Middlebury will send 11 out of a possible 12 athletes for the 2018 NCAA Skiing Championships hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder from March 7-10. Alpine events will take place at Howelsen Hill, while the nordic races will be held at Mount Werner in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Action begins on Wednesday, March 7 with the women's and men's giant slalom races, followed by the women's 5K and men's 10K classic events on Thursday. On Friday, March 9, the slalom races will take place with the men's 20K and the women's 15K freestyle races wrapping up the championships on Saturday.
The Middlebury nordic team has enjoyed a stellar season, sending a full squad of six athletes to the NCAAs for the first time since 2006. Representing the men will be senior Adam Luban (Syracuse, N.Y.), junior Sam Wood (Harpswell, Maine) and first-year racer Peter Wolter (Hailey, Idaho). On the women's side, seniors Cate Brams (Belmont, Mass.) and Katie Feldman (Ketchum, Idaho), along with rookie Alexandra Lawson (West Burke, Vt.) will compete.
Middlebury's men's qualifiers are ranked sixth (Wolter), seventh (Wood) and eighth (Luban) in the east. All three were second-team All-East selections, with Wolter garning EISA Rookie of the Year honors.
Luban's best weekend of the year came at the Vermont Carnival, where he placed second in the 20K free and sixth in the 10K classic. He ended the season with a fifth-place effort in the 20K free on his home course at the Rikert Nordic Center. Luban is ranked fourth in the free and 12th in the classic with five top-10 finishes this season.
Wood steadily improved all season long, culminating in a win during the 10K classic race at Williams. He garnered six top-10 efforts this year, including sixth in the 15K free at St. Michael's. He is ranked fifth in the classical and 14th in the freestyle in the east.
Wolter's rookie season has been impressive with six top-10 finishes. His best effort of the year came at St. Michael's, where he finished second overall in the 15K free in just his third collegiate race. Wolter followed that up with a third-place effort in the 10K classic the following weekend at Vermont. In the eastern rankings, he is seventh in the free and eighth in the classic.
On the women's side, Brams is fifth, Feldman is eighth, while Lawson is ranked 16th overall in the east. Brams earned a spot on the All-East First Team, while Feldman was a second-team honoree.
Brams is ranked third in the classic and seventh in freestyle. She has been consistent all season long, placing in the top 11 during 10 of 11 events this season. Her best finishes of the season came in the 5K classical races, where she placed second at both St. Michael's and Williams. At the Middlebury Carnival, Brams took home fifth-place honors in the 5K classic and 15K freestyle events.
Feldman has also been a consistent finisher for the Panthers this season with eight top-10 finishes. Her top placing of sixth came on four different occasions this winter, including in the 15K freestyle race at the Middlebury Carnival. She is ranked eighth overall in the east, holding the eighth spot in the freestyle and ninth in the classic.
Lawson is ranked 16th overall in the nordic rankings. She earned a pair of top-10 finishes this season, including a season-best ninth-place effort in the 5K classical race at Vermont. Her other top effort came at Williams, where she placed 10th in the 5K classic event.
The Middlebury alpine team qualified five of six possible racers for the championship after another impressive carnival circuit. Juniors Caroline Bartlett (London, Ont.) and Lexi Calcagni (Rutland, Vt.), along with first-year racer Lucia Bailey (Calgary, Alb.) will ski for the women, while senior Riley Plant (Auburn, Calif.) and first-year racer Erik Arvidsson (Woodside, Calif.) will represent the men.
Bartlett's First-Team All-East honor follows her sophomore year, where she was a second-team honoree. She ranked third during the giant slalom in the east this season and fourth overall. Bartlett picked up her fourth-career win at the Middlebury Carnival on February 24, bettering the field by more than two seconds. She opened the season with a second-place finish in the GS at Colby, placing a season-best fifth in the Dartmouth slalom. Bartlett finished in the top 11 during eight of the nine races she completed this winter.
Calcagni is the 10th-ranked skier in the east in the giant slalom. She finished in the top 11 four times this year, including a season-best fourth-place effort in the GS at the Middlebury Carnival. One of Cacagni's other top efforts came at Dartmouth, where she crossed the line ninth in the GS.
Bailey found herself in the top 10 on four different occasions during her rookie season. She is ranked 17th overall and 12th in the slalom. Bailey opened the season with a fifth-place effort during slalom in her first-career race at Colby. She placed ninth in the slalom at Vermont and Dartmouth, before a season-best finish in the GS at Middlebury (12th).
Plant is ranked 10th overall and eighth in the giant slalom. He's earned four top-11 finishes this season, with a season-best third-place effort in the GS at Dartmouth. Plant crossed the line in sixth place in the same event at St. Michael's, while placing 10th on his home course at the Middlebury Carnival.
Arvidsson was named the EISA Rookie of the Year and was a Second-Team All-East selection. He had a great initial season for the Panthers with nine top-nine finishes and four top-three efforts. Arvidsson most recently placed third in both the slalom and giant slalom races on his home mountain at the Middlebury Carnival. His season-best finish of second came in the slalom on February 17 at Williams. He is ranked fifth overall in the east.