Saturday, March 10, 2012 – by Curtis Snyder, RMISA
Results Available On Schedule/Results Page
BOZEMAN, Mont. – While Vermont took home its first NCAA Championship in 17 years and Dartmouth was stellar in Nordic action here at the 2012 NCAA Championships, when it was all said and done, Utah brought home second place and Colorado third while the RMISA remained the dominant conference in the nation with all six teams finishing in the top eight of the final standings.
Not only that, New Mexico, which finished eighth, was more than 100 points ahead of ninth place Middlebury, finishing with 487.5 points to 359. It marks just the second time in the last 18 years, since Vermontís last title, that the RMISA did not win the national championship.
Denverís Espen Lysdahl stole the show the final day by winning the menís slalom race in a two-run time of 1:48.28. He was the first one down the hill in the first run and had the fastest run in 52.62. He defeated Vermontís Tim Kelly by about a half second (1:48.52) while New Mexicoís Chris Acosta finished third in 1:49.95. Utahís Torjus Krogdahl gave the RMISA three first-team All-Americans, finishing fourth in 1:50.77 while Middlebury teammates Hig Roberts (1:50.82) and Andrew McNealus (1:50.88) were fifth and sixth. Roberts earns first-team honors and McNealus second.
After Vermontís Jonathon Norbotten took seventh, the RMISA then had the next four skiers as Alaska Anchorageís Sean Alexander (1:51.30) and Andreas Adde (1:51.60) took eighth and ninth and Coloradoís Adam Zika (1:52.03) rounded out the top 10 just ahead of another Seawolf, Niko Harmanen (1:52.04) by just one-hundredth of a second.
ďIt was a start number race,Ē Lysdahl said. ďThis feels amazing, itís been a goal of mine every since I got to DU, to win one of these events.Ē
On the strength of their 5-6 finish along with a 12th place by Bryan Shpall, Middlebury won the menís slalom race as a team with 104 points, edging Alaska Anchorage (93) and Denver (85).
In the womenís race, Vermont put their title away by finishing 1-2-5. Those three along with Harvardís Rebecca Nadler were the only All-Americanís from the east as the west took the other six spots, led by Coloradoís Erika Ghent in third place and Denverís Sterling Grant in fourth place, both earning first-team All-America honors. Kate Ryley won the race, Kristina Riis-Johannessen was second and Elli Terwiel fifth.
Joining Nadler on the second team were New Mexicoís Stefanie Demetz while both Coloradoís Carolina Nordh and Alaska Anchorageís Alexandra Parker were in a rare three-way tie with Nadler in seventh and Anna Kocken from Utah rounded out the top 10. The Utes were in the top three slots after the first run, making a run at Vermont, but Kocken was the only one who didnít have issues in the second run.
Vermont put up an impressive 136 points in the race followed by Colorado (106) while New Mexico and Utah both had 84 points, tying for third.
In the end, the race was for second as Colorado surged from fourth to just one point away from Utah, who held off the Buffs as they have all season.
Vermont finished with 832 points, a new record for the current scoring format by one point, ahead of Coloradoís 831 points from a year ago. While that number is impressive, a look inside shows that CUís dominance may have been a little stronger a season ago.
Last year racking up 831 points, Colorado led the point totals in Alpine, Nordic, Men and Women along with winning three of the four disciplines, Menís Alpine, Menís Nordic and Womenís Nordic, taking second in Womenís Alpine. Additionally, Colorado won the Menís GS race, the Menís Slalom race, the Menís Classical Race, the Womenís GS race and the Womenís Freestyle race, five of the eight individual races.
This season, Vermont won three of the eight races, two less than the Buffs, and won two of the four areas the Buffaloes won the year before, taking home the alpine point lead and the womenís point lead. In the four disciplines, they did match CU in winning three of the four, Menís Alpine, Womenís Alpine and Womenís Nordic, finishing sixth in Menís Nordic action.
The EISA took home more first-team All-America honors boasted by Vermontís staggering 17 performances, 13 of which were first-team honors. The EISA had 22 total first-team honors with the RMISA claiming 17 and the CCSA one. Overall All-America honors, however, was won by the RMISA with 42 to the EISAís 35 (CCSA 3). Vermont and Dartmouth combined for 27 of the EISAís 35 honors while each of the six RMISA schools had at least four All-American each, all more than the next highest east or central school (Middlebury and Northern Michigan had three each).
The west edged the east in individual All-Americans, picking up four honors to the eastís three while the central had one. Utah and Vermont led the way with two each while Colorado, Denver, Harvard and Northern Michigan each had one. Colorado leads the all-time standings with 84 while Denver picked up its 80th winner, Utah its 66th and 67th and Vermont itís 57th and 58th. No other school has more than Dartmouthís 35 after that.
The 2013 NCAA Championships will be hosted by Middlebury in New Hampshire on March 6-9, 2013. The event schedule will change and the slalom races will kick off the action followed by shorter classic races the second day, giant slalom race the third day and longer freestyle races the final day.
The 2014 championships will again be held in the west at a site that will be selected later in the spring.
The rest of the 2013 RMISA schedule is expected to be released in late May or early June. Slated to host meets next year are Colorado, Denver, Montana State, New Mexico and Utah.