Farrell takes 19th in NCAA Championship slalom with historic performance

Farrell takes 19th in NCAA Championship slalom with historic performance

PARK CITY, Utah - Saint Michael's College Alpine skiing sophomore Brad Farrell (West Windsor, Vt./Sharon Academy) placed 19th in the slalom at the NCAA Championship on Saturday at Park City Mountain Resort, claiming one of the top finishes ever by a Purple Knight skier at a national meet.

"I had a pretty good start number for the second run [7], and the snow was a little soft, but it was pretty manageable when I went, so it kind of worked out for me," said Farrell, who also took 27th in the giant slalom on Wednesday as the 10th Purple and Gold skier to compete at an NCAA Championship, and the sixth in Alpine. "I'm definitely happy with how it went. I'll be looking to improve in the future, for sure, but it's definitely been a great experience that will help me be more confident in my skiing in the future."

One of 34 male Alpine skiers to qualify for the championship, which was hosted by the University of Utah and included racers from programs at the Division I, II and III levels, Farrell clocked in at 2:01.61 between a pair of runs. He was one of 32 skiers to complete the race, improving five spots after standing 24th following his morning run. Farrell, who entered the day seeded 24th in the event, took eighth among the 16 racers from the East Region.

Farrell's 19th-place performance tied Brad Harden '10 for the second-best showing ever by a Saint Michael's man at an NCAA Championship, with Harden also claiming 19th in the slalom in 2009. Only Keith Farnand's '00 13th-place finish in the 1998 slalom was better. Among both the Alpine and Nordic disciplines across both genders, Farrell's showing is tied for fourth out of the 25 finishes Purple Knights have put together at NCAA Championships. Aside from Farnand and Harden, Megan McCarthy '05 was 15th during the 2002 giant slalom and Hege Vethe '98 placed 17th in the 1996 15K classical race.

Farrell singlehandedly lifted the Purple Knights to a 19th-place showing among 23 teams, tallying 16 points to nip Bowdoin College (15), which had competitors in four events. The placement matched the 2000 and 2012 teams for the program's best since a 17th-place finish in 1999. The University of Denver won with 556 points.

"It's important to at least have one athlete coming to the NCAA Championship every year and be on the live webcast," said fourth-year head coach Gus MacLeod '02, who has sent a skier to nationals each of the last three years after helping one qualify in 2010, when he served as the team's technical coach. "It's important for other skiers to see that we are making improvements with the program, and we have a high level of athletes that are making a push every year to get to this level."