Catamounts Settle for Third in NCAA Skiing Championships

Although the UVM Ski team had a 54 point team going into the fourth day at NCAA Championships, the University of Colorado skied right past UVM and even Utah in the womens 10k and mens 20k freestyle Nordic races.

The Colorado Buffaloes finished in first with 708 points followed by Utah with 665, Vermont with 653, and Denver with 629.

With the luck of the draw, all three men and women alpine competitors got to start in the top seven.

For the male competitors on the alpine team junior Jonathan Nordbotten, was a highlight, winning the Giant Slalom the first day and fourth in the Slalom event. Slalom is an event in which participants must quickly maneuver through multiple poles placed closely together down the mountain.

I dont try to do anything special, Norbotten said. I ski normally and dont think too much about it the more you complicate things the harder it gets, said Nordbotten.

Sean Higgins, a senior from Nevada was fifth in the GS and finished 19 in Slalom; and Travis Dawson, a junior from Alberta was 14 in the GS and 11 in Slalom.

For the women sophomore Kristina Riis-Johannessen, was close to another individual win both days finishing third in the GS and second in Slalom.

Junior Kate Ryley, was fifth in the GS and sixth in Slalom; Elli Terwiel, a sophomore from British Columbia finished 11 in the GS.

Alpine head coach Bill Reichelt said the UVM alpine program has a good reputation for being competitive on a national level.

The program self perpetuates a tradition of doing well, Reichelt said. The athletes themselves are the best recruiters when they know they can come to UVM and improve.

Another highpoint for the womens Nordic team was Anja Grubers win in the 5k Classic and 21 in the 15k Freestyle. Gruber, a junior from Germany, later commented on the great athletic abilities of her teammates and that overall the team did their best job.

The last two carnivals in the EISA we ended up winning some races and as a team standing overall our womens team was the strongest, which was great because Dartmouth has a really strong team, said Gruber.

Janey McClelland, a senior from New York finished 28 and 24; Linda Danvind Malm, a freshman from Sweden finished eighth and 20. Colorado finished one and two in the 15k FS gaining seventy points and taking the lead.

After last year the Womens Nordic was so strong, to have another team is really cool. The Nordic staff does an awesome job with recruiting and preparing these kids cant say enough good things, said Reichelt.

For the mens Nordic races junior Scott Patterson, finished seventh in the 10k Classic, but could not hold on in the 20k Freestyle, finishing 26.

Junior Rogan Brown, finished 29 in the 10k Classic and 27 in the 20k FS; Jorgen Grav, a freshman from Norway finished 20 in the 10k Classic and 33 in the 20k FS despite a crash in the first round.

Utah Miles Havlick won the mens 20k FS race securing a second place over all pushing the Catamounts back to third.

According to the UVM Athletics website, the Catamounts swept the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Circuit and title for the first time since 2000.

Vermont came into the championships trying to win back to back championships for the first time since 1989 and 1990.