Denver began the day in third but took over the lead by scoring 169 points on the day, winning both the men’s and women’s races, with five of its six skiers finishing among the top 10 to earn All-America honors. Utah fell back into second place with 248 points through two days of competition, 51 behind Denver, while Colorado moved up a spot into third with 240.5 points. Dartmouth has 131 points, while Vermont leads the schools from the East with 186.5, good for fifth.
Hart, a four-time All-American, just missed out on her fifth such honor by finishing seven-tenths of a second shy of the top 10 with a time of 14:30.8 in the 5K Classic. She had not finished lower than ninth in any of her previous 23 races, including four at NCAA Championships. Making her first NCAA appearances was senior Isabel Caldwell (Peru, Vt.), who wasn’t far behind Hart in 14th place in 14:41.3. Sophomore Corey Stock (Lincoln, Mass.), who was sick the night before the race, valiantly would not give up but finished in 38th in 16:03.2.
Although Vermont’s Anja Gruber won individual honors with a time of 13:38.4, the women’s race was dominated by skiers from the West and Central regions as no other East skier placed in the top 10. Denver claimed the team honors with 80 points with Vermont second at 65 and Northern Michigan third at 59.
The NCAA wasted no time in starting up the men’s 10K Classic as the first competitors in the staggered start launched before the women’s race was even complete. After the first lap, Talbot was in 12th place with senior David Sinclair (Waitsfield, Vt.) in 17th and freshman Patrick Caldwell (Lyme, N.H.) in 24th. With the weather warming up quickly, the course got considerably slower for all of the skiers on the second lap as nearly everyone was a minute or more slower. Talbot was unable to close the gap and fell back to 14th with a time of 25:52.8. Sinclair was able to maintain his position and finished 17th in 26:13.4, and Caldwell advanced two places into 22nd in 26:52.7.
The men’s race was even more dominated by skiers from the West and Central as Talbot was the top finisher from the East with Sinclair next. Colorado’s Rune Malo Oedegaard claimed the top spot on the podium in 24:34.5, more than 11 seconds ahead of Denver’s Pierre Guedon. Although the Buffaloes had two of the top four skiers, the Pioneers had three in the top eight to score 89 points to lead the field. Colorado was right behind with 83, and Northern Michigan finished third as it did in the women’s race with 66.
The championships continue tomorrow back at Park City Mountain Resort, beginning with the first run of the men’s slalom at 11 a.m. (EST) followed by the first run for the women at noon (EST).