entered this season except for the one he
lost to his own teammate. Look out for UVM
rookie Bobby Farrell, who has posted stellar
results but lost his touch at the home carnival, so nerves could certainly be a factor in
Montana, assuming he makes the team cut.
Anything is possible when the UVM and Dartmouth pattern of alternating greens inevitably
mixes in with Utah’s Maria Graefnings and
Colorado’s Eliska Hajkova and Joanne Reid.
Graefnings’s return to collegiate competition
has been a spark in the RMISA, and defending classic champion Hajkova might have
timed her peak perfectly to add another title
to her collection. The 5K freestyle race could
quite possibly turn into a lung-burning sprint.
Dartmouth’s Sophie Caldwell and Vermont’s
Caitlin Patterson and Lucy Garrec will have to
lay it all on the line to give chase, but the 15K
classical might provide just enough distance
to wear out their competition. Alaska’s Jaime
Bronga could be a contender if she finds the
pace and form she had in the early season.
Denver’s Espen Lysdahl poses a
serious threat in the slalom.
Middlebury’s Patrick Johnson is a man on a
mission. While head nordic coach Andrew
Gardner insists the plan is to “take it week
by week,” anyone who doesn’t think John-
son has a legitimate shot at going all the way
this year in either the 20K classical or 10K
freestyle race has his head in the snow. Dart-
mouth’s Eric Packer and Sam Tarling won’t
make it easy for him. The Dartmouth men’s
nordic team has been indomitable this year in the East, but altitude is a critical variable in Montana. Without effective acclimatization, home favorite David Norris of Montana State or Colorado’s Rune Oedegaard could easily steamroll the sea-level contenders. Utah’s Miles Havlick has a shot given his consistent podium record in the RMISA, but he’ll need to hit the wax and eat his Wheaties.
Dartmouth’s Sam Tarling, Eric Packer, and
Gordon Vermeer bring pace as individuals
and synchronicity as a team.
Maria Graefnings could find the top
podium step in either classical or
DENVER ATHLETICS; AUSTIN CALDWELL; U TAH ATHLE TICS