Benjamin Lustgarten blazed to a fourth-place finish in the men's 10K classic nordic race Thursday, leading host Middlebury College’s showing on the second day of the 2013 NCAA Skiing Championships at Rikert Ski Center. The Panther Lustgarten completed the course in 26:32.6 to pick up first-team All-America recognition. The showing capped an excellent classical season for the junior from Burlington, who won at the Colby Carnival and also turned in two third-place finishes.
His showing helped the 10th-place Panthers push their team score to 178 points after two of the four days of the NCAA meet. Vermont holds the team lead with 389 points.
Middlebury’s other men’s competitor, junior Austin Cobb, was 28th in 27:51.8.
In the women’s 5K classic, Annie Pokorny came home 18th in 16:27.5 to pace the Middlebury contingent, despite taking a spill on the course. Heather Mooney was 26th in 16:45.1, while Kelsey Phinney clocked in at 17:18.6 to place 34th.
The NCAA Championships move to the Middlebury College Snow Bowl on Friday for slalom races starting at 9:30 a.m. before returning to Rikert to conclude with the Nordic freestyle events Saturday.