UVM Ski Team to Host NCAA at Stowe

Though they often go unacknowledged, the UVM ski team is fantastically talented, on par with the skills of the much-acclaimed basketball team. The ski team won five of the six team titles on the EISA (Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association) carnival circuit. Each carnival is a two-day series of skiing events hosted by a particular school.

As luck would have it, the only carnival UVM lost all season was it’s own, at Stowe Resort and Trapp Family Lodge, on February 4-5 to archrival Dartmouth. Despite that one aberration, UVM has had astounding success on the slopes this year, reclaiming their title of “Beast of the East” that was on the line after an off year in 2004. This success was largely due to a particularly strong women’s Alpine team, led by Jamie Kingsbury, who is the 2003 NCAA giant slalom champion.

The men’s Nordic team has also been on fire this year, led by Lowell Bailey and Ethan Foster, who are the top-ranked racers in classical and freestyle, respectively. Another core member of the team is junior Amy Cochran, of the women’s Alpine, who is the winner of two EISA slaloms in 2005 and a promising competitor in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athleteic Association).

Due to their incredible performance this season, the UVM ski team has secured 12 spots on the NCAA roster – the limit of student-athletes allowed to participate from one institution. The women’s Alpine competitors are Amy Cochran, Jamie Kingsbury, Jilyne McDonald, while the men’s Alpine boasts Johnny Davidson, Paul Epstein, and Greg Hardy. For the Nordic competitions, the men’s competitors are Lowell Bailey, Ethan Foster, and Ryan Foster. The women’s Nordic consists of Kate Crawford, Emilia DeMarchis, and Carina Hamel.

The actual NCAA tournament will also be hosted by UVM at their home mountain, Stowe. In both 1980 and 1990, Vermont captured the NCAA title on their home turf, and they hope to do the same this year. “We are very excited to be hosting the 2005 NCAA Ski Championship,” said Joe Fischer, Assistant Director of Athletics at Vermont and championship director for the NCAA. The opening cermonies for the NCAA tournament will be held on Tuesday, March 8th at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa at 5:30, followed by the 2005 NCAA Ski Championship banquet. The following morning, the championship begins. The Alpine events will be held first, running March 9 and 11 at Stowe Mountain Resort. The men’s and women’s giant slaloms will be held March 9, with the men’s and women’s slaloms conducted March 11.

Nordic events will follow, on March 10 and 12, at the Trapp Family Lodge. The women’s five-kilometer and men’s 10-kilometer classical cross-country races will be held March 10, and the men’s 20-kilometer and women’s 15-kilometer freestyle cross-country races will be held March 12. The skiing NCAA tournament is four days of the most skilled college skiing in America, and is scheduled to be held this week right here in Vermont, only an hour from UVM.

The team and the coaches encourage students to come out and cheer them on.

For directions to Stowe, and to where the specific sites at Stowe where the events will be held, check out the UVM Athletic Department website at www.uvmathletics.com and click on the NCAA Ski Championship link in the left-hand column. Once there, you can find directions under the heading “Directions and Lodging,” or a specific schedule of events under the heading “Spectator Information.”