Vermont wins first NCAA Championship in 18 years with highest point total in history
For the first time in 18 years as well as the 11-year career of director of skiing and head alpine coach Bill Reichelt, the University of Vermont Catamounts claimed the 2012 NCAA Championship title today (March 10) at Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, Mont. Despite leading by 92 points heading into the final day and ultimately tallying the highest number of points in the history of NCAA Skiing, there were times during today's slalom race when Vermont was threatened for the win.
At the conclusion of the first run, Utah's women claimed the top three positions. Vermont's Bobby Farrell was disqualified, and it seemed as if Utah might make a run for points to close the gap. But in the second run, UVM's Kate Ryley took the lead and her teammates Kristina Riis-Johannessen and Elli Terwiel were second and fifth, respectively. After a lengthy course hold in the hot sun that might have affected conditions, Utah's women dropped to tenth, twelfth, and fourteenth. Colorado's Erika Ghent rounded out the podium in third. Regardless of the results in the men's race, Vermont had already secured the overall.
As predicted, Denver's Espen Lysdahl had a clear shot to the top of the podium in the men's race, and he took the win over defending slalom champion Tim Kelley of Vermont. New Mexico's Chris Acosta moved up a spot from his first run to finish in third. A riveting battle for the second team overall ensued between Utah and Colorado as the Utes struggled to maintain their lead.
After four days of racing, Utah claimed second place by a 1-point margin over Colorado. Dartmouth College dropped back from third into fourth. On the strength of its men's alpine squad who won the slalom race for team points, Middlebury became the only Div. 3 school to crack the top-10 with its ninth place result.
It has been a banner winter for University of Vermont athletics whose men's basketball team qualified into the second round of March Madness play and faces the No. 1 seeded University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
For a detailed look at Vermont's storied run at the 2012 NCAA
Skiing Championship and all of the individual titles collected over the week, be
sure to read the NCAA feature in Issue 11 of Ski Racing, due out
Team scores at the conclusion of NCAA Championships:
Vermont - 832
Utah - 671
Colorado - 670
Dartmouth - 590
Alaska Anchorage - 519
Denver - 505.5
Montana State - 502.5
New Mexico - 487.5
Middlebury - 359
New Hampshire - 296
Northern Michigan - 227
Williams - 146
Bates - 139.5
St. Lawrence - 121
Harvard - 101
Colby - 86
Alaska Fairbanks - 81
St. Scholastica - 75
St. Michael's - 33
Colby-Sawyer - 32
Michigan Tech - 22
Photo of UVM Skiing by C.J. Feehan