Ski Team Takes Second Place at NCAA Championships

Sophomore Lowell Bailey led a 2-7-11 finish for the University of Vermont men’s nordic team during the first day of competition at the NCAA Ski Championships last Wednesday.

Bailey finished the 10-kilometer freestyle race in 24:33.5, second only to New Mexico’s Jimmy Vika, the two-time defending champion in the event who finished in 24:03.9. Bailey earned first-team All-America honors for his effort. Teammate Ethan Foster finished seventh in 24:56.8, while Ryan Foster was 11th in 25:26.1. As a team, Vermont won the men’s freestyle with 100 points.

In the women’s 5-K freestyle race, junior captain Emily Klemp finished 26th in 14:42.7. Utah’s Katrin Smigun won in 13:29.7.

The NCAA Championships continued Thursday with the men’s and women’s Giant Slalom.

Freshman standout Jamie Kingsbury won the individual national title for the Cats in the giant slalom as Vermont moved from eighth to third place after the second day of the Championships.

Kingsbury entered the race as the top skier from the East, and she backed up her sterling reputation with two great runs at the Dartmouth Skiway to win by seven-tenths of a second. Her second run of 1:00.15 was nearly a second better than all others.

In winning, Kingsbury becomes the fourth UVM skier to win the women’s GS, joining Keri Schlopy (1991), Sally Knight (1992) and current Catamount alpine assistant coach Erica MacConnell (2001). She is also the first freshman to win an individual title since teammate Matt Knittle won the men’s GS in 2000.

Senior captain Gillian McFetridge finished fifth in 2:11.03, while Hilary McCloy finished 32nd. On the men’s side, Vermont’s Jimmy Cochran finished third with a two-run total of 2:00.26. Knittle was 12th (2:01.56) and senior captain Scott Kennison finished 17th (2:02.65).

Sophomore captain Ethan Foster then earned first-team All-America honors as he finished second by two-tenths of a second in the 20-kilometer classical race at Day Three of the Championships

Foster finished the event in a time of 58:43.6, while the winner, Christopher Cook of New Mexico, crossed the line in 58:43.4. Lowell Bailey was 11th (60:39.8) and Ryan Foster was 24th (62:31.9). In the women’s 15-K classical race, Vermont’s Emily Klemp was 33rd with a time of 52:31.4.

Vermont ended up having a remarkable showing at the NCAA Ski Championships, which concluded Saturday, finishing second despite having an incomplete team for the meet.

Vermont went 2-3 in the men’s slalom, with Jimmy Cochran earning first-team All-America honors with a second-place finish and senior captain Scott Kennison taking third. In the women’s race, Hilary McCloy was fourth to earn her first first-team All-America certificate, while GS national champion Jamie Kingsbury was seventh.

Vermont finished with 551 points, second only to Utah, who dominated with 682 points. Colorado was third with 546.5 points, New Mexico was fourth (541.5) and Denver fifth (522.5). Dartmouth was the next Eastern school, finishing sixth with 472.5 points.