Jan. 20, 2006
2006 University of Vermont skiing preview
By John A. Fantino
Free Press Staff Writer
University of Vermont skiers were on the slopes of Stowe Mountain
Resort at 8 a.m., on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Jamie Kingsbury didn't mind awakening early, even though most of her
peers were sleeping in.
"I prefer practicing in the mornings," she said Monday.
The Waitsfield resident is just as eager to start her senior season.
One of the most accomplished skiers in Catamount history, Kingsbury is
a two-time national champion in the giant slalom and a three-year
Kingsbury, who won the giant slalom in 2003 and 2005 and is gunning to
become UVM's first three-time GS champion, is just one component of a
Catamount team that finished second to Denver University at the NCAA
Championships a year ago at Stowe.
Seniors Hilary McCloy and Amy Cochran and sophomore Jilyne McDonald
were also All-Americans last year and will vie for crowns.
The Cats crowded the podium in the GS and slalom at the TD Banknorth
Eastern Cup in Waterville Valley, N.H., last month, a tune-up for the
carnival circuit that begins today at Sugarloaf Resort in Maine.
"The women are just as strong as they were last year, if not stronger,"
said Bill Reichelt, UVM's director of skiing and head alpine coach.
"They should dominate the east."
The Vermont men alpiners should also be a force. Last year, they were
in the middle of the pack during the carnival season but burst loose
and prevailed at the NCAAs. Sophomore Greg Hardy of Stratton was the GS
winner and has his sights set on becoming UVM's first back-to-back
Senior Paul Epstein notched a pair of top-10 finishes at the 2005
nationals and has been racing fast during preseason practices. Zac
Brown and Sam Beck should also be impact skiers for the Cats.
"After last year's NCAAs, our men realized they can do it on the big
day," Reichelt said. "The men's competition is fierce so they have to
be going for it every day, but when you are going all-out all it takes
is a split-second mistake and you are done for the day."
The UVM Nordic team has a pair of gaps to fill after the graduation of
All-Americans Lowell Bailey and Ethan Foster.
Seniors Anders Osthus and Kate Crawford are the leading returners.
Reichelt said several freshmen will be relied upon, including a few top
recruits from Europe.
"The new guys are super-talented," Reichelt said, "and we have some
All four disciplines of the team will have to click if the Cats hope to
snag their sixth national title and first since 1999. This year's NCAA
Championships will take place March 8-11 at Steamboat Springs, Colo.
"This weekend will be our first test to see how we stack up."
Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
University of Vermont
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