Nordic at Junior Olympics, NCAAs
Entering Friday’s 20-kilometer classic mass start race at the NCAA Skiing Championships, Wyatt Fereday ’11 was ranked second to last in the 39-man field. One hour later, the senior captain crossed the finish line in the top 25. Indeed, with his best collegiate finish of 18th in the classic technique all year, Fereday placed a respectable 24th in a time of 1:08:13.6—and at nationals of all places.
“To be 24th in that field was amazing,” said head coach Tracey Cote. “He beat several [Junior Olympic] champions and former NCAA champions.”
Teammate Jake Barton, who was ranked 29th going in, covered the course at Stowe’s Trapp Family Lodge in 1:08:56.1, good for 26th overall. Barton and Fereday combined to pick up 30 points on the day, and Colby placed 11th out of 17 scoring teams.
“Jake had a great showing,” said Cote, “especially for a sophomore. Sometimes the places at NCAA nationals can look not that impressive, but if you live in the ski world and know the names—the results Jake and Wyatt pulled off were amazing.”
Two days earlier, in Wednesday’s 10-kilometer freestyle technique race, Fereday and Barton finished in 26th and 38th places, respectively, with times of 27:38.1 and 28:27.6. Dartmouth College, Colby’s rival during the season, took three of the top five spots. Norwegian Vegard Kjoelhamar of the University of Colorado at Boulder was the top non-Big Green finisher with a time of 26:10.3, just behind race winner Sam Tarling (26:05.7).
“It's crazy to be out there among so many fast skiers at NCAAs,” said Fereday, “especially the Europeans from all the western schools. The crowds were amazing despite all the rain, and it was also pretty cool to be able to go cheer on our alpine guys [in the slalom] after the classic race.”
1,300 miles away, Levin Zars ’14, Olga Golovkina ’13 and Jared Supple ’13 competed in the Junior Olympics at the City of Lakes Loppet Nordic Ski Foundation just outside of Minneapolis, Minn. (As a notable aside, all competitors stayed in the same downtown hotel and were bused to the racecourse each day, making for the greenest Junior Olympics yet).
“The courses were difficult, but the New England coaching staff was great at preparing skis for us,” said Golovkina. “The whole race was also very well organized.”
In the freestyle sprint on Monday, Supple placed 25th out of 56 competitors with a time of 3:20.90, while Golovkina placed seventh out of 33 racers with a time of 34:52.7.
On Wednesday, in the 15-kilometer mass start classic on Wednesday, Zars and Supple placed 28th and 33rd out of 56, respectively, with times of 44:09.2 and 45:11.7. Then, in Friday’s five-kilometer freestyle race, Golovkina placed 26th out of 33 in 13:46.5, while in the 10-kilometer freestyle race, Zars placed 17th in 24:33.0 while Supple took 45th in 26:18.2.
“The New England team won the Alaska Cup again [given to the best regional team],” added Golovkina, “and by a lot. It was fun to ski for New England but also to represent Colby.”