Oliver, Vest-Burton Lead Skiing to 4th at NCAA Championships (Day 1 of 4)

Jenna Kantor

NCAA Championship Central | Team Preview | Video Preview | Women's Giant Slalom Video

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.Coley Oliver (Salt Lake City, Utah) tied for second place and Taylor Vest-Burton (Breckenridge, Colo.) took sixth place Wednesday in men's giant slalom to spark the University of New Hampshire skiing team to fourth place overall on the opening day  of the 2013 National Collegiate Men's and Women's Skiing Championships, hosted by Middlebury College. 

The Wildcats, with 165.5 points, are behind Vermont (227 points), Denver (210.5) and Colorado (175.5), with Utah (164.5) one point behind the 'Cats in fifth place with three days of racing remaining.

Oliver earned a spot on the All-America First Team by recording a two-run time of 2 minutes, 3.18 seconds in GS at the Middlebury Snow Bowl to share the silver with Utah's Jeremy Elliot for 45.5 team points. Jonathon Nordbotten of UVM won gold in 2:03.12. Vest-Burton finished in 2:03.60 to collect All-America Second Team accolades and 37 team points. Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) took 16th place in 2:04.15 for 24 points, giving the UNH men's alpine team second place in GS with 106.5 points. The Catamounts posted 115 points to win the race. 

Earlier Wednesday, Jenna Kantor (East Burke, Vt.) posted a 12th-place finish in giant slalom to narrowly miss All-American by 0.12 seconds in the women's GS race. Kantor's combined time of 2:08.17 netted 28 points to pace a trio of Wildcat alpine racers. Randa Teschner (Petawawa, Ontario) placed 19th in 2:08.90 for 21 points, and Catherine Blanchard (Eastman, Quebec) locked up 10 points by finishing in 30th place (2:10.37). UNH finished fourth with 59 points in a race shared by co-victors Vermont and Denver (112 points each).

The NCAA Skiing Championships continue Thursday, March 7, with the first two Nordic races at Rikert Touring Center: women's 5K classic at 10 a.m. and men's 10K classic at 12 p.m.

Alpine racing returns to Middlebury Snow Bowl on Friday, March 8, with the women's slalom (9:30 a.m.) and men's slalom (10:15 a.m.), and the NCAAs wrap up Saturday, March 9, with the Nordic women's 15K freestyle mass start (10 a.m.) and the men's 20K free MS at 12 p.m.

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