FRANCONIA, N.H. — Dartmouth junior Brian McLaughlin put together two strong runs to claim third place in the men’s giant slalom on the first day of the NCAA Skiing Championships hosted by the University of New Hampshire. As a team, the Big Green ended the day fourth overall with 107 points, trailing Montana State (149), Utah (136) and Denver (133).

By finishing among the top five, McLaughlin earned first-team All-America honors and led the men’s alpine team to the second-best total (70 points), 11 behind Utah, which placed all three skiers among the top 12. It is the second All-America honor of McLaughlin’s career, having earned a spot on the first team in the slalom last year.

The start of the giant slalom, originally scheduled for 9 a.m., was pushed back two hours due to the forecasted rain in the morning. But as the day progressed, the skies cleared and the sun emerged, leading to the temperature reaching about 50 degress. Both the rain and the warm weather led to some choppy conditions as the day grew longer.

But when Big Green junior Foreste Peterson launched to get the race under way, conditions were at their best as she finished her first run in 1:09.78, which turned out go be good for sixth. Junior Kelly Moore and sophomore Alexa Dlouhy nearly matched each other in 1:11.15 and 1:11.30, respecitvely, to sit right in the middle of the pack in 15th and 16th.

Another change to the schedule led to the men going through their first run following the women (the schedule originally called for the women to go through both runs before the men), and Dartmouth fared even better with all three skiers posting top-seven times. McLaughlin zipped down in 1:07.77, good for second place, followed by freshman Tanguy Nef just two-hundredths of a second behind his teammate. Senior Thomas Woolson continued the Big Green success with a time 1:08.51 to claim seventh.

For the second run, the top-30 skiers went in reverse order of finish, and faced a course with different gate placements, leading to faster times. The course also proved treacherous, particularly late in the women’s run as three of the top 10 — including the top two — from the first run failed to finish. Unfortunately, Peterson was one of the three to fall victim to the course as she could not navigate a section about halfway down that gave numerous skiers issues. Both Moore (1:09.01) and Dlouhy (1:08.92) once again produced near-identical times with Moore placing 12th with a combined time of 2:20.16 and Dlouhy 13th in 2:20.22.

Montana State took the top two spots with Benedicte Lyche taking the gold in 2:17.58 and Stephanie Gartner the silver in 2:17.71, while Utah’s Roni Remme finished third in 2:18.07. But even with Lyche and Gartner on top, MSU could only share the team title in the women’s giant slalom with Denver, whose skiers placed fourth, fifth and seventh, as both teams tallied 85 points. New Mexico posted 59 points, just ahead of Utah with 57, while Dartmouth was fifth with 37.

When the men were ready for their second run, the sun was getting lower in the sky, and the shadows seem to help firm up the course with none of the top-25 skiers failing to finish. Woolson put together a solid time, but fell back to sixth at the conclusion of his run, and ended up just outside the top 10 in 11th with an aggregate time of 2:15.63.

Nef stumbled a bit near the top of the course on his second tour, yet was able to recover and complete his run, though he finished 15th overall in 2:16.19. McLaughlin, on the other hand, sported the fourth-fastest time on his second attempt, nearly catching the first-run leader, Sam Dupratt of Utah, falling short by three-hundredths of a second. But it was Colorado’s David Ketterer that leapt ahead of everyone, going from sixth to the top step of the podium as he posted a combined time of 2:13.51.

Utah took the men’s giant slalom team crown with 79 points, beating out the Big Green (70), Montana State (64) and Colorado (62).

On Thursday, the competition shifts to the Jackson Ski Touring Center for the classic races, starting with the women’s 5K at 10 a.m. The men will compete in a 10K at 11:30 a.m. Both races will be at staggered individual start.