The NCAA Championship finished up with Nordic skiing races on Saturday, when the Saint Michael's College Alpine skiing program got its last arrangement. The Purple Knights wound up thirteenth among 22 schools with 108.5 places, their most ever at a NCAA Championship.
Senior Ben Throm (Aspen, Colo./Aspen), sophomore Simen Strand (Høvik, Norway/Dønski VGS) and first-years Helene Kristoffersen (Rælingen, Norway/Dønski VGS) and Eirik Kveno (Asker, Norway/Dønski VGS) addressed Saint Michael's out in Utah, breaking the 2018 group's record for most focuses at NCAAs (73). The Purple Knights set a school-record twelfth that year and furthermore captured thirteenth in 1988 and 2019.
Fourteen of the 22 qualifiers in College history have come in Gus MacLeod's '02 12-year residency as Alpine lead trainer, with those 14 representing 23 capabilities. MacLeod was named Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Alpine Skiing Coach of the Year both this colder time of year and in 2017.
Holy person Michael's was fifth among East schools at the title, including barely following eleventh spot Dartmouth College (142) in spite of sending four qualifiers to NCAAs against the Big Green's full supplement of 12 Alpine and Nordic skiers. The 11-part Middlebury College (209.5) crew was just 101 focuses in front of the Purple Knights. The Purple and Gold's four Alpine skiers enlisted three All-America wraps up between them, while Dartmouth and Middlebury's consolidated 12 Alpine contenders added up to four, all by Dartmouth. The University of Utah (578) brought home the public title, while crosstown opponent University of Vermont (511.5) put second.
Among Alpine programs, Saint Michael's (108.5) was 10th out of 16 schools, within range of six-qualifier programs Dartmouth (122) and Middlebury (120.5) and five-skier University of New Hampshire (126). The Purple Knights stood fifth among East institutions in Alpine points. The Saint Michael's men ended the NCAA Championship eighth among Alpine squads in points (71), narrowly trailing Middlebury (76.5) and New Hampshire (74). The women were 11th (37.5), not far behind New Hampshire (52), the University of Alaska Anchorage (48) and Middlebury (44).
Kristoffersen and Strand both earned All-America finishes to highlight the Purple Knights' individual performances. Each claimed All-America showings - necessitating a top-10 performance - during Thursday's giant slalom, with Kristoffersen ninth and Strand 10th. On Friday, Strand repeated his All-America finish, tying for fifth in the slalom. Strand became the first Purple Knight to nab a pair of All-America placements at the same NCAA Championship, while Kristoffersen was the first Saint Michael's women's skier to land All-America.
The trio of All-America efforts matched the College's Alpine and Nordic skiing programs' all-time total entering the weekend, all of which belonged to Alpine star Guillaume Grand '19, who claimed a trio of top-10 showings at NCAA Championships between 2016 and 2019.
Throm became the seventh Purple Knight skier to appear at multiple NCAA Championships, returning for the first time since 2019. He was 25th in the slalom and 27th during the GS. Kveno rounded out the Saint Michael's quartet, placing 19th in the GS before being disqualified following his opening run of slalom.
At least three Saint Michael's Alpine skiers competed at the NCAA Championship for the fifth time since 2016; prior to that, neither Alpine nor Nordic had ever sent more than one competitor to an NCAA Championship. The Purple Knights' four qualifiers were one short of the 2019 squad's school record. Saint Michael's was among 10 schools from across the nation that sent the maximum three male Alpine skiers to NCAAs, including five from the East. Only nine schools qualified more than the Purple Knights, as the Purple and Gold trailed national powers Dartmouth (6), Middlebury (6), Vermont (6) and New Hampshire (5) in the East Region.