The Middlebury nordic ski team opened up NCAA action on Thursday with the women's 5K and men's 10K classical races. The championships are being hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder at Mount Werner. Middlebury is in a sixth-place tie after two days of racing with 143 points, while Colorado leads the pack with 276. Alpine racing resumes on Friday with the giant slalom beginning at 8:45 p.m. EST.
The Middlebury women placed all three racers in the top 23 of the 40-person race. The three Panthers were three of just six racers from the east to finish in the top 23, in an event where eastern skiers are at a disadvantage due to altitude. The team finished tied for seventh in the event, second among eastern schools.
Alexandra Lawson led the Panthers in the 5K event, crossing the line with a time of 16:26 to place 18th overall. Just behind her in 19th place was teammate Katie Feldman, who was just one second back in 16:27. Rounding out the scorers was Cate Brams, whose time of 16:34 placed her in 23rd.
On the men's side, the team finished similarly, as all three racers were in the top 24, with the 18 of the 24 hailing from western schools. Sam Wood led the team in the 40-man race, placing 16th overall with a time of 29:05. Two spots back in 18th was Adam Luban, who crossed the line with a time of 29:15. Peter Wolter was next for the Panthers, placing 24th with a time of 29:37. Middlebury came in seventh in the race, second among eastern schools.