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Hagenbuch and Palmer-Leger Claim National Titles
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Friday, March 15, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Sun Valley's John Steel Hagenbuch and Sydbey Palmer-Leger claimed national championships this week at the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Hagenbuch finished the men's 7.5-kilometer freestyle 11 seconds ahead of his fellow competitors with a time of 19:09.2. He took second place in the same race last year.

A member of the Dartmouth College ski team, he was the first Dartmouth skier to win a national championship since 2019 when Tanguy Nef won the men's giant slalom and Katharine Ogden won the women's 15-kilometer classic.

Hagenbuch, a first-team All-American, has won seven event this year, including the EISA Championship in February.

Meanwhile, Sydney Palmer-Leger, who grew up training with Hagenbuch on the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Nordic team and now races for the University of Utah, claimed victory in the women's 7.5-kilometer freestyle.

It is the third NCAA championship for Palmer-Leger, who previously won the 5-kilometer classic and the 15-kilometer skate at the 2021 NCAAs at Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Palmer-Leger finished 20 seconds faster than her closest competitor, crossing the finish line in 22:08.2. She was in second place after one 2.5K  lap but skied the day's fastest second lap to take the lead.

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