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Nordic teams go the distance in mass start races at Dartmouth

Megan McClelland '11

Sylvan Ellefson '09

Abby Samuelson '10

Brandon Cooper '10

Ingrid Knowles '11

Sam Evans-Brown '09

Kirsten Gill '11

Dylan Mogk '09

HANOVER, N.H. -- Bates junior Sylvan Ellefson placed fifth overall in the men's 20K Mass Start Classic race Saturday at the Dartmouth Winter Carnival, leading the Bates men's Nordic team to fifth as a unit in the event.

Bates finished seventh out of 11 teams at the carnival with 469 points. Host Dartmouth won with 725. Through four carnivals this season, Bates has two fifth-place showings and two seventh-place showings.

Ellefson (Vail, Colo.) recorded his best finish of the season, finishing the race in 1:01.29.9 for fifth out of 64 competitors and scoring 32 points for the Bates cause.

Junior Sam Evans-Brown (Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H.) placed 14th in 1:02.52.2, followed by sophomore Brandon Cooper (Aspen, Colo.) in 21st (1:03.43.3) and junior Dylan Mogk (Bozeman, Mont.) in 28th (1:04.58.6).

The Bates women's Nordic team also placed fifth in their Saturday event, the 15K Mass Start Classic. First-year Megan McClelland (Keene Valley, N.Y.) led the team for the second straight day, placing 16th out of 62 competitors in a time of 55:48.6. Sophomore Abby Samuelson (Freeport, Maine) came in 21st (56:56.7), followed by first-year Ingrid Knowles (Cumberland, Maine) in 26th (57:47.7) and first-year Natalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.) in 30th (58:20.6).

McClelland finished 21st out of 62 in Friday's 5K Freestyle Race in a time of 15:21.0. First-year Kirsten Gill (Jackson, N.H.) came next for the Bobcats in 23rd, followed by Knowles in 24th and Samuelson in 29th.

In Friday's men's 10K Freestyle race, it was Cooper who led the Bobcats, placing 21st out of 64 racers in a time of 26:51.0. Mogk was close behind in 23rd (26:53.0), while senior Matt Dunlap (Farmington, Maine), Evans-Brown and junior Tim Whiton (Portland, Maine) all packed into the top 30 in 25th, 27th and 28th place, respectively.

Bates competes next weekend at the Williams College Carnival, in the penultimate EISA carnival of the season.

View complete Dartmouth Carnival results at http://www.eisaskiing.org/BART/Results08/doc08.htm.