The qualification criteria for the U.S. Ski Team’s National Training Group now includes a top-three finish from NCAA Championships, signaling a change in the way the national team involves collegiate skiing in its development pipeline.
After a one-year hiatus, our Skier of the Year awards are back. We start with the collegiate category, where for the first time in FasterSkier’s history of giving such prizes Americans took both of the top honors: NCAA freestyle champions Miles Havlick (University of Utah) and Joanne Reid (University of Colorado).
We know, we know: it’s FAHL-IN. But still. The World Cup wrapped up with spectacular races and plenty of sun in Stockholm and Falun, with Justyna Kowalczyk and Petter Northug winning the season-long titles and Kikkan Randall taking home not only the Sprint Cup but also third place in the overall. Plus, racing on this side of the pond at Whistler and Craftsbury.
Sorry, New Hampshire: the Vermont-based teams of Craftsbury, Stratton, and UVM had a lock on the podium at the Craftsbury Spring Tour after 10/15 k pursuits based on the previous two days’ results. Sophie Caldwell consolidated her lead to win by a mile, while Pat O’Brien worked some slick skis through the sunny snow to edge out Eric Packer.
Recently back from Europe, Sophie Caldwell has dominated Craftsbury’s mini-tour so far, winning the 3.6 k prologue by over 30 seconds and the sprint qualifier by ten. The men’s field is tighter, after Pat O’Brien and Paddy Caldwell dueled it out in the prologue and then the sprint final came down to a drag race between SMST2 teammates Eric Packer and Skyler Davis.
Cross-country action at the 2013 NCAA Championships kicked off on Thursday at the Rikert Touring Center with the men’s 10 k individual classic. Rune Ødegård helped move CU into second overall at the halfway point of the championships by winning the event in 26:00.2, five seconds ahead of University of New Mexico’s Mats Resaland. Our photos from the race.
Last season Anja Gruber wasn’t on the University of Vermont’s NCAA squad, this year she’s the 5 k classic national champion. “It’s pretty unbelievable right now — I’m not sure if this actually just happened!” she said. Dartmouth’s Mary O’Connell claimed second and Marine Dusser (UAA) took third. UVM leads CU after the first two NCAA Championship events at Middlebury College.
Men’s and women’s giant slalom kicked off the 2013 NCAA Championships on Wednesday at the Snow Bowl in Middlebury, Vt. The University of Vermont leads the team scores after the first of four events; nordic races begin on Thursday with a 5/10 k individual classic. Here’s a preview of who to watch as the East vs. West showdown heats up at Rikert Touring Center.
Weekly Race Roundup: Golden Americans, Historic Bronze for Harvey and NoCo, Another Birkie in the Books
Marit Bjørgen of Norway and Nikita Kriukov of Russia both have two gold medals to their names so far this Championships, and Dario Cologna finally got the title he’s been search for; but Americans made a splash too, in every discipline, with Sarah Hendrickson winning jumping, Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins the team sprint, and the nordic combined team bronze in the team event. Alex Harvey also made history when he took bronze in the classic sprint, the first individual World Champs medal for Canada.