Ski Team Heads To NCAA's

Ski Team Heads To NCAA's

Montana State University will be the host of the 55th NCAA Men's and Women's Skiing Championships March 5-8, 2008. Alpine events will take place at Bridger Bowl, while the Nordic races will be held at Bohart Ranch. Middlebury is only one of three teams (Dartmouth, Utah) in the country that will send a full team of six skiers on both the alpine and nordic side.

The NCAA Skiing competition opens on Wednesday March 6th at Bohart Ranch, with the women's 5K and men's 10K freestyle races. Action then turns to Bridger Bowl on Thursday the 6th for the men's and women's giant slalom. The nordic competition returns to the spotlight Friday the 7th for the men's 20K and women's 15K classical races at Bohart Ranch, while action concludes at the Bridger Bowl on Friday the 8th with the women's and men's slalom races.

After placing third in all six of the eastern carnivals a year ago, the Panthers upped their performance this year, with five second place finishes. The other finish was an impressive win at the University of Vermont Carnival, where Middlebury placed second in six of eight events, winning the women's slalom.

The men's alpine team has been paced by Andrew Wagner, who finished the year ranked fourth in the GS and third in the slalom. The junior picked up wins this season in the slalom at St. Lawrence and the GS at the Middlebury Snow Bowl.

Senior Alec Tarberry also returns to the NCAA's, ranking fourth in the GS and seventh in the slalom this season. His top finish of the season came in the GS at Bates, where he won the event with a fourth place finish in the slalom.

Senior Joey Swensson is Middlebury's third qualifier on the men's side, ranking 13th in the GS and 19th in the slalom. Swensson has been steady for the Panthers this season with four top-10 finishes in '08.

Senior Megan Hughes has enjoyed another solid season on the slopes for the women. The '05 NCAA slalom champion ended the year ranked seventh in the GS and eighth in the slalom event. She had nine top-10 finishes this season, led by a third place effort in the GS at St. Lawrence.

Junior Tucker Burton earned a solid fifth ranking in the slalom this season, while holding the 14th spot in the GS. She earned a second place finish in the slalom at Bates, while finishing third in the event at UVM.

Senior Krissie Poehling heads to the NCAA's after ranking ninth in the GS and 14th in the slalom this season. She earned her top finish at the Middlebury carnival, placing fourth in the GS event, after a fifth place finish in the slalom at Bates earlier in the year.

On the nordic side, the Middlebury men placed three skiers in the top eight in the final freestyle rankings. Junior Simeon Hamilton is the top ranked skier on the men's side, holding down the fourth spot in both the freestyle and classical events. Hamilton won the 10K free at Dartmouth this season, placing second in the 20K race. He will rejoin the team at the NCAA's after spending the last few weeks at the World Junior Championships in Poland.

Junior Tim Reynolds ended the season as the sixth-ranked freestyle skier, earning the 13th spot in the classical. Reynolds won the freestyle sprint race at UVM, placing second in the 10K free race at Bates.

First-year racer Patrick Johnson had an impressive rookie season, finishing the carnival circuit ranked eighth in the freestyle and sixth in classical. Johnson earned second place finishes in the 10K classical at Bates and the 10K freestyle at St. Lawrence this season.

Rookie Alexia Turzian has enjoyed a great rookie season for the women's Nordic team. She ended the year ranked third in the freestyle and second in the classical, opening the season with a win in the 10K race at Bates. She finished in the top five in seven of eight races, also picking up a win in the 5K freestyle race at Dartmouth. She will rejoin the team at the NCAA's after spending the last few weeks at the World Junior Championships in Poland.

Junior Cassidy Edwards qualifies for the NCAA's, after ranking 12th in the freestyle and 16th in the classical event. Edwards had improved her finishes as the season progressed, with five top five finishes in '08.

Complete results can be found here: