Bates College will be the host of the 56th NCAA Men's and Women's Skiing Championships March 11-14, 2009. Alpine events will take place at Sunday River, while the Nordic races will be held at Black Mountain. Middlebury will send five alpine and four nordic skiers to compete at the event. Seniors Andrew Wagner and Mattie Ford will represent the alpine team, along with sophomores Bobby Poehling, Tasha Woodworth and Nicole Dvorak. Seniors Simeon Hamilton and Robyn Anderson, along with sophomore Patrick Johnson and rookie Elise Moody-Roberts will compete on the nordic side.
The NCAA Skiing competition opens on Wednesday March 11th at Sunday River, with the men's and women's giant slalom races. Action then turns to Black Mountain on Thursday the 12th for the men's 10K classical and the women's 5K classical. The alpine competition returns to the spotlight Friday the 13th for the slalom races, while action concludes on Saturday the 14th with the women's 15K free and the men's 20K free competitions.
Middlebury finished fourth in the first three carnivals of the season, racing shorthanded on the nordic side with some key scorers not competing. The Panthers finished a season-best second at Dartmouth, before placing third in their own carnival and the season finale at Colby.
The men's alpine team has been paced by Wagner, who finished the year ranked seventh in the slalom and eighth in the GS. The former All-American earned five top-five finishes this season, including a third in the slalom at Middlebury.
Poehling ended the season ranked 13th in the GS and 27th in the slalom. The sophomore came on strong this season, earning a fifth place finish in the GS at Middlebury.
Ford earned a ranking of fifth in the GS this season, while ranking ninth in the slalom event. The former All-American earned four top-five finishes in '09, including a second place finish in the season-opening GS at Bates.
Woodworth was seventh among her peers in the slalom this season, while ending the season ranked 16th in the GS. The sophomore made six top 10 finishes this season, with a best finish over third in the slalom at Colby.
Dvorak ended the carnival season ranked 15th in the GS, while placing 23rd in the slalom rankings. She finished the season with a fifth place effort in the GS at Middlebury and a ninth at Bates.
On the nordic side, Hamilton has been impressive for the Panthers since his return from the U23 World Championships in France. The former All-American was the top-ranked freestyle skier in the east, while ranking second in the classical. Hamilton won both the 10K and 15K races at Dartmouth in his first week back, before winning the 20K free at Colby.
Johnson missed some early races due to illness, but has since come on strong for Middlebury. He ended the carnival circuit ranked 11th in the classical and 16th in the freestyle this season. He finished in the top 10 in five of six races, including a fifth place finish in the 10K classical at Dartmouth.
Moody-Roberts had an impressive rookie season, ending the year fifth in the freestyle and sixth in the classical event. She ended the year with eight top-five finishes, winning the 15K freestyle race at Colby.
Anderson was consistent all season long, ending the year with a ninth ranking in the classical, while placing 15th among her peers in the freestyle. The senior earned seven top 10 finishes, including a fifth place performance in the 15K race at Bates.