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National Championships for Skiing, Figure Skating Teams

This spring saw major national victories for Dartmouth's skiers and figure skaters. Dartmouth won the 2007 NCAA Men's and Women's Skiing Championships in March, marking the first NCAA team trophy for the College in any sport since 1976. The figure skating team successfully defended their championship trophy for the fourth time in as many years in April, outskating second- and third-place teams from the University of Delaware and Boston University.

Skiing

Lindsay Mann '07
Alpine skier Lindsay Mann '07 (Photo by Mark Washburn)

The Big Green had solid performances across the board from its men's and women's alpine and cross country teams, besting the University of Denver by 50 points. In the final team standings, Dartmouth stood atop the heap with 698 points; Denver was second with 648; the University of Colorado, the 2006 champion, was third with 592.

"Just awesome ... great. I can't think of any other way to put it," says Director of Skiing and Women's Cross Country Coach Cami Thompson.

The championship capped an unprecedented undefeated season in which the Big Green won all six Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association carnivals, including the Eastern championship at Middlebury on Feb. 24. Dartmouth's win was the first ski title since 1976, when the championship was split with Colorado, and the first outright title since 1958.

Dartmouth placed all of its racers in the top 20 of seven of the eight races contested, building up valuable team points and widening the margin against Denver and Colorado.

Dartmouth's cross country team was the foundation for the success. All-America honors went to Sara Studebaker '07, Michael Sinnott '07, Susan Dunklee '08, Elsa Sargent '08, and Ben True '08. True's fourth-place finish in the men's 20-kilometer classical race was Dartmouth's top cross country result.

"Skiing is the type of sport where you have some good days and some bad days, and it was just amazing that it all came together," says Dunklee.

In alpine racing, All-America finishers included Evan Weiss '07, Lindsay Mann '07, Michelanne Shields '08, and David Chodounsky '08. Weiss and Chodounsky had the Big Green's top alpine finishes, with Weiss finishing second in giant slalom and Chodounsky second in slalom.

As one streak began, another ended for the Green. Dartmouth had taken the past five consecutive NCAA men's slalom titles, dating back to 2002. But the streak ended when the University of Denver's Adam Cole edged Chodounsky by four-100ths of a second to take the crown.

"That's not a bad trade," says Men's Alpine Coach Peter Dodge '78 of losing the slalom battle but winning the championship war.

Champions on ice

Sarah Alexander '10
Sarah Alexander '10 (Photo by Kawakahi Kaeo Amina '09)

The top collegiate figure skating teams in the United States competed at Thompson Arena April 14 and 15 during the first national championships hosted by Dartmouth. "It was a wonderful weekend for the team, Dartmouth Athletics, and the College," says Coach Loren McGean '92.

Skaters Katherine Kalaris '07 and Nicole Newman '08 had notably successful performances, winning the junior and senior ladies long program events, respectively. Daniel Dittrick '08, who organized and managed the championship event as well as competing in it, placed second in two ice dancing events. The Intercollegiate Championships are a program of U.S. Figure Skating, the official governing body for the sport in the United States.

Vital to the figure skating team's tradition of success is the father-daughter coaching lineup of Michael McGean '49 and Loren McGean '92. The senior McGean, 1950 world ice dancing champion and former secretary of the College, was honored at a testimonial luncheon on April 13 given by the Class of 1949. Speakers included President James Wright '64A, members of the College and Upper Valley communities, and Amy Stetson '00, the skating team's founder. Wright praised McGean's teamwork, leadership, drive to excel, and sense of responsibility—all, he said, values that Dartmouth stands for. Wright also attended the April 15 awards ceremony and presented the Dartmouth team with the championship trophy.

President James Wright, Susan DeBevoise Wright with sakting coaches
From left: President James Wright, Susan DeBevoise Wright, Michael McGean '49, Loren McGean '92, and Chuck Foster, former president of U.S. Figure Skating, at the April 13 luncheon honoring Michael McGean.

During the luncheon, the creation of the Mike McGean Endowment Fund, in support of Dartmouth's figure skating program, was announced. Stetson, recalling the team's origins 10 years ago expressed thanks to Dartmouth—"a school that listens to students with passions"—and to the alumni who support the College and the students. The Class of 1964 adopted the championships as a class project, and with the further support of individual contributions from members of the class, was the principal sponsor of the events.

"We are so appreciative to the Class of 1964 for their support and for generously sponsoring nationals," says Loren McGean. "We are also grateful for President Wright's commitment. To have him present the trophy for our unprecedented 'four-peat' was a very special honor."

By RICK ADAMS and KELLY SEAMAN

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Last Updated: 5/30/08