Skiing in Eighth After First Day of NCAA Championships
PARK CITY, Utah — The first day of the NCAA Skiing Championships is complete with the conclusion of the giant slalom, and Dartmouth finished the day in eighth place with 54 points. The host Utah Utes took full advantage of their home course to lead the field with 165 points, 35 ahead of Denver and New Mexico.
Warm weather throughout the week left the course a bit soft, and the competing teams had very little opportunity to practice on the slopes prior to today’s competition. Junior Abby Fucigna (Hopkinton, Mass.) was the first Big Green skier to rip through the course, recording a solid time of 1:02.77, which eventually landed her in 14th place. It was sophomore Lizzie Kistler (Santa Rosa, Calif.), however, who enjoyed the best run for Dartmouth in 1:01.89, good for ninth. The other competitor for the Green was sophomore Maisie Ide (Minneapolis, Minn.), whose time of 1:03.53 left her in 20th.
All 34 of the women completed their first run, but the mountain claimed a few the second time down the slopes. Unfortunately for Dartmouth, Kistler was one of the five who lost control, taking her out of the running for a spot in the top 10 and leaving just Fucigna and Ide to score points. Fucigna struggled a bit on her second run and fell a few spots to 18th (2:00.99), while Ide improved enough to rise one spot to 19th (2:01.02), giving the Big Green 25 points.
While Utah took two of the top three spots on the podium, it was Denver’s Kristine Gje Haugen who won the race with a combined time of 1:56.39. She led the field after the first run, then posted the second-best time by a mere one-hundredth of a second the next time down to win beat out Ute Kristiina Rove by more than half of a second. Rove’s teammate, Chloe Margret Fausa, was right on her heels at 1:56.98, just 0.03 seconds shy of her time.
The men kicked things off a little before 1 p.m. local time, and the racers from the West did very well on the first run with nine of the top 11 coming from that region. In 12th place was Big Green sophomore Robert Overing (Rothesay, N.B.) at 58.54 seconds, while freshman Dylan Brooks (Mammoth Caves, Calif.) had the 19th-best time (58.89) and junior Ben Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine) 26th (59.46). The second runs were all a bit slower for the field as no one broke 1:01. Overing dropped back to 19th with a combined time of 2:01.92, Brooks was next in 20th at 2:02.13 and Morse climbed one spot into 25th at 2:02.78.
Utah’s Mark Engel ripped through the course with the best time on each run to beat the competition by more than a full second in 1:58.56. Armin Triendel of New Mexico claimed second in 1:59.70, and Niko Harmanen out of Alaksa Anchorage took third in 2:00.09. The only school from the East to crack the top 14 was Vermont with one in sixth and another in ninth.
The championships continue tomorrow at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, with the women’s 5K Classic at noon (EST) and the men’s 10K Classic at approximately 2 p.m. (EST).