Nef and Ogden lead skiing to 4th place at NCAA Championships

by Caitlyn McGovern | 3/29/19 2:00am

The Dartmouth ski team’s season came to an end with a fourth place finish at the NCAA Skiing Championships on March 9 at the Trapp Family Lodge and Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont. This is one notch lower than the team’s overall third place finish last year behind first-place University of Denver and second-place University of Colorado. Katharine Ogden ’21 took home the national champion title in the women’s 15k classical and Tanguy Nef ’20 won the men’s slalom. 

The competition began on March 6 with the women’s 5k and men’s 10k freestyle events. The Big Green ended the first day in sixth place with the women scoring 68 points and the men scoring 23 points for 91 points total, just one point behind fifth-place Denver and 51 points behind the University of Utah, which was in first place at the time. In the women’s 5k event, Ogden came through with a strong performance, narrowly missing the platform at fourth place but still earning a spot on the All-America First Team with her showing. Ogden started off the race behind the rest of the pack but was able to race to the finish in the final half of the course. This remarkable finish found her just 6.2 seconds behind Utah’s first place finisher. In the men’s 10k event, Gavin McEwen ’19 and Callan DeLine ’18 finished in 19th and 20th place, and Adam Glueck ’21 finished in 39th.

On day two, the Big Green relied on several stellar performances to narrowly edge out Utah for first place, accumulating 259 points to Utah’s 252.5. 

“In the morning we were pretty confident, we were pretty relaxed — at least for the guys side — and then we went down and the Nordies had skied the day before and had a pretty good result, but we knew we had to keep it up and so we went for it,” Nef said.

The Big Green’s men’s team ended the day with a total of 105 points for the alpine giant slalom and the women with 63 in the same event. At the top of the leaderboard was Nef, who won the men’s giant slalom title. 

“The first run was pretty solid for the whole team, we were in pretty good standings, especially for the guys,” Nef said. “I think we really brought it to the next level on the second run because we knew we could do it.”

In regards to his own performance on the course, Nef had a strong second run, saying, “I was pretty confident with the line and the course and the snow and everything, and it was an incredible second run.”

His teammates James Ferri ’19 and Drew Duffy ’21 also had strong finishes, coming in third and fourth place respectively. 

“My teammate was third and my other teammate was fourth so we won three and four which was incredible — even the coach had never seen that,” Nef said. “Funny enough, we woke up and we said, ‘Operation 1, 2, 3’ because the goal was the get 1, 2, 3. It was kind of a joke but also doable, and there was just one guy who got in between there.” 

In the women’s race, Tricia Mangan ’19 pulled through with a third place finish, while Stephanie Currie ’20 came in 13th place and Alexa Dlouhy ’19 came in 20th place. 

On March 8, the team was back on the slopes once again and the day’s events were focused on classical nordic skiing with the women’s 15k and men’s 20k races. The Big Green was unable to hold on to its position in first place, falling in the rankings to third place with 359 total points behind Utah at 426.5 and Colorado at 361. In the men’s 20k, DeLine finished in 17th,  McEwen finished in 33rd place and Glueck finished in 38th place. 

The women’s team finished with 86 points for the day and the men’s team ended with 14 points. For the second year in a row, Ogden took home first place in the women’s 15k classical and dominated the event, crossing the finish line 23.4 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. With this performance, Ogden earned yet another spot on the All-America First Team. 

“NCAAs is always a high-pressure event,” Ogden said in an email. “We spend our whole year training and leading up to it, so dealing with the expectations that I had set for myself and other people’s expectations is the hardest part.”

Lauren Jortberg ’20 also had a strong performance in the event with a sixth place finish that earned her Second Team honors. 

“It was really good; it was a great race,” Jortberg said. “I slotted myself into the second pack, Katharine was in the lead pack of three girls, and then my pack was five or six girls. It was good and we just worked together.”

On the fourth and final day of competition, the Big Green ended its season with a fourth place finish at 447 points. The team fell to first place Utah at 530.5 points, second place Vermont at 476 points and third place Colorado at 455 points. However, the fifth place team, Denver, finished far behind Dartmouth with a 38-point difference between the two. In the men’s slalom, Nef had a strong first run, leading his competitors in first place with a time of 47.99 seconds, while Ferri finished in twenty-fifth place with a time of 54.79 seconds. At the end of the second run, Ferri found his way to twenty-second place and Duffy  finished in eighth place, while Nef fell to 27th after a difficult run. In the first round of the women’s race, Mangan finished in seventeenth, Currie finished in ninth, and Dlouhy finished tied for tenth. At the end of the second run, Mangan finished sixteenth, Currie finished fourteenth, and Dlouhy finished eleventh. 

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