Ski Team Heads To NCAA's

March 4, 2012

Montana State University will be the host school for the 59th Annual NCAA Men’s and Women’s Skiing Championships from March 7-10, 2012. Alpine events will take place at Bridger Bowl, while the nordic events will take place at Bohart Ranch in Bozeman, Montana. Seniors Patrick Johnson (Anchorage, Alaska) and Chase Marston (Charlotte, Vt.), sophomore Ben Lustgarten (Burlington, Vt.), senior Sophia McClelland (Keene, Valley, N.Y.) and rookie Annie Pokorny (Spokane, Wash.) will represent the Middlebury nordic squad. Juniors Andrew McNealus (Woodstock, Vt.) and Bryan Shpall (Englewood, Colo.), sophomore Hig Roberts (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and junior Christine Schozer (Winhall, Vt.) will represent the Panther alpine squad.

The NCAA Skiing competition opens on Wednesday March 7th at Bohart, with the women’s 5K free at 9:00 a.m. and the men’s 10K free at 11:00 a.m. The alpine competition takes center stage on Thursday, March 9th at Bridger Bowl, with the women’s GS at 9:30 a.m. and the men’s race slated for 1:00 p.m. Action returns to Bohart on Friday, March 9th with the men’s 20K classic at 9:00 a.m. and the women’s 15K classic at 11:00 a.m. Competition concludes on Saturday, March 10th at Bridger Bowl, with the slalom races at 9:30 a.m. (women), 10:30 a.m.(men) and the second runs at 11:45 a.m. (women) and 1:00 p.m. (men).

Middlebury finished third in four of six carnivals this season, ending the year with a third place finish at the NCAA Regional they hosted.

Johnson has been the story for the nordic men this season, winning six of 11 races, while placing in the top four nine times. The senior swept both the 10K classic and 10K free at the UVM Carnival, while winning both the 10K free and 20K classic at the Middlebury Carnival. He is the top-ranked skier in the east in both the free and classical races.

Lustgarten has earned top 10 finishes in seven of nine races in ’12. His top finishes were a fifth place effort in the 10K classic at Dartmouth, followed by another fifth place finish at the 10K classic at Williams the following weekend. Lustgarten is ranked 10th in the free and eighth in the classical races. Marston finished in the top 11 four times this season, with a season-best eighth place finish in the 10K free at the Middlebury Carnival. He is ranked 13th in the free and 17th in the classical.

Pokorny had a great season for the Middlebury women, earning EISA Nordic Rookie of the Year honors. She earned five top 10 finishes in nine races this season, finishing eighth twice and ninth twice. Her best finish of the season was a seventh place effort in the 15K classic at the Middlebury Carnival. She is ranked 12th overall in the east in the free and 11th in the classic.

Joining her is McClelland, who had three top 20 finishes in 10 races this season. Her best finish of the season came in the opening carnival, where she placed 11th in the 10K classical at Bates. McClelland is currently ranked 19th in the classical and 23rd in the free.

The men’s alpine squad boasts three racers ranked in the top 13 in both the slalom and giant slalom. Roberts had top 10 finishes in nine of 11 races, including six finishes in the top six. Roberts picked up a win in the slalom at the UVM Carnival, with fourth place finishes in both the slalom and GS in the opening carnival at Bates. He is ranked fifth in the east in the slalom and 10th in the GS.

McNealus earned top 10 finishes in six of 11 races this season, ranking fifth overall in the GS. McNealus won that event at the Williams Carnival, placing fifth at Dartmouth. He is ranked 13th overall in the slalom event.

Shpall finished in the top 10 six times in 11 races in ’12. His best finish was in the opening carnival at Bates where he finished fifth in the GS. He also earned two other sixth place finishes this season, including the slalom at Middlebury. He is ranked 12th in both the slalom and giant slalom this season.

After missing the first carnival, Schozer came on strong this season with a pair of top 10 finishes. Her best effort was a seventh place finish in the slalom at Vermont, while placing eighth in the slalom at the Middlebury Carnival. Schozer is ranked 14th overall in the slalom this season.

Complete results can be found here:http://www.barttiming.com/eisa/Results12/ncaa12.htm