(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
STOWE, Vermont – Montana State sophomore Eli Jensen paced the Bobcat Nordic team at the 2019 NCAA Skiing Championships on Friday morning at Trapp Family Lodge. The product of Boise, Idaho placed 19th overall in classic covering 20K course in 57:59.1.
He was followed by Ty Godfrey, 22nd, 5:09.8, and Ti Donaldson, 27th, 58:39.6.
“Eli worked himself up through the group the entire race and we’re really proud of his effort,” said MSU Nordic coach Matthew Johnson. “Ty Godfrey was just behind him with a strong finish and Ti Donaldson had slightly slower skis which made it hard for him to produce a result that he would be happy with.”
New Mexico’s Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier won the men’s title in 55:50.6.
The Bobcat women were paced by Anna Fake and Emma Tarbath who placed 22nd and 23rd, respectively. Fake covered the 15K race in 50:08.4, while Tarbath was seconds behind in 50:10.2. Kathleen O’Connell finished MSU’s scoring in 26th place in a clocking of 50:31.1.
Dartmouth’s Katharine Ogden captured the women’s crown in 46:25.7.
“We have been making some big culture changes to the MSU ski program over the past four years,” Johnson stated. “And, our results reflect that we are really close right now, so we will spend this spring doing some reflecting, strategizing and racing to help the group understand what it will take to be on the podium when it counts.”
Behind the Nordic team’s 47-point output, the Bobcats moved into tenth in the team standings with 107.5 points. Utah leads the NCAA championships with 426.5 points, followed by Colorado 361, Dartmouth 359, Vermont 350, Denver 272, New Mexico 214, Northern Michigan 206, and Middlebury 122.
“Overall, this championship was a good reminder of the incredibly high level of skiing going on in the NCAA circuit right now,” Johnson said. “Just to qualify for this event is a huge accomplishment because the difference between the first and last finishers has decreased significantly in the past few years in terms of fitness, technique and skill.”
The NCAA championships will conclude on Saturday with the alpine slalom events.