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ISSUE 121 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/14/2008

Both Nordic teams take first in country

By Seth Hendricks
Contributing Writer


Friday, March 14, 2008

The St. Olaf Nordic skiing team finished the season strong last week. From March 3-8, the team was in Rumford, Maine, competing in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championship.

At the prestigious Black Mountain Resort, the team competed against eight other qualified teams from across the country. Both the men's and women's teams took first place overall in the championship.

Both teams were coming off difficult seasons last year, in which the women took a distant second and the men a distant third.

First-year Tom Jorgenson led the way for the men's squad, finishing first individual overall. He also finished first in the 15K classical, followed closely by Jim Vaillancourt '09 in second and Nels Dyste '08 in seventh.

Jorgenson also came in second in the 8.5K Freestyle, again followed by Dyste in fifth and Vaillancourt in sixth.

Vaillancourt took a strong fourth place finish in the 1.4k sprint, while Jorgenson and Dyste finished fifth and eighth, respectively. The trio also ended the week on a high note, assuring the team's first place finish by taking first in the 3 x 5K relay. Also placing within the top twenty individual overall was Matt Rowe '09 in 16th.

For the women's team, junior Shaina Short took second place individual overall. She finished second in the classical, before Jennie Hedberg '08 in fourth, Caroline Lund '10 in sixth and Caitlin Marine '10 in seventh.

Short also took second in the freestyle, followed closely by Lund, Hedberg and Marine, who took sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

In the sprint, Short led the way for the Oles again, placing third. She was followed again by Marine, Hedberg and Lund, who placed sixth, eighth and 12th, respectively.

Short, Lund, and Hedberg put the women's team at the top by finishing first in the 3 x 5K Relay.

Vaillancourt, Dyste and Jorgenson all made it to the men's All-American first team for their individual overall performances.

Short and Hedberg both made the first team on the women's side for their overall performances, while Lund and Marine made the second team.

These latest wins at Nationals confer moderate dynasty status to the St. Olaf Nordic skiing teams -- the men won the national championship in 2005 and the women in both 2005 and 2006.

The St. Olaf men and women each took home the President's Cup, the trophy awarded to the team with the best combined score in alpine, Nordic and snowboarding. The wins close down the team's season on a high note.





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