NCAA Power Rankings Week 2 By C.J. Feehan
The top end looks similar to last week, but further justification for these positions has now been firmly
established. After the UVM Carnival, Vail NorAm tech series, and UAA Invitational nordic races, there’s a
shake-up on the bottom as well as a new team making its debut.
Utah: (Last week: 1) — 2011 NCAA champion Maria Graefnings returned to the RMISA circuit for the first time this
season at the UAA Invite after racing in Europe in an effort to qualify for the Swedish national team. She placed second
in her debut classic race, just ahead of fellow Ute Rose Kemp. Cohee and Wilson are still delivering alternating punch-es in alpine. Above all else, we’re impressed by the positive team energy that has given the Utes the extra needed
boost to rally at just the right time; fighting off Colorado week after week only strengthens their resolve.
Vermont: (Last week: 2) — Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: how do you rattle a Catamount? Tie one paw behind its back, then blindside it in a ski race at home. In a scene tragically reminiscent of last year’s NCAAs, UVM’s winning streak came to an end on its own turf. But five of their top alpiners were off posting lofty results in the Vail NorAm
series, leaving just two women and a shortened men’s roster to hold down the fort. No penalty assessed for making
the tough calendar call to split the battalion, especially since their troops in Colorado bested a handful of RMISA and
national team athletes while the female nordic athletes more than held their own at Trapps. Watch out: the Cats will
have their claws back in a flash, and now they’re out for blood.
Colorado: (Last week: 3) — Eliska Hajkova won the UAA Invitational classic race by more than 10 seconds, adding
to the podiums previously collected by teammate Joanne Reid. Zika and McDonald on the men’s side and Ghent and
Hartman on the women’s side are more than getting the job done for alpine. If they can topple Utah in an invitational,
rankings on the top end could get tricky.
Dartmouth: (Last week: 5) — The Big Green steamrolled the UVM Carnival. We warned the alpine squad to get its
act together, and first-year standout Ben Morse snagged a giant slalom win and second place in the slalom. Both the
men’s and women’s nordic teams have so much depth that it’s hard to identify any weakness. We’ll see if the home-
field advantage benefits them next week.
Denver: (Last week: N/A) — We’re rewarding DU for showing its cards by running alpine athletes in the Vail NorAms,
a gutsy move before a hectic travel schedule to Anchorage. Espen Lysdahl and Trevor Philp’s NorAm podium results
demonstrate that the men’s alpine team can certainly hang, but the ladies still need to step it up. Dolan and Dougherty
are bringing pace in nordic. Welcome to the show.