O’Connell joined forces with junior Annie Hart (Stillwater, Minn.) and freshman Corey Stock (Lincoln, Mass.) to amass 102 points and tie for the team lead in the event. At the first checkpoint of the interval start, O’Connell posted a split of 7:41.4, which put her in fourth place. But in her sprint to the finish line, she just slipped past skiers from Alaska Anchorage and Colorado with a time of 15:42.2 to earn her spot on the podium and a first-team All-America honor. Hart sped her way to seventh place in 16:04.1 to garner second-team All-America honors, while Stock finished right in the middle of the 40-skier field in 20th with a time of 16:36.8.
Vermont’s Anja Gruber claimed the top spot on the podium by besting O’Connell’s time by 11.1 seconds at 15:31.1. Tying Dartmouth for the team lead was Colorado with skiers taking fourth, sixth and 16th.
The Big Green men also had a skier earn first-team All-America honors in the 10K Classic as sophomore Silas Talbot (Anchorage, Alaska) comfortably finished in fifth place with a time of 26:36.7, nearly 10 seconds ahead of the two competitors that tied for sixth. One of the favorites in the race, senior Sam Tarling (Cumberland, Maine), got off to a bit of a slow start and was in 25th place at the first checkpoint. He then found his stride, making up more ground than any other skier, finishing in 12th place in 27:04.7. Senior Scott Lacy (Aspen, Colo.) was the first Big Green skier to launch on the day and posted a time of 27:35.3, good for 22nd place.
Colorado’s Rune Oedegaard bested the field to win the race in 26:00.2 with Mats Resaland of New Mexico claiming second slightly more than five seconds off the pace. Yet it was Alaska Anchorage that took the team title in the event with three skiers in the top 10 to register 108 points.
The championships continue tomorrow morning with the slalom at Middlebury’s Snow Bowl. The women will have their first run at 9 a.m., with the men heading down at approximately 10:15 a.m. The second runs for each will take place at 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.