Middlebury will send nearly a full squad of 11 racers to the NCAA Skiing Championships to be held March 11-14 at Bridger Bowl and Crosscut Mountain Sports Center in Bozeman, Montana. The championships will be hosted by the University of Montana-Bozeman. Three schools qualified a full squad of 12, while Middlebury is one of four institutions with 11 competitors.
Action begins on Wednesday, March 11 with the giant slalom, followed by the women's 5K and men's 10K freestyle events on Thursday. On Friday, the slalom races will take place, while the women's 15K and men's 20K classical events complete the championship on Saturday.
Senior Annika Landis (Hailey, Idaho), junior Alexandra Lawson (West Burke, Vt.) and first-year racer Sophia Laukli (Yarmouth, Maine) will compete on the nordic side for the Panthers. Joining them will be junior Peter Wolter (Hailey, Idaho) and sophomore Willson Moore (Freeport, Maine).
On the slopes, junior Lucia Bailey (Calgary, Alb.) and first-year racers Ali Nullmeyer (Toronto, Ont.) and Nina Reichhelm (Westport, Conn.) will race for the alpine women. Juniors Erik Arvidsson (Woodside, Calif) and Justin Alkier (Toronto, Ont.), along with sophomore racer Tim Gavett (Waitsfield, Vt.) will compete for the men's team.
Laukli had a stellar rookie campaign for the Panthers, holding down the top spot in the east in both the freestyle and classical event lists, earning the Bib Leader crown in both events. She won five races this winter, including four-straight victories over three carnivals. Laukli placed first in the 5K freestyle races at Vermont and Colby, while capturing the 10K classic at Colby and the 15K classic at Bates. She was also a part of Middlebury's winning 3x5 relay team at Williams. Laukli placed in the top five in every individual event she raced in this winter. She was also deemed the EISA Rookie of the Year.
Lawson is right behind Laukli in the freestyle rankings at #2, while owning the fifth spot in classical to earn First-Team All-East honors. She earned wins in the 5K freestyle events at Harvard and Bates, while also being a part of the winning 3x5 relay team at Williams. Lawson earned top-five finishes in 9 of 10 races this winter. She and Laukli both missed the final carnival of the season while competing at the World Junior/U23 Championships in Germany.
Landis is a two-time All-East selection after earning a spot on the first-team a year ago. She ended the eastern circuit ranked seventh in the freestyle and ninth in the classical event. Landis placed a season-best fourth on four different occasions this season, including both the 5K freestyle and 15K classic at the Middlebury Carnival. She was a part of the winning 3x5 relay team at Williams and has placed in the top-eight in all 10 events she competed in this winter.
Wolter moved up a spot to the first-team after earning Second-Team All-East honors a year ago. The 2018 Rookie of the Year had a solid campaign, earning his first-career win in the 15K classic at the Middlebury Carnival. He placed in the top-10 in all 12 races this season, while finishing in the top-five nine times. He also recorded four second-place finishes this winter. Wolter is ranked second in the classical and fourth in the freestyle event.
Moore holds down the 15th spot in the east in the classical. His season-best finish came at the Middlebury Carnival, where he placed eighth in the 15K classic race. Moore ended the year with five top-20 finishes, including a 14th-place effort in the 20K classic at Bates.
On the mountain, Arvidsson was dominate this winter, holding down the top spot in the giant slalom rankings to earn EISA GS Bib Leader honors. He won the event three times, including the Vermont, Williams and Middlebury Carnivals, while placing in the top-10 during all six races. Arvidsson ranks fifth in the slalom, placing second at Middlebury and fourth at Williams. He was the 2018 EISA Rookie of the Year when he garnered second-team All-East honors, before earning a spot on the first-team for the past two seasons. He earned American honors in 2018.
Gavett earned a spot on the EISA first team, after earning second-team honors a year ago. He finished the year ranked second in the slalom and eighth in the giant slalom. Gavett took home three victories this winter, earning the best time in the slalom at Harvard and Middlebury, while winning the giant slalom at Williams. He placed in the top-10 in all eight races he completed this winter.
Alkier picked up three wins in 2020, including slalom victories at Vermont and Williams, as well as the giant slalom crown at Bates. He placed in the top-10 in all 11 races he completed this winter, with eight finishes in the top-four. Alkier is ranked third overall in the East in the slalom and fourth in the giant slalom to earn First-Team All-East honors. A year ago, he earned All-American honors and was a Second-Team All-East selection.
Nullmeyer made an immediate impact on the collegiate scene by placing second in her first race (slalom) at the Harvard Carnival. She went on to win four events this year, including the slalom races at Vermont, Colby and Middlebury. Nullmeyer completed the sweep at her own carnival by capturing the giant slalom as well. She is ranked second overall in the East in the slalom and was named the EISA Rookie of the Year. Nullmeyer missed two carnivals this winter while competing for Team Canada on the World Cup circuit.
Bailey is ranked fourth in the slalom and 15th in the giant slalom this season for the Panthers. She placed in the top-11 eight times this year, with season-best third-place efforts in the slalom at Vermont, Bates and Williams. Bailey opened the year fourth in the slalom and fifth in the giant slalom at Harvard. She owns five top-five finishes in 2020.
Reichhelm excelled in the giant slalom during her rookie season, ranking 12th in the eastern rankings. She placed a season-best fifth at Williams, with a pair of eighth-place efforts at Vermont and Bates.