BARTLETT, N.H.-The Dartmouth College alpine ski team took care of business in the slalom and the overall Big Green ski program became national champions on Saturday, March 10, the final day of the NCAA Skiing championships held at Attitash and hosted by the University of New Hampshire.
Dartmouth held a 38-point advantage over second-place Denver heading into today's competition and led by 50 points in the final NCAA standings with 698 points as compared to Denver's mark of 648 points. Defending national champion University of Colorado was third with 592 points, followed by Utah (536), Vermont (400.5), Middlebury (390), New Mexico (390), Northern Michigan (380), Montana State (310), Nevada (288.5), New Hampshire (255), Alaska Anchorage (243), Bates (251) and Alaska-Fairbanks rounded out the teams with over 200 pionts. In all 22 teams scored in the event.
This marked the third time Dartmouth has won the national skiing title, as the program also took the NCAA Skiing Championship in 1958 and the last time was 31 years ago in 1976. An Eastern team had not won it all since 1994 when Vermont earned the most points here in New Hampshire.
The Big Green was unbeaten this season in the EISA carnival circuit and went on to win the Eastern Championship for the first time since 1975.
"This team has come together like it never has," said Dartmouth men's nordic coach Ruff Patterson. "We were solid in all four groups and it has taken us a long time to get to this point. It seems like everything just came together for us here for many, many, many reasons. This has just been mind-boggling and wonderful."
After the men's second run in slalom, Dartmouth held a 25-point lead over Denver (605-580), despite a first-place finish by Denver's Adam Cole, who also won the Giant Slalom on Thursday. Dartmouth's David Chodounsky, who placed second, was just .04 behind Cole with a time of 1:43.40, which had the large crowd cheering for the Big Green. Rounding out the first-team All-Americans, Andrew Wagner of Middlebury was third (143.55), Scott Veenis of Utah was fourth (1:44.32) and in fifth place was Denver's Francesco Ghedina with a time of 1:44.45.
"This is so great for Dartmouth,"said Chodounsky. "It's hard for me to understand how long it has really been since we won and how big this really is, but it feels great and everyone seems happy for us. There were so many people out there rooting for us. The alums are so happy and have been coming up to congratulate us."
The list of second-team All-Americans included Lars Loseth of New Mexico in sixth, seventh-place John Bucher of Denver, Evan Weiss of Dartmouth, Scott Hume of Nevada and Joshua Bryan of Coloroado rounded out the top 10.
So with a 25-point lead at stake, the pressure was on the Dartmouth women's alpine skiers and they responded in fine fashion, assuring the Big Green of a victory with three skiers finishing among the top 13. Two, Lindsay Mann (who placed second) and Michelanne Shields (who finished 10th) earned All-America honors in the slalom, Mann was named to the first-team and Shields to the second.
The winner of the women's slalom was New Mexico's Malin Hemmingsson with a clocking of 1:45.77, the silver medal went to Colorado's Lucie Zikova (1:46.0) and earning the bronze medal was host school New Hampshire's own Veronique Archambault-Leger, a freshman who posted a 1:46.14. The final first-team All-American was Claire Abbe of Colorado.
The list of second-team All-Americans included: Mikaela Grassi of Utah, Kara Crow of Vermont, Mattie Ford of Middlebury, Lisa Perricone of Colorado and Shields from Dartmouth.
"This was a total team effort and everyone on our team had great races the entire week," said Dartmouth Nordic skier Elsa Sargent. "It's a victory that we all will share and can all be very proud of."