Nordic finishes strong in freestyle at NCAA Regionals
RUMFORD, Maine — The Bates Nordic ski team enjoyed an outstanding final day of the carnival season on its home turf at Black Mountain, placing three athletes in the top 22 in the men’s 20K mass start freestyle race, and three more in the top 25 of the women’s 15K at the Bates Carnival and NCAA East Regional Championships.
Junior Jordan Buetow (Fairbanks, Alaska) again led the way for the men’s squad, which placed a season-best fourth among 12 squads in the event. Buetow finished the course in 38:14.0, 10th best among 63 men. Senior captain Lucas Milliken (North Yarmouth, Maine) continued his push for a spot in the upcoming NCAA Championships, placing 18th in 39:22.5. First-year Corky Harrer (Minneapolis, Minn.) came in 22nd to round out Bates’ team scoring, in a time of 39:31.9.
In the women’s 15K race, sophomore Hallie Grossman (South Woodstock, Vt.) capped her outstanding carnival season with a 12th-place showing among 67 competitors, in a time of 29:40.5. First-year Jane McLarney (Lowell, Mass.) finished 20th in 30:12.7, a day after placing 22nd in the 5K classical technique race. Junior Gabby Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine) scored team points for a third straight race, placing 25th in 30:40.5, as the women came in fifth in the event among 12 squads, with 70 points.
Bates’ combined alpine and Nordic ski teams finished with 515 team carnival points, good for sixth place among 17 participating teams. The Bobcats now await word on who will be selected to compete at NCAAs, which take place March 6-9 at Middlebury. Buetow and Grossman are cinches to repeat NCAA selections, while Milliken and McLarney appear to be in the running as well.
The Bates’ men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams both had two skiers in the top 22, and both placed sixth among 12 squads in the classical technique races on Friday at the Bates Carnival and NCAA East Regional Championships.
Heading into Saturday’s action in the final carnival of the EISA circuit this season, Bates’ combined ski teams stand in sixth place among 16 teams, with 249 points, one point ahead of Colby.
Buetow covered the men’s 10K home course at Black Mountain in 28:41.1, less than two seconds behind 13th-place Sam Reed of New Hampshire. Milliken came in 22nd out of 66 racers in 28:56.8, and junior Sam Woods (Gypsum, Colo.) finished in 29:33.9, claiming 32nd place.
Grossman led the women’s squad in 20th place among 70 competitors in the women’s 5K classic, in a time of 16:22.9. McLarney was close behind in 22nd at 16:29.0, and Naranja tied for 28th in 16:40.7 to round out Bates’ scoring.