Vermont skiers win big


University of Vermont Ski is NCAA National Champions. This is the school’s sixth ski championship and their first since 1994.

Senior Franz Berstein got the winning started, placing third in the men’s 20k Classic, and senior Amy Glen won the women’s 15k Classic in a photo finish to help the Catamounts build a 92-point lead over second place Utah after Nordic events on Friday.

Vermont accumulated a NCAA National Ski Championship record total of 832 points; a record-breaking 161 points over second place Utah who had 671. Defending champions Colorado rounded out the top three with a total of 670.

“It was an incredible effort by the entire team. They put together an awesome week to earn this,” said Bill Reichelt, UVM’s director of skiing and head alpine coach. “The Nordic team did an unbelievable job yesterday and set the alpine team up in strong position going into today. Coaches Patrick (Weaver) and Andrew (Johnson) nailed the wax both days for the Nordic team and the kids were amazing.”

On Saturday, sophomore Kate Ryley flew away with the women’s slalom title putting down a 43.27 second first run and a two run total of 1:35.17, just 17 tenths of a second faster than teammate first-year Kristina Riis-Johannessen. The two lead a Vermont 1-2-5 finish in slalom after Ryley earned national runner-up in GS.

Ryley is the first Catamount to win a women’s individual national title since Gibson LaFountaine won back-to-back championships in 1993 and 1994, and just the third woman ever in school history.

“We had a great feeling going into the last day,” said Reichelt. “The girls were conservative on the first run, but stepped it up for the second run – to finish 1-2-5 in the slalom at the NCAAs is pretty incredible.”

In the men’s slalom, defending national champion, junior Tim Kelley missed a repeat by just 24 tenths of a second behind Denver’s Epsen Lysdahl. Kelley led a UVM 2-7 finish in men’s slalom.

Vermont had 17 total All-Americans distributed between ten individuals. Kelley earned the honor for his performance in men’s giant slalom (GS) and slalom, while sophomore Jonathan Nordbotten earned second-team in both events. First year Bobby Farrell was also awarded second team in GS.

Among the women, senior Lucy Garrec was named first-team in both Freestyle and Classical Nordic along with fellow senior Caitlin Patterson. Amy Glen earned first-team for her performance in women’s Classical and second team in Freestyle. Kate Ryley and first-year Elli Terweil both earned first team honors in both of the women’s slalom events, while Riis-Johannessen earned first-team in slalom.