Whit Skiers Put Wrap on Regular Season

Saturday, Feb 23, 2008

With her spot at the NCAA national skiing championships already assured, Whitman sophomore Devon Spika placed 20th in the women's 15-kilometer classic as the Nordic portion of the NCAA West Region Championships came to a close Saturday at Bohart Ranch near Bozeman, Mont.

"It was not Devon's best race, but there was no pressure today in terms of still having to qualify for nationals," Whitman coach Calisa Schouweiler said. "We're all very excited for Devon. She's looking forward to going back to the national championships."

Montana State University, which hosted the regional championships at Bohart Ranch, will also host nationals. The NCAA's Nordic championship races are set for March 5 & 7.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Whitman seniors Robert Marcotte and Davis Taylor had career-best performances in their final college races. Marcotte finished 20th in the men's 20-kilometer classic in 1:12:34.80. Davis was 26th in 1:14:29.55, finishing one spot in front of sophomore Warren McDermott, who posted a time of 1:14:57.24.

"It was great to put our top three guys in the top 30, and it was nice to see the two seniors end their seasons with such fantastic races," Schouweiler said. "The waxing conditions were very tricky today. There were 12 men who dropped out of the race because of wax problems."

The Whitman men's team finished with 30 points, placing eighth among nine schools. Senior Loren Schmidt also raced for the Missionaries, placing 33rd in 1:19:17.63.

Spika's time in the women's race was 1:00:58.19. Her four teammates filled spots 29 through 32. First-year skier Eloise Zimbelman led the way in 1:05:31.89 and was followed to the finish line by sophomore Adele Mery (1:06:54.49), first-year skier Paige Devlin (1:07:05.54), and sophomore Liz Forbes (1:07:27.27).

The Whitman women tallied 27 points to also place eighth among nine schools.

The University of Colorado was first in both the men's and women's team scoring. Colorado's Kit Richmond and Maria Grevsgaard were the individual winners. The same two skier won Friday's freestyle races.