Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Valley skiers ready for NCAA finals

At Steamboat Springs this week

Express Staff Writer

Dartmouth College junior Mike Sinnott is among the cross-country ski athletes toeing the line at Steamboat Springs, Colo. for the 2006 NCAA Men's and Women's Skiing Championships March 8-11.

Wood River High School graduate Sinnott is a Big Green junior majoring in psychology at the Ivy League college in Hanover, N.H. He was hitting his stride in Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association events leading up to the NCAAs.

Sinnott, 21, son of Ketchum residents Ed and Carol Sinnott, won the men's 10-kilometer classic event and finished second in the 20k freestyle race at the Middlebury Carnival/EISA Championships Feb. 24-25 in Vermont. He was second in men's 10k free at the Williams (Mass.) Carnival Feb. 17-18.

The University of Colorado is hosting the NCAA finals for the first time since 1993. The men's 10k classic race is Thursday, March 9. The men's 20k freestyle event is Saturday, both on Howelsen Hill.

NCAA highlights will be televised Saturday, April 22 at 11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time on CBS local channel 11.

Other locals at NCAA finals

In all, there were 74 men and 74 women chosen for this week's NCAA alpine and cross-country finals in Colorado.

Others in Steamboat Springs from the Wood River Valley are University of Utah Nordic skiers Ashley McQueen and Jess Kiesel, and University of Vermont alpine skier Zac Brown.

McQueen, a senior, and junior Kiesel are making their second trips to the NCAA finals, having qualified as freshmen in 2003. They are Utah Academic All-Americans and four-year competitors.

McQueen, 21, is a daughter of Mark and Polly McQueen. Kiesel, 23, is a son of Rob Kiesel and Alison Kiesel. Both were Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team members and Wood River High School graduates.

Making his first trip to the NCAA finals is 21-year-old Zac Brown, a University of Vermont sophomore and son of Doug and Gloria Brown. Community School graduate Brown was on the Sun Valley Ski Team while growing up here.

Vermont won the Middlebury Carnival/EISA Championships Feb. 24-25—Vermont's second straight EISA title and 30th in 31 years. Vermont won all six EISA carnivals this winter. Brown was fourth in slalom at the Middlebury event.

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