The 2020 National Collegiate NCAA Alpine and Nordic Ski Championships at Bozeman, Mt. made it halfway through its four-day competition schedule last week before being canceled due to the evolving public health threat of COVID-19.
Wednesday’s first day of competition featured alpine giant slalom. Thursday’s second day included the successful completion of men’s Nordic 10-kilometer men’s freestyle and women’s 5k freestyle races.
Canceled were the alpine slalom for men and women, plus the men’s 20k classic and women’s 15k classic at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center located at 6,100-foot elevation.
Middlebury College junior Peter Wolter earned All-American honors during Thursday’s men’s 10k skate by placing ninth of 39 finishers with a time of 24:40, which was 49 seconds off the top time posted by Ben Ogden of the University of Vermont (23:50).
Montana State University’s Eli Jensen was 32nd in 26:14.
Hailey’s Annika Landis teamed with Middlebury teammates Sophia Laukli of Yarmouth, Me. and Alexandra Larson of West Burke, Vt. to pile up 79 points in the women’s 5k freestyle and earn the team victory in that event over Univ. of Utah.
Landis (14:35) placed 16th of 40 finishers—her best in NCAA Finals competition. Panther rookie Laukli (13:25) was the runner-up finisher, four seconds off the winning pace of Eveliina Piippo of Univ. of Denver (13:21). A snow squall made the racing more difficult for the women.
Also on Thursday, March 12, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division 1 men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.
In a statement, NCAA said, “The decision was based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”
Here are final team NCAA team standings for the truncated competition at Bozeman:
Nordic: 1—Univ. of Vermont 153 points. 2—Univ. of Utah 141. 3—Univ. of Alaska-Anchorage 123. 4—Middlebury College 101. 5—Univ. of Colorado 100.
Combined Alpine-Nordic: 1—Univ. of Utah 293. 2—Univ. of Denver 261. 3—Middlebury College 216. 4—Univ. of Vermont 190. 5—Univ. of Colorado 158.