MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The NCAA Skiing Championships began today with the giant slalom, and Dartmouth finished the day in 10th place with a total of 76.5 points. Freshman Sara Kikut (Burlington, Vt.) had the highest finish for the Big Green women or men, tying for 14th.

Vermont, the defending national champion, has the lead with 227 points, while Denver lurks in second with 210.

On the first run of the day, Kikut was in 18th place out of 33 skiers with a time of 1:05.08 with sophomore teammate Abby Fucigna (Hopkinton, Mass.) right behind in 19th by one-hundredth of a second. The EISA women’s alpine Rookie of the Year, freshman Lizzie Kistler (Santa Rosa, Calif.), sat in 28th after her first run in 1:05.96.

Kikut posted the 10th-best time on her second run, which was nearly two seconds faster, to finish with a combined time of 2:08.32 in 14th. Fucigna dropped back to 24th in 2:09.32, and Kistler remained in 28th at 2:10.09. The trio combined for 53 points, good for eighth in the event.

The men were at a disadvantage with just two skiers compared to 10 teams with three. Sophomore Hunter Black had a solid first run in 1:02.87, good for 14th,. But a delay on the course as he was set to head down for his second run — due to a spectacular head-over-heels wipeout — may have affected him as he fell back into 27th with a combined time of 2:05.38. The other Big Green skier, sophomore Ben Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine), improved by more than 2.5 seconds on his second run, but was relegated to 30th with a time of 2:06.08.

The second day of competition will feature the Nordic skiers in the classical races with the women going 5K and the men 10K. The women lead off the interval start at 10 a.m., and the men begin at noon at the Tormondsen Family Race Course. For more information on the NCAA Skiing Championships, visit the championship website, which has links for live video and live scoring.