MIDDLEBURY, VtT — One of the most decorated skiers in Williams Alpine history added another accolade Wednesday: 2013 All-American.
It was a cloudy morning with temperatures in the mid-30s at the Middlebury Snow Bowl, and senior Alpine standout Geordie Lonza took to the slopes in the national championship giant slalom, throwing down a clutch second run to come in 8th with a two-run time of 2:07.68.
Lonza, who hails from Mammoth Lakes, California, nevertheless had plenty of experience at the Snow Bowl. Most recently, she placed 4th in the GS at Middlebury's home carnival at the same location.
Lonza's first run of 1 minute, 4.76 seconds left her in 12th place, just .14 outside the top-10 and All-American honors. It was a good run for the senior Eph, but not a perfect one, with a couple of slips around gates in the course's middle section.
Denver University's Kristine Haugen exploded out of the gates to take a huge lead after the first run. Haugen skied the course in 1:02.71, more than a half-second in front of UVM's Kristine Riis-Johannessen, who was in second (1:03.34.).
The UVM team, which has commanded the eastern carnivals all season, got off to a hot start with three Catamounts in the top 6 after the first run, while Denver had three in the top 8.
|Geordie Lonza '13 (far left) on the
podium at NCAA Giant Slalom with
8th place All-American finish
But Lonza was far from done. She skied a nearly flawless second run, negotiating the tricky lower section of the course to come in with a time of 1:02.92. It was the 5th-fastest second run and propelled Lonza up four places to 8th. With the finish, Lonza became the first female Alpine skier at Williams to repeat as an All-American since Jen Seed did so in 1993-4.
Haugen put down the fastest time in the second run as well, skiing it in 1:01.89 to finish in 2:04.6, winning by a ridiculous margin of 1.33 seconds. Brooke Wales of Colorado University was second, while Riis-Johannessen rounded out the podium.
Last week, Lonza was named First Team All-East for the third time in her career and with a Second Team honor in 2010, Lonza earned All-East recognition all four years. "She is by all rights one of the best female Alpine skiers in the history of our program," coach Ed Grees said entering the race.
Lonza's week is far from over. The slalom race is Friday at the Snow Bowl—and she has fond memories of the course after winning the Middlebury Carnival slalom race three weeks ago.
Last year a quartet of Ephs skied to a 12th place finish at the NCAA Skiing Championships, tying the best finish by Williams since they finished 12th in 2010. Four Ephs take to the trails when Nordic action begins Thursday and can be followed on a live webcast from the NCAA website.
Complete results can be found here: