Six Skiers Qualify For NCAA Championships

Six Skiers Qualify For NCAA Championships

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Middlebury won't have far to travel for the 2017 NCAA Skiing Championships hosted by the University of New Hampshire from March 8-11. Alpine events will take place at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, while the nordic races will be held at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson.

Seniors Rob Cone (Killington, Vt.) and Colin Hayes (Evergreen, Colo.), along with junior Devon Cardamone (Aspen, Colo.) will represent the men's alpine team. Sophomore Caroline Bartlett (London, Ont.) and first-year racer Jackie Atkins (Toronto, Ont.) will participate for the Panther women. On the nordic side, sophomore Lewis Nottonson (Acton, Mass.) will race for the men.

Action begins on Wednesday, March 8 with the women's and men's giant slalom races, followed by the women's 5K and men's 10K classic events on Thursday. On Friday, March 10, the slalom races will take place with the men's 20K free and women's 15K free wrapping up the championships on Saturday.

Cone earned All-East honors for the third-consecutive year. He came on strong down the stretch this season, winning three of his final six races, including the slalom title at last weekend's EISA Championship. An All-American in 2015, Cone is ranked second in the East in both the slalom and giant slalom in 2017. Aside from the EISA slalom title, he earned a slalom win at Middlebury and a GS victory at Dartmouth this season. The 2015 NCAA giant slalom champion has won eight collegiate races over his three years at Middlebury, placing second 11 times. In the 30 races he has completed as a Panther, he has finished in the top-five in 25 of those events.

Hayes has now earned a spot on the second team for the last two seasons. He is ranked fifth in the East in the slalom, while sitting in the 13th spot in the giant slalom. Hayes placed a season-best fourth in the slalom at the Vermont and Middlebury carnivals in 2017. The senior has placed in the top-10 in six of the 10 races he's finished this year, earning the honor 17 times in his career. Last season, Hayes picked up a win in the slalom at Williams.

Cardamone earned a season-best second-place finish in the GS at the UVM Carnival. He twice placed 12th in the GS, with those efforts coming at St. Lawrence at the EISA Championships at Bates. Cardamone is ranked 14th in the East in the GS.

Bartlett ended the year as the cumulative points leader in the East to earn the top spot in the giant slalom rankings. The sophomore picked up three GS wins this season, opening the year with a victory at St. Lawrence before taking home the crown at Vermont and Middlebury. She placed second in the GS at Middlebury and third at Dartmouth. In her two seasons as a Panther, she has finished in the top 10 on eight different occasions.

Atkins had an impressive rookie season on the slopes for the Panthers. She finished the Eastern circuit ranked 15th in the slalom and 21st in the GS. Atkins placed in the top-13 during six different events, with a season-best 10th-place finish in the GS at the EISA Championships. She opened the year 12th in both races at St. Lawrence, before placing 13th in the GS and 11th in the slalom at UNH.

On the nordic side, Nottonson turned in a season-best sixth-place finish at the Middlebury Carnival, accomplishing the feat in the 20K freestyle. Another quality finish came in the opening races of the year at St. Lawrence, where he earned an 11th-place finish in the 10K free. Overall, Nottonson earned six top-20 finishes in 2017. He is ranked 12th in the East in the freestyle technique.