Vermont's Donaldson and Uhl Win National Championships
Release Date: 03-12-2009
Author: Chris Wojcik
BETHEL and RUMFORD, Maine — Vermont's David Donaldson (Toronto, Ont.) continued his sensational rookie campaign by winning the giant slalom at the NCAA Ski Championships at Sunday River on Thursday afternoon. Senior Juergen Uhl (Muhlenbach, Germany) also finished first in the men's 10k classic at Black Mountain to propel Vermont into second place as a team. The Catamounts have 326 points and trail first place Denver (330 points) by just four points.
The individual national titles for Donaldson and Uhl are the first for a Catamount since Greg Hardy '08 and Jamie Kingsbury '06 both won the GS at the 2005 NCAA Ski Championships at Stowe Mountain Resort.
Donaldson's individual title is the 11th all-time in the giant slalom at the NCAAs for UVM. Donaldson posted a combined time of 2:30.24 to win his eighth race of the year.
"I knew the hill very well and I had a little bit of an advantage," Donaldson said. "I made a few mistakes on the first run, but I knew on this hill you can put the hammer down and give it 100 percent, and not have to worry about dangerous terrain. You just have to absolutely go out as hard as you can in order to go out on top, and it's a good thing I did, I guess."
Uhl's individual title is just the third all-time in the classic for a Vermont skier and the first since Thorodd Bakken '98 won in 1998. Uhl finished with a time of 24:14.9 for his third win of the year.
"I felt sweet. I didn't even try to ski, I just went out there and trusted my coaches - they usually do a great job with [waxing] the skis," Uhl said. "When I heard the first split, I was up by only a second, maybe, but I knew it was all downhill after that, and I knew my skis were fast enough to do it, so I felt good. It all worked out perfectly."
Freshman Franz Bernstein (Unterthingau, Germany) added a fifth-place finish in the men's 10k classic with a time of 24:44.4.
Freshman Caitlin Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska) led the way for the women's Nordic team with a sixth-place finish in the 5k classic with a time of 14:25.8. Junior Jennie Bender (Johnson, Vt.) followed up with a 10th-place finish and a time of 14:33.0.
Junior Erik Gilbert (Richmond, Vt.) added a 14th-place finish in the giant slalom and senior captain Marsh Gooding (Steamboat, Colo.) was 17th. Gilbert finished with a combined time of 2:34.41 while Gooding posted a time of 2:34.71.
Senior captain Jilyne McDonald (Bellevue, Wash.) led the way for the women's alpine team with a seventh-place finish in the giant slalom and a combined time of 2:37.26. Sophomore Lyndee Janowiak (Manistee, Mich.) took ninth-place with a time of 2:37.34 while freshman Meg Ryley (Toronto, Ont.) finished 35th. Ryley lost a ski during her first run.
The NCAA Ski Championships continue on Friday with the first runs of the men's slalom at 9 a.m. and first runs of the women's slalom will follow at 10:15 a.m.