NCAA PreviewMarch 4, 2017
The 2017 NCAA Championships are being held in New Hampshire this March.
- March 9th - Classical (interval starts)
- 10 am Women's 5K
- 11:30 am Men's 10K
- March 11th - Freestyle (mass starts)
- 10 am Men's 20K
- noon Women's 15K
- 2pm Team Awards
The NCAA selection process allows for no more than three skiers in each gender per team. This year, there are just nine teams that bring full squads of both men and women: Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Colorado, Dartmouth, Denver, New Mexico, Northern Michigan, Utah, and Vermont. There are also two full men's squads (Michigan Tech and Williams) and two full women's squads (Montana State and New Hampshire).
Vivian Hett, NCAA Championships, March 12, 2016 (Photo: Karen Brown)
The Midwest is well represented in the NCAA Championship field, including some great skiers now competing in other regions. For the men, the two favorites for a possible podium are Kevin Bolger, University of Utah, and Adam Martin, Northern Michigan. Both having been having great seasons, Adam Martin leading the Central region skiers in points with Bolger second in the Rocky Mountain region. The women's field is even deeper, with Alayna Sonnesyn, University of Vermont, continuing to improve and easily topping the Eastern region points, and now Abigail Drach, Dartmouth, taking fourth in that conference. Northern Michigan has a trio of strong women, lead by Nicole Schneider with Vivian Hett and Kris Bourne right behind. With a great performance, any of those women might climb onto the podium.
Interesting notes: Of the 40 women competing, 24 are American born skiers, and 10 of those are from the Midwest (over 40%). Of those 10, eight were on the 2013 Midwest Junior National team. Twenty two of the men in the field at American born, with five coming from the Midwest. Notably absent this season, Ian Torchia, Northern Michigan, who finished 2nd last year in the NCAA Championships skate race, as he is taking a medical red-shirt this season after recovering from an illness last fall.
We'll be covering both races with hopefully same day coverage. This coverage is made possible through the generous contributions of a number of parents and fans, as well as underwriting from CXC, Maplelag, and LNR.