CMC skiers end on high note

Team nabs 12th-place finish, ending remarkable season

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— Although the final road to Idaho's Bogus Basin happens to be a bit curvy, the course itself was a straight shot down for the local Colorado Mountain College men's alpine team at the 2001 College Nationals.

"You have to drive up the curviest road I've ever been on to get there," said Kris Fowler, who skies for CMC. "But the weather was awesome, it was stellar. It was clear, sunny and warm every day."

The Bogus Basin Ski Resort, which is 16 miles from Boise, was the site of the U.S. Collegiate Snowsport Association Nationals March 5-10.

The CMC men, who placed fourth at the Feb. 21-24 Western Regional Championships in Park City, Utah, raced to a No. 12 overall finish at the nationals.

The team's No. 11 finishes in both the slalom and giant slalom events guided it to 12th place overall.

The top-5 overall finishers in the men's alpine nationals were Sierra Nevada College, Plymouth State College, Colby-Sawyer College, Green Mountain College and Whitman College.

Nineteen teams competed in the nationals.

For Ames Chandler, CMC head coach, the national event turned out to be her swan song. She recently retired from coaching.

"It's time for a change," Chandler said. "I'm (moving) to Lake Tahoe and I'm going to start doing some remodeling and maybe do some part-time coaching.

"I'm not sure (exactly) what I'll do," she said. "But it's just time for a change."

Chandler's team had a remarkable season, which began in late January with a giant slalom in Winter Park.

At the nationals, Jay Lawton turned in a team-best performance with a No. 29 finish in the slalom, which was held March 8. There were 105 competitors in both the slalom and giant slalom races.

Other CMC individual finishes in the slalom race were Hans Herner (No. 46), Erlend Halsnes (No. 47), David Kelly (No. 67) and Chris Beyer (No. 71).

Lawton recorded a team-best finish in the giant slalom, too, which was held March 10.

Lawton skied to a 49th-place finish.

Herner placed 47th and Halsnes came in 54th in the giant slalom. Kelly was in the No. 76 spot and Fowler finished No. 88.

Fowler, who completed his final season at CMC, said Chandler was a strong asset to the program.

"She was a great coach," Fowler said. "I couldn't imagine being on the CMC team without her."

Though the school does not have a men's cross-country ski team, two CMC cross-country skiers did compete in the nationals.

A minimum of three skiers is required to make up a college team.

Todd O'Blenness ended up in the No. 15 spot after the 15K freestyle race and was 25th in the 10K classic race.

Loren Elkins was the No. 25 finisher in the freestyle and placed No. 23 in the classic.

There were 40 cross-country athletes who competed in the races.

Elkins and O'Blenness raced as individuals and therefore could not score for the overall total placements.

The top-5 men's cross-country team finishers were Whitman College, Clarkson University, the University of Wyoming, MIT and Air Force Academy.

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