SLU's Hart finishes 17th in 5K Free at NCAA’s
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 10:25 pm

St. Lawrence University junior Leah Hart competed in her first NCAA Championship event on Wednesday in Stowe, VT.  The Meredith, NH native was 17th overall in the women's 5K Free, holding off Martine Udnes Weng of New Mexico by a mere .01 second.

Hart, who had a breakout Nordic season, raced the 5K course in 15:11.0.  Her showing is the highest finish at the NCAA Championships by a St. Lawrence women's Nordic skier since 2000 when Kate Underwood was 14th.

"This was surely one of Leah's strongest races of the season," said head coach Ethan Townsend.  "It's great to see her competing at this level and we're proud of the way she represented the program."

The University of Utah's Maria Graefnings won the individual national title with a time of 13:51.9 in the 5K free.  Meanwhile, the University of Colorado won the team championship in impressive fashion with 122.0 points, 12 ahead of second-place Dartmouth.

Hart will represent St. Lawrence again on Friday when she competes in the 15K Classic.