STOWE — This year’s NCAA Ski Championships is starting to resemble a high-stakes game of cards after the amount of reshuffling that went on Thursday.
Dartmouth entered Day 2 in sixth place after UVM and Utah had nearly double the Big Green’s point total. But the Ivy League powerhouse stormed back on the Alpine trails at Stowe Mountain Resort, surging into first place behind a 1-3-4 finish in men’s giant slalom.
Dartmouth (259 points) now leads the way after shooting in front of Utah (252.5), Vermont (245), Denver (228), Colorado (218) and Northern Michigan (147). The New Mexico Lobos (147) are also in contention entering Friday’s Nordic action at Trapp Family Lodge. The national championships will wrap up with Saturday’s slalom finale.
The University of Vermont women kicked off the GS racing with two top-five results and one DNF. Catamounts senior standout Laurence St.-Germain laid down the fifth-fastest first run and teammate Paula Moltzan was sixth, but Millie Graesdal failed to finish her first run for UVM. St.-Germain and Moltzan quickly shifted into damage-control mode, steeping up during the second run to help their team bounce back. St.-Germain’s second run was a full second faster than most of her competitors’ times, giving the Olympian a comfortable victory to lock up the individual national title. She finished in 2 minutes 0.57 seconds to give her team 40 points, while Moltzan’s fifth-place result (2:02.01) gave the Cats 29 more points.
Utah kept its early lead intact during the women’s downhill race, with Utes finishing second, eighth and 15th for a total of 75 points. Dartmouth’s Patricia Mangan (third, 2:01.56), Steph Curry (13th, 2:03.54) and Alexa Dlouhy (20th, 2:05.34) set the table for the Big Green, scoring 63 points. Although Dlouhy was nearly five seconds behind St.-Germain, her ability to stay in control led to an 11-point contribution in the team standings. Middlebury’s Caroline Bartlett was the first-run lead before finishing 11th (2:02.9).
Dartmouth junior Tanguy Nef won the men’s GS in 1:56.1 for his second NCAA title. Senior teammate James Ferri (1:57.55) was third, while Waitsfield product Drew Duffy (1:57.71) was fourth.
“That was a super team effort today,” Dartmouth men’s Alpine coach Peter Dodge said. “The guys worked together to figure it out and had amazing performances. Tanguy absolutely killed his second run, Drew set the tone with his first and I couldn’t be happier for James, who battled back from so many injuries to get here.”
Patrick McConville (eighth, 1:58.36) and Max Roeisland (19th, 1:59.36) led the way for UVM, while Justin Alkier (ninth, 1:58.42) paced Middlebury. The only men’s team that even came close to challenging Dartmouth was Denver, but the Pioneers’ total of 79 points was still far behind the 105 points that the Big Green earned.
Duffy, a former Green Mountain Valley School racer, was briefly in second place after his run of 56.82 seconds. He trailed McConville by a mere 0.01 seconds before Ferri surpassed both with a time of 56.69. Only three skiers were better, one of those being Nef. The 20th skier to race, Nef led the pack with a first-run time of 56.57.
With the second run held in reverse order of time, the Dartmouth trio had to wait for nearly everyone else before hitting the slopes. Duffy turned in the sixth-fastest time for the second straight run, good enough for fourth place. After McConville fell behind Duffy, Ferri posted a time of 1:00.87 to move ahead of Duffy. Colorado’s Max Luuko was in second after the first run but he also fell behind Duffy, leaving Nef to make a run at the title.
The Swiss native did not disappoint as he bolted to the best second run as the only one to break the one-minute mark (59.53 seconds). The victory earned him his second NCAA individual title after he won the slalom last year. Nef finished second in the GS last year but was not highly ranked in the discipline this year. He raced in the event three times during carnival season, earning his only podium finish in January.
Racing will resume with at 10 a.m. Friday with the women’s 15-kilometer classic race at Trapp Family Lodge. The men’s 20k Nordic race will start at noon. Both events will feature a mass start, and Dartmouth sophomore Katharine Ogden will attempt to defend her national classic championship. Her younger brother Ben, who was battling a chest cold Wednesday, will be one of the three cross-country competitors for the Vermont men.
Katharine Ogden will be joined by teammates Lauren Jortberg and Lydia Blanchet. The Dartmouth men feature Gavin McEwen, Callan DeLine and Adam Glueck. Ben Ogden’s teammates in the men’s race will be Bill Harmeyer and Finn O’Connell. The UVM women boast Evelina Sutru, Anna Bizyukova and Margie Freed.
The Big Green have enjoyed five top-five finishes by individuals in the first two days of racing. They are eyeing their third overall national title and first since 2007. Vermont captured its sixth championship in 2012. Denver (24 titles), Colorado (20) and Utah (11) have the most titles.
The national champion will be crowned Saturday after slalom racing at Stowe Mountain Resort. The men will race at 9 a.m. and again at noon. The women will decide the overall champ with runs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. An awards ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m.
1. Dartmouth 259 2. Utah 252.5 3. Vermont 245 4. Denver 228 5. Colorado 218 6. New Mexico 147 7. Northern Michigan 147 8. Alaska-Anchorage 102 9. New Hampshire 82 10. Middlebury 78 11. Montana State 60.5 12. Westminster 44 13. Colby 43 14. Alaska-Fairbanks 32 15. St. Lawrence 19 16. St. Michael’s 17 17. Bowdoin 13 17. Michigan Tech 13 19. Plymouth State 10 20. Williams 5 21. Bates 1
TOP 10 MEN
1. Tanguy Nef (Dartmouth) 1:56.1 2. Simon Fournier (Denver) 1:57.35 3. James Ferri (Dartmouth) 1:57.55 4. Drew Duffy (Dartmouth) 1:57.71 5. Tobias Kogler (Denver) 1:57.75 6. Max Luukko (Colorado) 1:57.83 7. Martin Arene (Westminster) 1:57.84 8. Patrick McConville (UVM) 1:58.36 9. Justin Alkier (Middlebury) 1:58.42 10. Patrick Kenney (UNH) 1:58.46
TOP 10 WOMEN