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Dartmouth Sixth at NCAA Ski Meet

Park City/Midway, Utah — Dartmouth College finished sixth at the NCAA Skiing Championships, hosted the University of Utah. The event concluded on Saturday with the slalom and Nordic freestyle races.

Dartmouth got a strong outing from the men’s cross country skiers, who tied for second in the 20-kilometer freestyle with freshman Patrick Caldwell, of (Lyme, claiming fifth place, but the Big Green could not climb any higher in the team standings and finished the championships in sixth place with 261.5 points.

The University of Denver withstood Vermont’s sweep of the podium in the women’s slalom to win the national title, earning 556 points to the Catamounts’ 487.5. New Mexico (458.5) was third, followed by last year’s champion, Colorado (402.5), while the host Utes placed fifth (392).

For his fifth-place finish, Caldwell earned first-team All-America honors, an honor that eluded junior Silas Talbot, who finished in 11th, 4⁄10ths of a second outside of the top 10. The other All-America honor for the Big Green came in the women’s 15K freestyle, as senior Annie Hart placed eighth for a spot on the second team. It was the fifth and final All-America honor in her collegiate career.

The men’s 20K freestyle turned into a mad race to the finish for many of the top 12 skiers. A large pack formed among the leaders for much of the race, and not until the fourth and final lap did Colorado’s Mads Ek Stroem pull away to win by a seven-second margin in 43:49.0.

Caldwell was among the competitors and eked out fifth place in 44:01.3, one-tenth of a second behind Denver’s Pierre Guedon. But the pack was so tight that when Talbot finished up in 44:02.3 — just one second behind Caldwell — he was relegated to 11th. Senior David Sinclair was the final Big Green skier, finishing 24th in 44:44.2. The trio combined to earn 56 points for Dartmouth.

The women took to the Soldier Hollow course for their 15K freestyle. By the end of the first lap, a definitive group of seven broke from the rest of the skiers into the lead, with Hart in the rear. Although she gradually fell back from that leading group, she maintained her position well enough to finish in eighth place (41:28.7). Senior Isabel Caldwell was 30th, and sophomore Corey Stock, who fell ill prior to the classical race on Thursday, did not compete.

New Mexico’s Eva Severus emerged from the pack to hold off Rosie Frankowski of Northern Michigan by 1.8 seconds to win the event with a time of 40:15.1.

The slalom began at the same time as the first Nordic race of the day, with the men and women going through their first run at Park City Mountain Resort before repeating the process in the afternoon. As the weather warmed up, the course became softer, causing a number of mistakes on the course. Dartmouth junior Ben Morse was able to string together a pair of solid runs to finish 16th overall with a combined time of 1:58.17. Teammate Robert Overing was 24th, and Dylan Brooks 27th.

Denver took the top two spots on the podium as Espen Lysdahl won the event in 1:53.34.

For the women, Big Green sophomore Lizzie Kistler was the first competitor to hit the slopes, and she provided a cautionary tale for the rest of the field as she took a spill. Yet she gamely climbed back up to complete the run.

Her teammates, sophomore Maisie Ide and junior Abby Fucigna had solid first runs, which Ide followed up with another good trip down the mountain for a combined time of 1:42.25, tying her for 13th. Fucigna had a slight hiccup on her second run, leaving her with a time of 1:52.08 to place 26th, and Kistler was 29th.

Dartmouth skiing fans witnessed a familiar trio sweeping the podium for Vermont in Kristina Riis-Johannessen (1:37.89), Kate Ryley (1:38.24) and Elise Tefre (1:39.93).

 Saint Michael’s College sophomore Brad Farrell, of West Windsor, placed 19th in the slalom on Saturday, claiming one of the top finishes ever by a Purple Knight skier at a national meet.

 Bates junior Hallie Grossman, of Woodstock, placed a career-best 25th in the women’s 15K freestyle.