Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Cole wins National Championship title in giant slalom

Sophomore Adam Cole captured DU’s first national title in the giant slalom since 1994 on March 8 and the second individual title of the NCAA Championships, beating Dartmouth’s Evan Weiss by 0.24 seconds. 

On March 7, junior Rene Reisshauer won the individual national championship in the men’s 10K freestyle.

The Pioneers moved into second place with 329 points, just one point behind leader Dartmouth. Utah is in third with 280 points and Colorado is in fourth with 275.

Joining Cole on the podium in third place was sophomore Francesco Ghedina, who finished second in the event at last year’s championships. John Buchar, a sophomore, came in 14th. The men won the event by 11 points over New Mexico.

The last time a team had two skiers together on the podium during an NCAA Championship alpine event was 2004, when Pioneers Pia Rivlesrud and Barbara Knor finished first and third in the slalom.

Sophomore Jenny Tank was second in the women’s giant slalom, just 0.88 second behind Western State’s Sarah Schaedler. Junior Karine Falck-Pedersen came in eighth and sophomore Claire Abbe (Burnsville, Minn.) was 29th, putting the Pioneers second in the race, 12 points behind Colorado.

“Our athletes skied like they have all year, so it wasn’t a big surprise to see that they could perform so well,” says DU Alpine Head Coach Andy LeRoy. “I’m absolutely ecstatic. The athletes came to the NCAA Championships and skied at the level they are capable of. They worked hard all year and got everything out that they put into it.

“Seeing the Nordic side be so successful yesterday, it pushed the alpine team because they realized that the opportunity is there for us to win the title. All of the skiers are ready to go and very excited about the next two days,” LeRoy says.

Cole’s win was the first DU individual title in men’s alpine since Jayme Smithers won the slalom in 1999. It was the second giant slalom title in Pioneers history.

The NCAA Championships will continue with the men and women’s classical Nordic races to be held at Jackson, N.H., on March 9.

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