Continental Cup/NCAA

UVM's Anja Gruber, center, celebrates her NCAA title in the 5km classic with her teammates.RIPTON, Vt. – The University of Vermont retained its lead in the 2013 NCAA Alpine Skiing Championships after Day Two, March 7, and the first round of nordic races at Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center.

UVM finished the giant slalom races on March 6 leading Denver by just seven and a half points. Following the men’s 10km classic and the women’s 5km classic, the defending national champion Catamounts were 20.5 points ahead, with 389 points to 368.5 for the University of Colorado, now in the runner-up spot.

Colorado had a strong day in the classic races, with Rune Oedegaard winning the men’s 10km event and the women’s team tying for first in the 5km race with Dartmouth. But UVM had its moments at Rikert, too, including a victory for Anja Gruber in the women’s race.

After Day Two, Utah was in third place, with 350 points, Denver was fourth (328) and New Mexico fifth (280)

Colorado's Rune Oedegaard stands on top of the podium after his win in the 10km classic.The men’s race in the morning saw Oedegaard, who had a strong season in Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association competition, ski a solid, mistake-free race, finishing in 26:00.2, just 5.2 seconds ahead of New Mexico’s Mats Resaland. Viktor Brannmark from the University of Alaska-Anchorage was third in 26:28.5. Middlebury’s Ben Lustgarten skied one of his best races of the season to finish fourth (26:32.6) and Dartmouth’s Silas Talbot was fifth (26:36.8). Two of the pre-race favorites, UVM’s Scott Patterson and Utah’s Mike Havlick, an NCAA champ last year, suffered crashes that took them out of contention for the win, but they regrouped to tie for sixth in 26:46.2.

“It was just a big day,” said Oedegaard, from Norway, who was fifth and seventh in NCAA races last year. “I’ve been working hard for this all season, all the training in the fall, thinking about this race. Perfect skis. … I was a hammer out there.” Oedegaard also liked the Rikert course: “It’s really cool because it’s challenging all the way. There’s a lot of high speed and some tough uphills. You’ve got to work all the way.”

The men’s team event went to Alaska-Anchorage with 108 points, followed by Colorado (91), Utah (87), Dartmouth (86) and New Mexico in fifth (74). UVM was next with 67 points.

In the women’s race, Gruber, from Germany, crossed the line in the stadium at Rikert in 15:31.1 and collapsed, having given everything she had to edge Dartmouth’s Mary O’Connell by 11.1 seconds. Third place went to Marine Drusser of Alaska-Anchorage (15:43.0), fourth to Joanne Reid of Colorado (15:44.2) and fifth to Utah’s Sloan Storey (16:02.1). Middlebury’s Annie Pokorny, who had won two 5km classic races during the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association carnival season, suffered a crash on one of the big downhills on the Tormondsen Family Race Trail and wound up in 18th.

“It feels amazing. It’s pretty unreal right now,” said Gruber, after winning a national title in her first NCAA race. “I don’t know that this actually happened. But yeah it’s just amazing. We have been so nervous this whole week. … You just try to stay calm and then we had a lot of good talks with our teammates and our coaches and said, ‘We’ve done this all season and it’s worked so why isn’t it going to work today?’ So we just thought that we were going to go out and ski our best and that it’s going to work. Pretty amazing that it actually worked.

“We have had such a great season; we’ve shown such great depth. And I think we weren’t actually that worried,” Gruber said. “Because there’s been so much talk about we’re so inexperienced. But really, how many races have we done in our life? How inexperienced are we really, right? It’s just another race, it has a bigger name maybe, and there’s more fans, but that’s just great. We put on a little more glitter.”

In the women’s team event, behind Dartmouth and Colorado which tied for first with 102 points, came Utah with 98 points, UVM with 95 and Alaska-Anchorage with 80.

Racing continues tomorrow with the slalom events for men and women at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl.

Top photo: UVM’s Anja Gruber, center, celebrates with teammates after capturing the NCAA title in the 5km classic race.

Bottom photo: Rune Oedegaard of Colorado stands on top of the podium after winning the men’s 10km classic.

NCAA Skiing Championships
March 7, 2013

Day Two Team Standings

1. University of Vermont (UVM) 389.0
2. University of Colorado (CU) 368.5
3. University of Utah (UU) 350.0
4. University of Denver (DU) 328.0
5. University of New Mexico (UNM) 280.0
6. University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA) 274.5
7. Dartmouth College (DAR) 263.5
8. University of New Hampshire (UNH) 228.5
9. Montana State University (MSU) 200.0
10. Middlebury College (MID) 178.0
11. Northern Michigan University (NMU) 111.0
12. Williams College (WIL) 60.0
13. St. Lawrence University (SLU) 53.0
14. University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) 52.0
15. Colby College (CBC) 43.0
16. Bates College (BAT) 23.5
17. Harvard University (HAR) 22.0
18. University of Maine-Presque Isle (UMP) 15.0
19. St. Michael’s College (SMC) 11.0
20. College of St. Scholastica (CSS) 2.0
21. Bowdoin College (BOW) 0.5

Men’s 10km Classic

1. Rune Oedegaard, CU, 26:002
2. Matts Resaland, UNM, 26:05.4
3. Viktor Brannmark, UAA, 26:28.5
4. Benjamin Lustgarten, MID, 26:32.6
5. Silas Talbot, DAR, 26:36.8
6T. Miles Havlick, UU, 26:46.2
6T. Scott Patterson, UVM, 26:46.2
8. Lasse Molgaard-Nielsen, UAA, 26:50.6
9. Lukas Ebner, UAA, 26:51.3
10. Erik Soderman, NMU, 26:56.5
11. David Norris, MSU, 27:01.0
12. Sam Tarling, DAR, 27:04.7
13T. Andrew Dougherty, DU, 27:05.5
13T. Einar Ulsund, UU, 27:05.5
15. Niklas Persson, UU, 27:07.2

Women’s 5km Classic

1. Anja Gruber, UVM, 15:31.1
2. Mary O’Connell, DAR, 15:42.2
3. Marine Dusser, UAA, 15:43.0
4. Joanne Reid, CU, 15:44.2
5. Sloan Storey, UU, 16:02.1
6. Maria Nordstroem, CU, 16:03.3
7. Annie Hart, DAR, 16:04.1
8. Linda Davind-Malm, UVM, 16:05.7
9. Silje Benum, DU, 16:10.0
10. Anna Svendsen, UU, 16:17.1
11. Rose Kemp, UU, 16:19.2
12. Patrica Sprecher, UAA, 16:19.9
13. Clara Chauvet, UNM, 16:20.7
14. Jessica Yeaton, MSU, 16:21.6
15. Mary Kate Cirelli, NMU, 16:22.9

Article Tags: Continental Cup/NCAA , Top Story
Tim Etchells
Former Ski Racing editor



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