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Junior Anna McLoon didn’t have to fight for the front seat on the car ride up to the NCAA Skiing Championships at Dartmouth last week.
No one else was going.
In her third straight year of competing as the lone Harvard representative at NCAAs, McLoon faltered in her five-kilometer Freestyle but recovered to end the week with a strong performance in the 15-kilometer Classical.
McLoon had hoped to improve on her 20th-place finish in the 5K at the 2002 Championships. But with an unpleasant drizzle sending her off from the starting line on Wednesday, McLoon finished the free skate in 14:47.8, which placed her a disappointing 27th.
“I wasn’t thrilled with my finish,” McLoon said. “It was definitely not as good as other races I’ve had this year.”
The snow that shrouded Boston last week did not make it up to Hanover, making for a firm and icy course with potentially treacherous turns.
McLoon bounced back in the 15K Classic on Friday, however, finishing 19th in 50:12.9.
“I had a bad start but I managed to work my way back to where I wanted to be,” McLoon said.
McLoon’s totalled 34.0 points, enough to give the Crimson a 19th-place finish as a team.
Overall, McLoon said she was pleased with her performance in the regular season, if not this week.
Looking ahead to her senior season, she noted that the field would been even more stacked.
“Most of the eastern women skiers are juniors this year as well, so its going to be very competitive,” McLoon said.
As a captain, McLoon is concerned with the younger team members’ development.
“I’m really impressed with the way we skied this season. Hopefully we’ll get some new recruits and further improve,” McLoon said.
—Staff writer Lisa J. Kennelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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