The 2003 NCAA Championships got underway today at Oak Hill's Silver Fox Trails
in Hanover, NH. An exceptionally good winter has ensured great race conditions
on the challenging Dartmouth College trails.
In the women's 5K free race, the winner was no surprise. Katrin Smigun (younger
sister of World Champion Kristina Smigun) won by eleven seconds over Alaska-Anchorage's
Mandy Kaempf. Alaska-Fairbanks skier Sigrid Aas was third. The western teams
showed their dominance. Aas and NMU's Hilary Patzer in 9th were the only non-western
school skiers in the top 12. Alaska-Anchorage (UAA) skis in the western region,
while Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) races in the central region. The top eastern skier
Haley Johnson in 17th.
The Men's 10K Free results were not quite so western-heavy, though New Mexico's
Jimmy Vika did win by 30 seconds. Vermont's Lowell Bailey took second, UAA's
Tobias Schwoerer was third. Chris Cook was the top central skier in 4th place.
Other Americans in the top ten were Ethan Foster (UVM) in 7th, Brayton Osgood
(Dartmouth) in 9th, and Ryan Quinn (Utah) in 10th.
After the first day of competition, the western teams are dominating the team
competition. New Mexico holds 24 point lead over Utah, with Colorado another
seven points back. UAF is 4th, and UAA 5th.