Downhill skiing is all of 25 years old in the U.S. Middle-aged trail blazers, who can recall the installation of the first ski tow (1934, in Vermont), are increasingly faced with their own early obsolescence: U.S. skiers are getting better and younger every year.
Just the other day 200 youngsters from 15 eastern and western colleges took part in the NCAA championships held at Winter Park, Colo. The new champions are undergrads at the University of Colorado, dark-horse contenders who have achieved more through the old college try for the team than through outstanding individual performance.
Colorado is coached by Bob Beattie (standing, left), a recent college star from Middlebury. Beattie, only a few years older than his charges, leads his boys by example and persuasion rather than by injunction. They in turn seem to give a little more than their expected best out of admiration rather than from a concern for personal glory.
Colorado came in first in only one event: Dave Butts (standing, right) took the jump with a 163-footer, also earned the skimeister title as best all-round performer. The remainder of Colorado's 549.4 points (half a dozen points more than second-place Denver) came through consistent though unspectacular efforts in the slalom and downhill events by (seated, left to right) Frank Brown, Norris Durham, Gary Gisle, Bob Gray and (standing) John Dendahl and Harold Shaeffer. As Coach Beattie put it: "I had seven kids who wouldn't quit."