 teams, with 222 points.

Mogk and junior Sam Evans-Brown (Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H.) joined Ellefson in the top 15 in the race out of 62 total competitors. Mogk timed in at 24:07.5 and Evans-Brown finished in 24:09.7. Cooper placed 21st.

The Bates women's Nordic team placed sixth in the Women's 5K Freestyle race on Friday. Gill led the Bobcats with a 16th-place showing of 13:31.8, with her first-year classmates Knowles and McClelland not far behind in 22nd and 24th places, respectively, out of 59 women.

Find all carnival results at http://www.eisaskiing.org/BART/Results08/woc08.htm.