HANOVER, N.H. — The NCAA announced the complete field of skiers that will compete at the Skiing Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on March 7-10, and for the third straight year, Dartmouth will have the full complement of 12 skiers competing for a national title.
As one of the eight schools maximum allowance of skiers participating, Dartmouth is in a strong position to make a run for its fourth national title, particularly after winning five of the six Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnivals this winter. Other schools featuring a dozen skiers are Alaska Anchorage, Colorado, Denver, Montana State, New Mexico, Vermont and the defending champion, Utah.
Since the Big Green last won the championship, Colorado and Denver have dominated as the two schools have combined to win eight of the last 10 years with each earning four. Vermont was the only team to break that stranglehold, besting the field by a whopping 161 points in 2012, before Utah overcame a 34.5-point deficit on the final day to overtake the Pioneers last year. And other than Dartmouth’s crown in 2007 and the Catamounts’ in 2012, no other team from the East has won the title in the past 23 years.
The Big Green are blessed with plenty of experience having nine of their 12 skiers that previously competed in at least one NCAA Championship, including all three alpine men — sophomore Tanguy Nef (Geneva, Switzerland), and seniors Brian McLaughlin (Topsfield, Mass.) and Thomas Woolson (Warren, Vt.). All three have earned All-America honors with McLaughlin and Woolson doing so each of the last two years and the former grabbing a podium step in both the slalom and giant slalom once apiece. Nef is the top-ranked skier in the East this year, having finished in the top three eight times with five victories, with McLaughlin a close second and Woolson sixth.
For the women on the slopes, both senior Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, Calif.) and junior Alexa Dlouhy (Montreal, Quebec) have been to the NCAA Championships every year of their Big Green career. Peterson, who made her World Cup debut last year as well, has earned first-team All-America honors the last two years, first in the GS (for which she is ranked first in the East this year) and again last winter in the slalom by placing third. Dlouhy specializes in the slalom (second in the East) with 12 podiums in the event in her career, but is looking to make All-America First Team this year after garnering second-team honors in each of her first two seasons. Making her first trip to the championships is sophomore Stephanie Currie (Toronto, Ontario), who took second in the GS at the EISA Championships last weekend.
With all the experience and success on the alpine team, the Big Green may be their strongest with the women’s Nordic team. Freshman Katharine Ogden (Landgrove, Vt.) has exploded on the scene this winter to win five races, finish on the podium in three others and place no worse than fourth. Dartmouth also has a pair of skiers that competed at the US World Junior Championships in early February: junior Lydia Blanchet (Anchorage, Alaska) and sophomore Lauren Jortberg (Boulder, Colo.), both of whom competed at NCAAs last year with the latter earning a spot on the All-America Second Team in the classical race. Ranked 2-4 in the East, expect these young women to make their presence known next week.
The men’s Nordic team will be led by a pair of veterans in seniors Luke Brown (St. Paul, Minn.) — a second-team All-American in the freestyle in 2017 — and Callan DeLine (Avon, Colo.). Brown is ranked second among the East skiers and DeLine fourth, and both have hopes on claiming a top-10 spot at NCAAs to garner All-America honors. Joining the duo will be junior Gavin McEwen (Weston, Mass.), who has been adept in the freestyle races by finishing sixth or better five times this season with a stop on the podium at Williams two weeks ago.
The EISA also announced their postseason awards after the regional last week, including the All-East teams, which Dartmouth dominated by taking 10 of the 20 spots on the first team:
In addition, Ogden was named the EISA Female Nordic Rookie of the Year, while men’s alpine coach Peter Dodge was named the EISA Alpine Coach of the Year for the third time in his 29-year career.
The NCAA Championships, webcast live on NCAA.com, will begin on March 7 with the giant slalom at Mount Werner before the remainder of events will take place at Howelsen Hill the next three days.