FasterSkier was on-site at the 2015 NCAA Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., where the University of Colorado won its 20th national title. Check out our photos from the nordic events.
NMU’s Fredrik Schwencke skied to victory in Friday’s 20 k classic mass start, avoiding a crash in the final meters of the race which took out Colorado’s Rune Malo Ødegård and New Mexico’s Aku Nikander. In the women’s 15 k New Mexico’s Emilie Cedervaern double-poled past Utah’s Veronika Mayerhofer to her first NCAA victory.
Excitement was high in upstate New York as the 2015 NCAA Skiing Championships kicked off in Lake Placid with the men’s 10 kilometer and women’s 5 k freestyle interval starts. Dartmouth’s Patrick Caldwell claimed his first national title, while the University of Utah’s Veronika Mayerhofer led a western sweep in the women’s race.
After more than three decades, the NCAA Skiing Championships are back in Lake Placid, N.Y. While the a lot has changed since 1983, the week’s competitions promise to be the most exciting collegiate races of the season as Colorado, Utah, Denver, and Vermont battle for the title of 2015 national champion.
The University of Colorado was crowned champions of the RMISA college racing scene this season after championships were held in low-snow Anchorage, Alaska, on the back of the UAA Invitational. Mads Stroem and Rune Oedegaard of CU and Emilie Cedervaern of the University of New Mexico dominated the proceedings.
EISA racing concluded this past weekend in Lake Placid, NY. These Regional Championships, hosted by St. Lawrence University, featured a festive atmosphere and challenging courses, and served as a precursor to next week’s NCAA Championships, also hosted by SLU. Paddy Caldwell returned to dominant form in the men’s races, while Heather Mooney and Annika Taylor continued to vie for top women’s honors.
Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt (Rocky Mountain Racers) didn’t have a great start, but she held off a charging Russian to finish 12th in the 15 k skiathlon at U23 World Championships. She believes she accomplished something else, too: potentially earning a place on Canada’s team to senior World Championships in Falun.
Scott Patterson followed up his 13th place in the 15 k skate with a 15th place in the 30 k skiathlon at Under-23 World Championships – a solid showing, according to coaches, but by his own assessment missing the results goals he had set for himself. U.S. teammate Paddy Caldwell placed 20th, and Joanne Reid led the American women in 25th.
Arnaud Du Pasquier, a member of Colorado University’s 2014 squad to NCAA Championships, will be a senior next year. For now, though, he’s taking a year to complete his mandatory military service in his native Switzerland – which he’s doing by skiing full-time, including in the Nations Group at the Davos World Cups.
For reasons as wide-ranging as fairness of competition, stress on athletes, health of coaches, and saving money, several North American ski and biathlon organizations have policies limiting the use of high-fluoro waxes at some competitions. And they have nothing but positive feedback from their experiences.
For Some Countries, World University Games Offers Bragging Rights; For University of Wyoming, It’s the Trip of a Lifetime
You might see it as a missed development opportunity that the U.S. is the only country not to send its very fastest college athletes to the World University Games (we’ll explain why). But the Univerisity of Wyoming, races their hearts out, and also uses the opportunity for more than skiing: expanding athletes’ horizons, learning, and instilling a lifelong love of sport.
Twice each fall, the University of Alaska Anchorage’s nordic and alpine teams converge on their favorite sandbox for a sufferfest of sand-dune sprinting. “The family that plays together stays together and the ski team that suffers together can win together,” Kastning explains of their larger NCAA goals.
James Upham had a good run in Sochi: his Paralympic skiers won three medals – the first by U.S. women in 20 years – and before that at the Olympics Susan Dunklee, a college skier he had recruited to be a biathlete, turned in the best performance ever by a U.S. woman. Now he’s returning to his home of Maine as an assistant coach at Bates College.