FRANCONIA, N.H.–The snow hardened and became slick as the temperatures dropped over the course of the past week at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. Racers had to ski both technically sound and aggressively if they wanted a chance to be crowned the fasted NCAA slalom skier, let alone make it down the hill on Friday.
The University of Colorado’s freshman David Ketterer has already written himself into the history books by winning the men’s slalom with a time of 1:49.23. University of Vermont’s William St. Germain and the University of Denver’s Erik Read finished second and third, 0.40 seconds and 0.69 seconds back, respectively.
Ketterer became just the fifth person in NCAA skiing history to win both the slalom and giant slalom championship titles. Ketterer now has seven wins this season, four slalom races throughout the season, the GS RMISA divisional title and both NCAA titles.
“It was a tough day, very demanding hill and a very demanding slope,” Ketterer said of Friday’s slalom. “It was super icy, which we don’t ski that much in Colorado, so I was kind of expecting a tough day for me.”
Ketterer sat in fourth place after first run, and he was not happy being off of the podium, but he was glad to be just 0.30 off of the leader.
“I thought ‘just go for it’ in the second run,” Ketterer said.
He didn’t think his skiing was any better technically second run, but the intensity he brought to the course was enough to give him the edge. Ketterer said he felt the pressure coming into the championship races after such a successful season, which didn’t make the event any easier, but now that it is over he couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
“I am even happier now that I took it down and scored the maximum amount of points for the team,” Ketterer said.
As for the women, Paula Moltzan from the University of Vermont found the top of the podium after letting it slip away two days earlier. Moltzan took the slalom title with a combined time of 1:56.57. Andrea Komsic of the University of Denver took second, 0.51 seconds back, and Dartmouth’s Foreste Peterson placed third, 0.89 seconds behind.
Moltzan, who is also a freshman, was in third after first run and was not happy with the result, saying she thought she skied too conservatively.
“When I have a bad first run, I usually get pissed enough that I gotta really go second run,” Moltzan said.
Much like her male counterpart, she took everything she had into second run and came out on top.
“It’s really amazing to come in as a freshman, rookie of the year, the qualifications, but finally being able to put it out on the paper and have it be real and to support my team in this endeavor,” she said.
Moltzan was one run away from completing the same historic sweep as Ketterer. She found herself in first place after the first run of the giant slalom, but unfortunately her ski came off on the second run and she was unable to finish.
“I was definitely a little bit bitter after the GS, I had a really good first run and then just hit a hole,” she said, while adding, “I hate when things go wrong and they’re not technically your fault.”
With just one Nordic race left in the series, the University of Denver leads with 419 points. The University of Utah is currently in second, with 384 points and the University of Colorado sits in third with 377 points.
Although the NCAA team trophy won’t be handed out until the Nordic races finish on Saturday, March 11, the alpine events are finished. The University of Denver presented itself as the strongest alpine team of the season, accumulating 287 points in the championship events, followed by Dartmouth with 250 and Montana State University with 236.
The NCAA Championships will finish on Saturday March 11, with the Nordic freestyle races at the Jackson Ski Touring Center. Full results for the event can be found here.