Nordic Action Begins at NCAAs

Annie Pokorny led the Panther women on Thursday. (Jamie Schwaberow - NCAA Photos)
Annie Pokorny led the Panther women on Thursday. (Jamie Schwaberow - NCAA Photos)

The Middlebury ski team sits in 10th place after two days of racing at the 2016 NCAA Skiing Championships hosted by the University of Colorado. The nordic competitors saw their first day of competition at Howelsen Hill with the women's 5K freestyle and the men's 10K freestyle races. Montana State leads the event with 282 points, followed by Utah (264) and Denver (263). The alpine teams take center stage on Friday night with the women's slalom beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the men's at 7:15 p.m. mountain time.

Annie Pokorny and Kelsey Phinney competed for the Panther women in the 5K race, with Anika Miller of Montana State taking home the title in a time of 13:06. Altitude always plays a part with the championship taking place in the west, and that was evident by the top-nine racers representing western schools. Pokorny finished the event 12th overall, second among eastern skiers, covering the course with a time of 13:24. Phinney was fourth among eastern racers and 20th overall, crossing the line with a time of 13:45.

On the men's side, Mads Stroem of Colorado took home the crown in the 10K event, crossing the line in 22:06. Western men took the top-nine spots in the race, with Patrick McElravey placing 28th with a time of 24:05, eighth among eastern racers.