Although this year’s NCAA alpine skiing championships were cut in half by the sudden cancellation of the slalom race due to COVID-19, we still got to witness one heck of a GS race on the 11th as the fastest skiers of the NCAA gathered at Bridger Bowl in Montana to stretch their legs and hunt some panels in what would be, unbeknownst to them, the last race of the season. Spring conditions arrived ahead of schedule, and GS training in the days leading up to the race gave athletes a chance to get used to a super soft surface that allowed for some major ruts to build up over the course of a session. Race day brought colder temps and a firmer surface, letting the course hold up just a little bit more. Though high winds hammered the hill and the schedule was delayed due to wind holds on the lift, the men and women alike knifed their way down the mountain (though, with men running first, some serious holes developed on the course by the time the back of the women’s pack started to ski).
The University of Denver, University of Colorado, Montana State, and the University of Utah had some all star days, with University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth, and Middlebury racers fighting to get some EISA representation in the top 10. Here’s a breakdown of the day’s results!
In the men’s field, University of Utah junior Joachim Lien arced out a third place first run and eleventh place second run to nab first place. Filip Forejtek, a sophomore skiing for the University of Colorado, ripped out a first place first run and sixth place second run to grab second place. First place went to University of Denver junior Tobias Kogler, who skied with an icy consistency and won after getting second place on both runs. A special shout-out goes out to Patrick Kenney of UNH, the highest ranking EISA dude, who skied the eleventh-fastest first run but piped out an absolutely lightning first place second run and finished in fourth place. Middlebury shredder Tim Gavett was the other EISA skier in the top 10, who earned his spot with the ninth fastest first run and fifth fastest second run.
Over in the women’s field, the western schools (and particularly DU and UU) continued having a very good day. UU sophomore Sona Moravcikova battled into third place with an eighth place first run and seventh place second run. Nellie Rose Talbot, a Montana State freshman, arced into second place with the ninth fastest first run and second fastest second run. Battling some serious holes and torn up terrain that caused three of the fastest skiers from the first run to DNF, Storm Klomhaus—a DU senior—was an absolute tactician in the course and knifed the fastest first run and fourth fastest second run to grab the GS win. Dartmouth legend Tricia Mangan missed the top three by 0.06 seconds, finishing in fourth. Behind her were fellow EISA skiers and Middlebury teammates Lucia Bailey and Ali Nullmeyer, who finished in fifth and sixth. Nina Reichhelm brought additional glory to the Panthers, finishing eighth and ensuring the EISA had four of its most formidable female racers in the top 10.
Stay tuned for a full recap of the rollercoaster 2020 season!!