Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team product Alexa Turzian of Middlebury College made an auspicious debut in her first NCAA Skiing Championships race Wednesday.
Turzian, 19, placed fourth of 39 finishers in the NCAA women's 5-kilometer free technique race at Bohart Ranch in Bozeman, Mont. This week's 2008 NCAA Nordic and Alpine finals are being hosted by Montana State University.
Winning Wednesday's women's race and posting her school-record 18th victory was Maria Moe Grevsgaard, 23, a University of Colorado senior captain from Geilo, Norway, who won for the 10th time in 11 starts this season—but it was her first NCAA Championship victory.
First-team All-American Grevsgaard's winning time was 17:09. Turzian (17:58) was 49 seconds back. Another former Sun Valley skier, Montana State freshman Kaelin Kiesel, finished 14th at 18:29.
University of Colorado, getting 89 points from its men and 97 from its women, led the 20-team standings after day one with 186 points, 33 ahead of Northern Michigan.
Dartmouth College's Glenn Randall won his school's first individual cross-country ski title since 1967 in Wednesday's men's skate. The last Dartmouth skier to win a national crown was the late Ned Gillette, brother-in-law of Dartmouth coach and Sun Valley native Ruff Patterson.
NCAA Championship action in cross-country resumes today, Friday, with classic races. Alpine finals in giant slalom were Thursday at Bridger Bowl and Saturday in slalom.