story today, and she was carrying not only the weight of defending a title on her
back, but our entire team as well. Given that pressure, I think her second-place this
morning is even more impressive than her victory last year.”
Cone seemed even more excited by her teammates’ skiing than she was about
her own clutch performance — Ida Dillingoen and Jennie Van Wagner weren’t far
behind in fifth and ninth, respectively.
“That was by far the best day we’ve had on the women’s alpine team all year,” Cone
said. “I’m not sure if we’ve even had three girls in the top 15 at a regular carnival, so
to have all three of us in the top 10 [at National Championships] is awesome.”
Complemented by a wild, raucous crowd that made for an incredibly lively atmosphere, Cone and company were almost as impressive when the nighttime slalom rolled around on the event’s penultimate evening. Cone again finished second,
while Dillingoen and Van Wagner finished 10th and 18th. The strategy for the team
was to put the NCAA title out of reach by making it through the finish line cleanly.
“Half of me was skiing for the team, and the other half wanted to go all out,” Cone
said of the difficult task of balancing Denver’s needs and her individual ambitions.
“Of course I wanted to win, but I also knew that by standing up and skiing solidly, I
could help make things a little bit less rough on our nordic skiers tomorrow.”
Denver’s alpine men followed its ladies’ lead.
Leif Kristian Haugen — who, carrying heavy expectations because of stellar
Olympic and World Cup performances this season — one-upped his second-place
performance from a year ago and claimed the 2010 NCAA GS title. Teammates AJ
Arvin and Andreas Kilde were also remarkably strong in GS, rallying to fifth and
“There were a lot of people telling me I should win because I went to the Olympics this year, and to be honest I felt quite a bit of pressure,” Haugen said of his GS
victory. “And, of course, I really wanted to win because an individual title is not
something I had yet.”
The Pioneer men weren’t as strong in slalom — fighting off a few major bobbles
along the way —but they all made it down without any major hiking incidents,
scoring valuable points and, as Cone said, making “things a little bit less rough on
[their] nordic skiers” the final day.
Cross country skier Maempel was the undisputed star of these championships,
and even if the alpiners had left the event in her hands, there’s no question she’d
have handled it with aplomb. She won both the classic and freestyle events — mak-
2010’s Top 10
1) Denver (785.5 points): Three-peat was sweet.
2) Colorado (714 points): The Lady Buffs — Carolina Nordh, Erika
Ghent, Katie Hartman — finished 5-6-7 in slalom, the highlight of the
alpine team’s event. After that, it was all CU cross country. Earning the
unofficial title of best nordics in the land, the skinny-ski Buffs tallied 418
points to DU’s 377. Highlights were Matt Gelso’s 10K classic win and
Alexa Turzian and Eliska Hajkova nailing down second and third in the
ladies’ 15K free.
3) New Mexico (677 points): Things didn’t shake out at NCAAs like
the Lobos had hoped, but it’s been a brilliant season for the team and
they’re surely among the favorites heading into next year. Their defining
moment was Malin Hemmingsson’s third individual slalom title — a majestic accomplishment — on a night when five of the team’s six skiers
scored All-America honors.
4) Utah (595 points): Considering it scored mostly fourth-place finishes in regular season RMISA meets this year, Utah should be pleased
with its NCAAs performance — having risen to the occasion on the
strength of its alpine team with a GS win by Eva Huckova and a second-place slalom notched by Torjus Krogdahl.
5) Dartmouth (523 points): Cross country skier Rosie Brennan
was Big Green’s standout performer of the week, skiing to two first-team All-America honors on a badly injured knee.
6) Vermont (516.5 points): Franz Bernstein made it Germany’s day
when he followed compatriot Antje Maempel with a win of his own in the
men’s 20K free — a thrilling finish where he out-sprinted New Mexico’s
Martin Kass to the line. One of the finest moments of the Championships.
7) Alaska-Anchorage (506 points): “I’m thrilled for Andreas and
for our program,” Alaska alpine coach Sparky Anderson said of Andreas
Adde’s slalom victory. The Seawolves suffered season-ending injuries
from two of its best skiers this winter, but pulled things together in the
final weeks. Look for them to be among the contenders next year.
8) Montana State (402 points): Before the season started, we
said Montana State might be the most improved team this year — we
were right. Men’s cross country skiers Bernhard Roenning, Tyler Reinking, and Ryan Scott finished a superb 5-6-7 in the 20K free, while lady
Bobcat Kaelin Kiesel scored two All-America honors in women’s nordic.
9) New Hampshire (303 points): Cross country skier Dylan Mc-Guffin and alpiner Veronique Archambault-Leger scored All-America honors for the Wildcats.
Middlebury freshman Bryan
Schpall in the GS
10) Middlebury (270.5 points): Freshman skier Bryan Schpall,
EISA’s rookie of the year, scored a phenomenal fourth-place finish in GS:
Bobby Poehling was sixth in slalom, and nordic Patrick Johnson was
the team’s most consistent performer with eighth and eleventh-place