Glenn Randall ‘09 wins NCAA 10k cross country title
By Matt Ritger, The Dartmouth Senior Staff
Published on Friday, March 7, 2008
In the world of college skiing, there is no laurel more coveted than a victory in the NCAA championships. On Wednesday, Glenn Randall '09 completed that nearly impossible feat -- he beat out all of the top skiers in the nation, placing first in the men's 10 kilometer freestyle race in Bozeman, Mont. Randall's win snaps a 41-year drought for the Big Green as he is the first Dartmouth skiier to win a cross country championship since 1967.
"I caught the guy who started 30 seconds ahead of me," Randall said of the race, which had individual start times. "And then I caught the guy who started a minute ahead of me, and then I caught the guy who started two minutes ahead of me..."
Randall's time of 30 minutes and 37 seconds put him in first place by nearly 11 seconds, ahead of Marius Kurthauer of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Randall spoke with The Dartmouth from his hotel room in Bozeman, where he said there was not much celebrating going on -- yet.
Randall's win was a strong beginning for the Dartmouth ski team, which hopes to recapture its overall NCAA crown from 2007. Last year, the Big Green won the entire championship, becoming the first Eastern team in decades to take home the top honors.
After the first day of competition for the 2008 championship, Dartmouth was tied for third place with Middlebury College and Denver University. Perennial power Colorado University led with 186 points and Northern Michigan University was second with 153. The Big Green stands in good position to move up, as NMU does not field an alpine team to compete for the overall crown. The next few days of competition will give other Big Green skiers a chance to make their mark.
"Our coaches always tell us to go into it like any other race," Randall said. "They tell us not try to do any hero work."
Randall thrived on the hilly conditions -- despite the high altitude. He grew up in Colorado living at nearly 10,000 feet and has since spent plenty of time training at such dizzying heights.
"I actually enjoy skiing uphills," Randall said. This bodes well for Saturday's race, which will be four loops around this same course; all the more for Randall's enjoyment.
"I had a really good race," Randall said, "but I haven't had time to sit down and think about why. I guess you've just got to go out and ski a hard race, and see what happens."
In addition to Randall, the men's team also placed Nils Koons '11 in 30th and Pat O'Brien '09 in 31st.
In the women's race, Rosie Brennan '11 earned All American honors, taking sixth place in the five kilometer freestyle race. Susan Dunklee '08 took 12th and Elsa Sargent '08 was 19th.
Races continued on Thursday on the slopes at Bridger Bowl, where the men's and women's Giant Slalom competitions was decided.
Dartmouth had a tough day in the men's Giant Slalom race. Captain David Chodounsky '08 was the only Big Green finisher among the top 20. Chodounsky, the runner-up at last year's NCAA slalom race, placed 14th.
On the women's side, Courtney Hammond '11 had a strong performance for Dartmouth, snagging All-American honors and eighth place. Captain Michellanne Shields '08 took 13th.
On Saturday, the Nordic squads will compete in the longer distance Classical races. After a less than stellar day in Giant Slalom, the Big Green will have to dominate in the men's 20k and the women's 15k in order to sustain hopes of defending their crown.
On Sunday, competition concludes with the men's and women's slalom races, which promise to be a gripping finale. The Big Green has struggled in slalom events this season, clinching the 2008 NCAA championship with those races will not be an easy feat.