The St. Olaf nordic women sent one female to the championships, Linn Dale '07. After a fourth place qualifying finish at regionals, the senior was the only woman present from Minnesota, and placed 21 of 39 skiers.
"That is a great result for her," said first-year head coach Ollie Garrison '06, a two-time USCSA All-American. Dale is the first female to go to Nationals since 2002.
Five men and four women qualified for the USCA Championships at Winter Park, March 6-11, while Dale and Garrison were at Nationals in New Hampshire.
On the men's side, the Oles captured third behind a fourth place finish from Jake Boyce '08 and a fourth place effort from Nels Dyste '09.
For the women, an overall second place performance resulted from seventh and 10th place performances from Shaina Short '09 and Jenny Hedberg '08, respectively.
Garrison enjoyed his first season as head nordic coach.
"I always told myself that if money doesn't matter, then I'd be a ski coach," Garrison said. "It's such a good opportunity for someone my age to coach a collegiate ski team. I'm friends with everyone and I really want to see them succeed."
Garrison also spoke of the challenge of inheriting a program from which he recently graduated.
"For the team, I'm not sure how much of an obstacle it was for them to have a coach who just graduated, but I feel it wasn't too big of an obstacle. Next year will run more smoothly and we will improve."
Garrison is looking forward to returning as head coach. He will have one year of experience under his belt, and more sense of direction as far as off-season training. Currently, Garrison is gathering the results of this season and comparing it to past seasons. He is also looking at the progress and improvement made by individual skiers. He will then be able to develop specific training programs for offseason training that will focus on any potential weaknesses.
"It's been a great season, and all the athletes have worked so hard. I'm proud of how they did this year, even if it was thrown together at the last minute," Garrison said.
At the top of the hill, the Ole alpine teams took to the slopes in Colorado. Both the men and women finished 13th.
Trevor Davis '07 led the Oles in the giant slalom, finishing 33rd. St. Olaf was seventh in the slalom, as Davis, Connor Lund '09 and David Sayre '09 acquired times for an accumulation of 302.35 points.
On the women's side, Katherine Westby '07 and Meredith Marti '08 finished 55th and 56th, respectively.