2007 NCAA SKIING REGIONAL RECAPS
DURHAM, N.H.-- The following is a look at recaps for each of the skiing regions heading into the NCAA Men's and Women's Skiing Championships, which are being hosted by the University of New Hampshire on March 7-10 at Attitash and Jackson XC in the Mount Washington Valley.

EASTERN REGION RECAP
The Big Green put together the best season in its long and storied ski history, winning all six Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnivals in 2007 including the Eastern Championships at Middlebury on Feb. 24. The key for the Green was a string of dominating individual performances to build team success. Dartmouth’s perfect season saw an average winning margin of more than 40 points, establishing the Green as one of the teams to beat at the 2007 NCAA Skiing Championships. Dartmouth is led by its cross country team, featuring four returning NCAA Championships participants: junior Susan Dunklee, senior Michael Sinnott, and returning All Americas junior Ben True and sophomore Glenn Randall. Sinnott, the East’s top-ranked skier in men’s cross country, won nine of 12 races on the season. The Dartmouth women’s team is paced by senior Sara Studebaker, ranked number one in the East in the freestyle technique and the number two-ranked NCAA qualifier in cross country behind Vermont’s Carina Hamel. In Alpine events, 2005 men’s slalom champion David Chodounsky has returned to form following a brief sophomore slump. Chodounsky comes to the 2007 Championships as the East’s top qualifier, ranked number one in slalom and number five in giant slalom. Chodounsky will look to extend Dartmouth’s unprecedented string of five consecutive NCAA men’s slalom titles, dating back to 2002. At the top of the GS rankings is Dartmouth senior Evan Weiss, a former US Ski Team member who returned to the EISA circuit and won three races on the season. Perhaps the greatest strides have been made by Dartmouth’s women’s Alpine team, where 2006 All America junior Michelanne Shields returns as the East’s second-ranked NCAA qualifier. Teammates senior Lindsay Mann and freshman Hayley Jones give the Big Green depth that the team hasn’t seen in recent years. Always in the chase is the University of Vermont, led by 2005 NCAA giant slalom champion junior Greg Hardy and the East’s top-ranked cross country woman in senior Carina Hamel. The Catamounts — the last Eastern team to win the NCAA team title, in 1994 — are looking to gain a measure of revenge against their rival Dartmouth, which leapfrogged over Vermont on the final day of competition to finish third in last year’s team standings. Hardy, named Ski Racing magazine’s 2006 Collegiate Racer of the Year, won the EISA slalom championship on Feb. 24 and is ranking third among the East’s NCAA qualifiers, behind Dartmouth’s Chodounsky and Weiss. Hamel, a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier, is also ranked number one in the East in the classical technique, where she won two races on the EISA circuit. Junior Eric Gilbert won the EISA points title in giant slalom. Middlebury also sends a strong contingent to this year’s championships, led by NCAA Championships veterans sophomore Andrew Wagner — who won this year’s Eastern giant slalom title — and senior Clayton Reed, along with sophomore Mattie Ford, ranked third in the East in slalom, and senior Jenny Hamilton in cross country.  Host New Hampshire will send freshman Veronique Archambault-Leger, the winner of seven races on the EISA circuit this year and who was named the EISA Women's Alpine Points Champion and the EISA Women's Alpine Rookie of the Year. UNH will send a full complement of Alpine racers to the Championships, qualifying Archambault-Leger and freshmen Cynthia Tessier and Aileen Farrell on the women’s side and senior Joe Dunn, sophomore Sean McNamara and freshman Willie Ford for the men’s events. Dunn and McNamara also competed at last year’s Championships. Other Eastern skiers to watch for include Williams’ Eric Mann and Jennah Durham in Alpine events, and Bates’ Sylvan Ellefson in cross country


CENTRAL REGION RECAP
The Northern Michigan University cross country ski teams competing in its backyard at Al Quaal Recreation Center in Ishpeming, Mich. dominated the NCAA Central Regional Championship which was held Feb. 17-18, 2007. The NMU team won the combined team score title. NMU had the top four skiers in the 5K freestyle event on Saturday. Lindsay Williams won the event with a time of 17:39.0 about 19 seconds ahead of teammate Lindsey Weier (17:58.8). Morgan Smyth (17:59.8) and Maria Stuber (18:06.9) were third and fourth respectively. In fifth place was the first non-NMU skier as Anna Coulter, from Alaska, skated across the finish line with a time of 18:29.4. Anna Bergland, from NMU, was sixth (18:51.8). She was followed by two Alaska skiers, Julia Coulter (18:51.9) and Aurelia Korthauer (18:56.1). Ninth belonged to Michigan Tech skier Kristina Owen (19:02.0) while 10th was the fourth Nanook in the top 10, Paula Daabach (19:07.4). Sunday saw the Wildcats take the top three spots in the 10K classic race. Williams with a time of 34:31.4 won the event just a ski tip ahead of teammate Weier (34:31.8). Smyth (35:16.7) followed in third. The next two places in the event belonged to Korthauer in fourth with a time of 35:52.5 and Owen (35:53.9). Sixth place belonged to an open skier. NMU nailed down the seventh through the 10th spots with Maria Stuber (36:44.9), Kelly Ahern (37:05.4), Bergland (37:20.8) and Jennifer Wygant (37:21.5). On the men’s side on Saturday in the 10K freestyle race the ‘Cats had the top three collegiate skiers in the event. Martin Stuge Banerud won the freestyle race as he skated a 31:26.7. Bill Bowler and Phil Violett were the next two collegiate skiers to finish with times of 31:59.8 and 32:01.9 respectively. Overall they were fourth and fifth respectively. Justin Singleton (32:14.0) from NMU was the next collegiate skier as he was seventh overall. Marius Korthauer from Alaska was the ninth overall skier in the event as he had a time of 32:39.3. Jesse Lang from Michigan Tech was 10th overall (32:41.4). The 15K classic on Sunday was a different story. Alaska had the top two skiers in Vahur Teppan (43:22.4) and Korthauer (43:23.9). Banerud was fourth overall with a clocking of 44:25.1. Lang (44:28.3) was fifth and Violett (44:41.2) sixth. Two open skiers were seventh and eight as NMU’s Bowler (45:18.3) was ninth and Singleton (45:39.8) 10th.

WESTERN REGION RECAP

Defending NCAA champion Colorado and Denver were the two schools that really duked it out in the west this winter, as DU won three of the five western meets, including the RMISA Championship/NCAA West Regional, with CU winning the other pair and taking second in the three Pioneer wins. While just 65 points separated the Buffaloes and Pioneers this winter, coming on strong at the end was Utah, which also owned one second place team finish early in the year.  CU and the Utes qualified full 12-skier teams for the NCAA Championships, while DU will have at least 11, with the first Nordic woman’s alternate a Pioneer. Denver won the regional with 426 points, followed by Colorado (409) and Utah (391); just 18 points had separated the three heading into the two freestyle cross country races.  Alaska-Anchorage (321) and Montana State (300) rounded out the top five.  Snowfall wreaked havoc with the alpine events, forcing cancellation of the giant slalom races; thus, team point totals were lower due to six events being scored instead of the usual eight as only the slalom was run in alpine competition (and that was run in less than perfect conditions with 18-24 inches of soft snow over the hardpack). But the Pioneers were undaunted by the conditions, as DU skiers claimed four of the six individual titles with CU claiming the other pair. Denver swept the freestyle cross country races, as sophomore Annelise Bailly won the women’s 5k and senior John Stene the men’s 10k, both by comfortable margins.  Junior Rene Reisshauer netted the school a third regional Nordic crown when he topped Stene by some 20 seconds in the 15k classical race.   The women’s 10k classical saw Colorado skiers finish 1-2, as junior Maria Grevsgaard bested freshman teammate Kristin Ronnestrand by 11 seconds. With the GS cancelled due to blizzard conditions, the alpine performers were left with the usually treacherous slalom.  But with fresh snow inundating the Sugar Bowl ski area outside of Lake Tahoe, times were generally a bit slower and most of the field was able to finish, though ruts developed quickly and it favored the top seeded performers. In the women’s slalom, Colorado sophomore Lisa Perricone skied to a two-plus second win over Utah’s Kim Stephens, while two Denver sophomores grabbed the top two spots in the men’s race, as Francesco Ghedina bested teammate John Buchar. DU scored 2,628½ points on the year, with Colorado right behind at 2,563½; but the Buffs were decimated by illness for the New Mexico Invitational, and DU took the opportunity to pounce on the entire field and record the largest margin of victory in a western meet (107½ points) since the sport went coed in 1983.  Utah was third with 2,329½, with the next three fairly close: New Mexico (2012), Montana State (1967) and Alaska (1959). Individually, Colorado skiers won 14 of the 38 races in the western regular season, with DU performers winning 11; seven schools in all had individual champions, as New Mexico (4), Utah (3), Western State (3), Alaska (2) and Montana State (1) also had skiers top the podium.  CU’s Grevsgaard won the most titles, seven, including a sweep of the season’s five classical races. One of the most memorable moments on the season included the first-ever (and rare by any school) 1-2-3 sweep by Montana State skiers, as the Bobcat women, led by star Jamie Woelk, dominated the 10k freestyle at the Utah Invitational. These NCAA Championships will also mark the final go-round for New Mexico head coach George Brooks, who is retiring after 37 seasons at the school.  He is the only ski coach the Lobos have ever had, and he led them to the 2004 NCAA title, the lone national title in UNM athletic history.
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