Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sinnott helps Dartmouth to NCAA skiing title

First national crown in 31 years for Big Green


Dartmouth captain Mike Sinnott (#35) gets off the mark in the NCAA 10-kilometer skate race. Courtesy photos by Patrick Sinnott

Dartmouth College senior Mike Sinnott of Ketchum was the East's top-ranked collegiate cross-country skier this winter and he made one final contribution to the Big Green's success last week in New Hampshire.

Wood River High School graduate Sinnott, 22, was the men's Nordic team captain of a NCAA national championship ski team Saturday night when the 2007 NCAA Skiing Championships wrapped up a six-day stay at Bartlett and Jackson, N.H.

That's right, Dartmouth won it all during the 54th annual NCAA men's and women's competition and Sinnott played an important role.

Skiing's pre-World War II powerhouse with the likes of alpine aces Dick Durrance and Walter Prager, Dartmouth College won its first NCAA skiing championship in 31 years Saturday. The Big Green also won NCAA skiing titles in 1976 and 1958. No Eastern team had won the NCAA title since Vermont in 1994.

Winner of nine of 12 races contested this winter on the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnival circuit, Sinnott earned All-American honors in races at Jackson Cross Country Center.

He placed eighth in Friday's 20-kilometer mass start classic event and 18th in Wednesday's 10k skate. Western skiers won both men's races. They were Rene Reisshauer of Denver University and Snorri Einarsson of University of Utah.

Dartmouth, boasting the maximum 12 skiers in the field of 158 alpine and Nordic racers, compiled 698 points to prevail by 50 points over Western champ University of Denver (648) and defending team titlist University of Colorado (592).

The Big Green, the best of 22 teams in the NCAA finals, was solid across the board—piling up 185 points in women's cross country, 183 in men's alpine led by junior David Chodounsky of Colorado (2nd slalom), 168 in women's alpine led by Lindsay Mann of Massachusetts (4th slalom), and 162 in Nordic men.

Dartmouth men's Nordic coach Ruff Patterson, who grew up in Sun

Valley, said, "This team has come together like it never has. We were solid in all four groups and it has taken us a long time to get to this point. It seems like everything just came together for us here for many, many reasons. This has just been mind-boggling and wonderful."

The "Big Nordic Three" for Dartmouth were Sinnott, junior Ben True of Maine and sophomore Glenn Randall of Colorado.

Dartmouth College was unbeaten this season with a perfect 6-0 record in the EISA carnival circuit and, for the first time since 1975, went on to win the EISA Eastern Championship staged at Middlebury College.

Two other local skiers competed at the NCAA finals.

They were former Sun Valley Junior Nordic racer Matt DeCarufel of University of Nevada-Reno (34th men's 10k skate, 34th men's 20k classic) and Zac Brown of the University of Vermont (17th men's GS, DSQ in the second run of men's SL after having the 5th-fastest first run).

Highlights of the NCAA skiing finals will be shown Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m. MDT on CBS local 11. Check the Website of photographer and local son Patrick Sinnott, patrick-sinnott.com, for more photos.




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