STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. –– The 2018 NCAA Skiing Championships kicked off Wednesday with the giant slalom races at Steamboat Resort.
It was one of the tightest opening days to a national championship in quite some time. Vermont stands in first place with 134 points, but its four-point Day 1 lead over host Colorado represents the smallest margin between top two schools since 2006 (1.5 points) and the smallest between first and third since the sport went co-ed in 1983. Denver sits in third place with 129 points.
The men’s giant slalom started the championship series consisting of 23 NCAA schools and 148 student-athletes.
The top five finisherson the men's side were: Brian McLaughlin, Dartmouth (first place), Tanguy Nef, Dartmouth (second), Ola Johansen, Colorado (third), Max Roeisland, Vermont (fourth) and Morten Bakke, MSU (fifth).
Congratulations to Brian McLaughlin ’18, the 2018 @NCAA Skiing Giant Slalom Champion! First individual GS title for @DartmouthSkiing in 19 years, first alpine title in 12. #NCAASki #DartSki pic.twitter.com/S5qJpQ81Of— Dartmouth Athletics (@dartmouthsports) March 7, 2018
No NCAA Division I team has had two racers finish first and second since Vermont did so at the 2000 championship. Dartmouth’s podium dominance led them to the team race victory with 92 points, beating out Colorado (82).
The women, who raced second starting at 12:45 p.m. local time, experienced a much warmer race compared to the men. The men faced a variable of temperatures in the 20s while the women's participants experienced temperatures in the mid 30s to low 40s. The top five women’s finishers placed as listed: Amelia Smart, Denver (first place), Katharine Irwin, New Mexico (second), Paula Moltzan, Vermont (third), Ann-Kathrin Breuning, Utah (fourth) and Carolina Bartlett, Middlebury (fifth).
The awards ceremony followed both races. The student-athletes were bestowed with their well-deserved accolades and podium finishers also received complementary cowboy and cowgirl hats, which were provided by the University of Colorado as a token of appreciation for competing.
At the end of Day 1, here's how the top 18 schools look: 1st: Vermont, 2nd: Colorado, 3rd: Denver, 4th: Utah, 5th: Dartmouth, 6th: New Mexico, 7th: Montana State, 8th: Middlebury, 9th: Alaska Anchorage, 10th: St. Michael’s, 11th: New Hampshire, 12th: Plymouth State, 13th: Williams, 14th: St. Lawrence, tied for 15th: Colby, Boston College, 17th: Bates, tied for 18th: Alaska Fairbanks, Bowdoin, Harvard, Michigan State, Northern Michigan, St. Scholastica.
The #VCats lead the @NCAA Ski Championships after Day 1 with 134 points! Paula Moltzan and Max Roeisland each earned First Team All-America honors in the giant slalom. #ThisIsVermont— UVM Ski Team (@UVMSkiing) March 7, 2018
RECAP: https://t.co/NthtZlAQxb pic.twitter.com/HJIyaNSNN0
The men and women continue the competition for the NCAA championship tomorrow, Thursday March 8 at 11 a.m. ET. The first event consists of the Women’s 5K Classical, followed by the Men’s 10K Classical at 12:30 p.m. ET. Both competitions will take place at Howelsen Hill and will be streamed live on NCAA.com.