DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. – Henning Dybendal of Utah finished the 10K free technique course in 21:27.9, just in front of Lowell Bailey of Vermont and Erling Christiansen of Colorado and Alaska Fairbanks' Sigrid Aas beat Alaska Anchorage's Mandy Kaempf in the women's 5K freestyle race here at Auburn Ski Club Thursday to highlight the first day of cross country skiing at the 51st NCAA Skiing Championships.
Aas zipped through the course in 11:55.5, eight seconds in front of runner-up Kaempf, who completed the course in 12:03.3. Aas recently finished an impressive fourth in the sprint at the Norwegian National Championships. Barbro Hatlevik of Utah finished third in 12:06.8. International racers skiing for western colleges dominated the women's race. The top American skier was Nicole Deyong of Alaska Anchorage in 9th place, while the top skier from east of the Rockies was Kate Newick, skiing for Middlebury. UAF, while geographically in the west, skis in the Central Region for NCAA qualifying.
The men's race was slightly more balanced, with UVM's Lowell Bailey taking second place as the top home-grown finisher, behind Utah's Dybendal. Six of the top ten men were American.
New Mexico won the women's Nordic team event with 93 points, ahead of Alaska Anchorage's 88 and Utah's 80.5. In the men's Nordic event, Colorado scored 96 to edge Vermont with 93 and Utah with 87. Host Nevada finished ninth in both the men's and women's Nordic events.
Nevada is hosting its third NCAA Skiing Championships and first since 1962 in addition to this year's events and the school staged the first NCAA Championships in 1954 at Slide Mountain and Sky Tavern.
The team standings, which combine men's and women's scores for all events, has Denver maintaining its lead with 333 points while New Mexico moved into second with 307 and Utah took over third with 304.5 ahead of Vermont in fourth with 295. Nevada remained in ninth with 178 points.
The four-day championships continue through Saturday. The slalom will be held Friday at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort starting at 9:30 a.m. near the mid-mountain lodge and the women's 15K and men's 20K classical Nordic races will be held Saturday at Auburn Ski Club at their training center on the West side of the Boreal Ski Area parking lot, starting at 9 a.m.
Team Scores After Four Events (Day Two): 1. Denver 333; 2. New Mexico 307; 3. Utah 304.5; 4. Vermont 295; 5. Colorado 275.5; 6. Middlebury 259.5; 7. Alaska Anchorage 226; 8. Dartmouth 202; 9. Nevada 178; 10. Alaska-Fairbanks, 132; 11. Colby 112.5; 12. Williams 93; 13. Montana State 81; 14. Northern Michigan 77; 15. New Hampshire 65; 16. Western State 48; 17. Boise State 41; 18. St. Lawrence 24; 19. Whitman 21; 20. Bates 18; 21. Harvard 17; 22. Michigan Tech 2; 23. Wisconsin-Green Bay 1.
Source: Nevada-Reno Press Release and BART results