Geordie Lonza came into the NCAA Championships with high hopes—after all, she had been one of the fastest women in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association all winter. Thursday morning at Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, Montana, she jumped onto the national scene in style, grabbing 3rd place in the giant slalom.
Sunny skies greeted the alpine racers for Thursday's races, and temperatures in Bozeman climbed into the forties as the day wore on, creating a pleasant atmosphere in an otherwise pressure-packed event. But Lonza rose to the challenge.
The junior from Mammoth Lakes, California threw down a fifth-place first run of 52.62 seconds to start her day. Then she followed that by doing what she has been doing all year—staying fast and consistent. Her second-run time of 49.88 was the sixth-best in the field, and fast enough to move her up two spots in the results page and into Williams history.
The last time a Williams women's alpine skier earned All-American honors was Cecily Lowenthal in 2003, and no Eph had climbed the podium since Jen Seed in 1994.
Lonza's result was just a part of a banner day for EISA, as eastern skiers swept the podium. Rebecca Nadler of Harvard was the overall winner in a time of 1:41.82, edging the University of Vermont's Kate Ryley by four-tenths of a second. Then came Lonza, whose two-run total of 1:42.50 was less than seven-tenths off the winning time.
Lonza's senior teammate Laurel Carter was 33rd for the Ephs.
The excitement isn't over for the Eph women, though. Saturday's slalom is normally considered the better event for the Williams teammates. Earlier this year, the duo went 1-2 in an EISA slalom.
Nordic racing continues Friday.
Complete results can be found at http://barttiming.com/eisa/Results12/ncaa12.htm