The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) championships that were held in Winter Park, CO on Feb. 23rd, and 24th and hosted by Denver University were a great success. The Alpine program was at Winter Park Mountain Resort, and the Nordic side was at perhaps the most beautiful of all Nordic venues: Snow Mountain Ranch. The snow was falling on and off throughout the whole weekend depositing an abundance of the “fresh stuff.”
The men kicked things off on Sunday with a 10km interval start skate race. Jimmy Vika, racing for The University of New Mexico put up an impressive result and took home the Regional Championship, winning by 7sec. over Tobias Schwoerer from the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Lars Krogsven also a Lobo from New Mexico was in 3rd. Top American honors went to Dylan Prosser who skied an exceptionally strong race in 4th. Other highlights went to Josh Smullin in 9th place, and Brian Gregg in 12th. Smullin skis for Colorado University and Gregg skis for the Mountaineers of Western State College.
Continuing with the men’s action, Monday the 24th brought the 15km mass start classic race. Cold conditions and simple waxing turned the race into one of strength and fitness. Tobias Schwoerer from UAA came up big with a 50 sec. victory. For Schwoerer this result continues his season of success and solidifies the argument that he may become National Champion next week in Hanover, NH. Two University of Colorado skiers followed in 2nd and 3rd. These two Buffs were Henrik Hoye in 2nd and Erling Christiansen in 3rd. Top American skier on the day was Jess Kiesel from the University of Utah in 4th. Kiesel skied a strong race to help the Utes out with scoring.
The women raced powerfully in their 5km interval start skate race on Sunday. Rebecca Dussault, an independent racer from good-ol’ Gunnison, CO took home top honors, winning by 8 sec. Top college racer was not a surprise: Katrin Smigun. For Smigun, this result continues her winning ways against the rest of the college ranks. Smigun skis for The University of Utah. 2nd place on the podium belonged to Martina Stursova from the University of New Mexico. CU skier Claire Critchley rounded out the podium in 3rd place, 23 sec back from Smigun. Abby McAllister from the University of Nevada skied an excellent race and ended up in 4th place to slide into the top American seat. Jessica Gray, skiing for Western State College skied a strong race into 7th place and 2nd American.
Next on tap for the women was a 10km mass start classic race on the same course. The pace was fast right from the start with teams battling for position. As the race unfolded, the cream rose to the top. Katrin Smigun took home another title and remained undefeated on the season. In 2nd place overall was Rebecca Dussault, skiing a strong race. The 2nd college ski racer across the line was Sara Svendson, also from the University of Utah. This capped a very successful weekend for the Utah women. Kristina Strandberg from New Mexico took home 3rd place out of the college skiers. Tara Hamilton, from Denver University, skied consistently strong again into 7th place taking with her the top American position on the day.
Complete men’s and women’s results can be found at <www.rmisa.org . Also found at this website is a complete list of NCAA team qualifiers who will be traveling to Hanover, NH next week (March 5th-8th) to try and prove just how strong the Western Ski Circuit is.
Good Luck to all at the NCAA Championships. Be sure to show everyone back “East” just exactly what it is we do out here in the “Wild West.”
UVM Wins 28th Straight EISA Title
By Gordon Wayne Woodworth
From UVM press release:
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The University of Vermont ski team came from behind in the final alpine events of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championships Saturday, using its strength in the Giant Slalom to overcome the deficit and win its 28th consecutive EISA title.
The streak is the longest conference championship winning streak of any sport in the nation, according to the NCAA, and comes in Director of Skiing Chip LaCasse’s 34th and final year at Vermont. The Catamounts finished with 859.5 points, 14.5 better than runner-up Middlebury. Dartmouth was third with 839 in one of the most hotly contested EISA championships in recent memory.
Vermont held a slim 13.5 point lead after the first day, and then saw that lead evaporate after the Nordic races. Vermont’s Ethan Foster (Weston, Vt.) won the men’s 20-K classical and Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) was second, but the UVM women finished sixth as a team in the 15-K freestyle, giving Dartmouth a 12-point advantage heading into the second run of the GS at the Middlebury Snow Bowl.
>As it has all year, Vermont’s alpine team was dominant, leading the Catamounts to the win. In the women’s GS, Jamie Kingsbury (Waitsfield, Vt.) solidified her top seed in the East with a huge win, with teammate Hilary McCloy (Bethel, Maine) second and senior captain Gillian McFetridge (Ottawa, Ontario) sixth.
On the men’s side, sophomore sensation Jimmy Cochran (Keene, N.H.), like Kingsbury the top-rated alpine skier in the East, added a second EISA title to his resume with a overwhelming victory in the GS. Vermont’s Paul Epstein was fifth.
The Catamounts will now enter the NCAA Championships as the East’s top team. The NCAA’s are being hosted by Dartmouth College on March 5-8, 2003.