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Dartmouth Top Team from East at NCAAs; Fifth Overall

Mar 16, 2016   |   DartmouthSports.com

Mary O'Connell
Senior engineering major Mary O'Connell '16. Photo courtesy of Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos

On the strength of 11th-place finishes by junior Fabian Stocek and senior [engineering major] Mary O’Connell in the classical races at Howelsen Hill this morning, Dartmouth was able to hold on to its fifth-place standing at the NCAA Skiing Championship, scoring a total of 335 points to rank as the top team from the East. Vermont started the last event of the competition two points behind the Big Green, but the Dartmouth women’s Nordic team held off the Catamounts.

Denver, which entered the day with a 15.5-point lead, won both events to secure the national title for the second time in the last three years, beating out host Colorado by 76 points, 567.5 to 491.5. The Buffaloes jumped two places in the standings on the final day, leapfrogging Utah by a mere 6.5 points, while Montana State, the leader through the first two days, fell back to fourth with 406...

...At 11 a.m. local time, it was time for the women’s 15K Classical race. O’Connell, skiing in her hometown, bolted out of the gate to join a group of 10 at the front of the pack. By the completion of the second of three laps, she held a tenuous spot in seventh but ultimately fell back to 11th with a time of 55:44.6. Classmate Corey Stock (Lincoln, Mass.), participating in her fourth straight NCAA Championship, put together a consistent race in the middle of the pack, taking 24th in 57:06.4. Finishing her first taste of the championship, freshman Lydia Blanchet (Anchorage, Alaska) wasn’t far behind in 27th at 57:38.9.

The Dartmouth trio accounted for 31 points to finish eighth in the race. Again Denver finished ahead of the field thanks to individual champion Linn Eriksen, who won by nearly 20 full seconds in 54:37.6. New Mexico managed to place all three of its skiers in the top 10 to post 81 for second, and the Buffaloes put two in the top five in collecting 77 for third.

The fifth-place finish is the highest for Dartmouth since the 2013 squad also took fifth. The Big Green placed sixth each of the past two years, and their most recent higher placing came in 2012 when they came in fourth.

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