Nadler Adds Second All-America Honor; Places Seventh in Slalom at NCAA Championships

Rebecca Nadler, center, with assistant coach Sam Damon (left) and head coach Tim Mitchell (right) following her historic NCAA national championship - photo by Chris City
Rebecca Nadler, center, with assistant coach Sam Damon (left) and head coach Tim Mitchell (right) following her historic NCAA national championship - photo by Chris City

BOZEMAN, MONT.  Harvard sophomore Rebecca Nadler completed an amazing season Saturday afternoon, finishing seventh in the slalom event at the NCAA Championships at Bridger Bowl to earn her second All-America honor of the weekend. 

Nadler joined four skiers from the University of Vermont in representing the East Region on the podium after tying Alexandra Parker (Alaska-Anchorage) and Carolina Nordh (Colorado) with a two-run time of 1:36.22. The top five finishers earned first team All-America honors while the next five were placed on the second team.

On Thursday, Nadler made history when she won the NCAA individual national championship in the women's giant slalom event, becoming the first Harvard skier, male or female, to win a national championship. Earlier this year the Harvard sophomore became the first skier to even win a downhill event, also in the giant slalom.

Nadler's performance played a large part in Harvard placing 15th overall in the 2012 championships with 21 schools competing. Nordic teammate Alena Tofte recorded important points to allow the Crimson to hold off Alaska Fairbanks and Colby for the 15th place finish. 

Of her national championship, Nadler, a neurobiology concentrator explained, "I was not expecting a first place, but I will take it with open arms. To come out here this year and get this result was definitely a really good improvement."

With a two-run time of 1:41.82 in that event, Nadler also became just the fourth woman from the Eastern Region to win the NCAA giant slalom title at a Western host site in 15 tries.

"It was definitely in the back of our mind that this could happen here, but it's one of those things that you never want to focus on the result," said head coach Tim Mitchell. "It's still a little difficult for me to wrap my head around, from where we were six years ago to where we are right now; clearly this [result] is massive…. I'm just totally overwhelmed."

Although the victory is historic, Nadler was not an unknown heading into the competition. In addition to winning the Williams Carnival this season, she finished the regular season as the East region's second-rated skier, by mere points after her worst race of the season in the EISA Championships.

It was a wild day at the mountain with Nadler being one of just three racers to finish with top-10 times in both runs. In the end, her victory by 0.38 seconds over Vermont's Kate Ryley (1:42.21) ranks as one of the widest margins in recent NCAA annals.

In a field with 35 racers, Nadler produced the second-best time of 52.08 in the first run although she stood 0.66 seconds behind Vermont's Kristina Riss-Johannessen in the title chase. Riss-Johannessen would stumble in the decisive run however, to finish a distant 22nd.

Nadler's nearest competitor would be Ryley, who stood in fourth place after the initial run. The two swap places in the second run with Ryley coming home with the second-fastest time (49.67) compared to Nadler's fourth-best time of 49.75. With the combined times, Nadler finished comfortably ahead in the final tally.  

For complete results, click here.