Talbot outduels childhood friend Patterson at NCAA Championships
He may have won something more important, though; like bragging rights over Anchorage’s Scott Patterson of the University of Vermont.
Talbot outsprinted his childhood friend by .06 seconds to finish 11th in the men’s 20K freestyle race. Both competed for Alaska Winter Stars, but attended different high schools with Talbot at Service and Patterson at South.
“In high school, he dominated pretty much. And he’s been crushing the last two years,” Talbot told me. “It’s a friendly competition for sure, but it is nice to just barely, finally, get him by a tail.”
Patterson is a two-time All-American with 13 victories in college.
But today belong to Talbot.
“It came down to a final sprint between the top 15 guys or so and I ended up right in the mix there,” he said. “It was so tight, really came down to the last 100 meters. It was pretty cool to have a race that long come down to a finish like that.”
Third place and 12th place were separated by three seconds.
“The snow was hard and icy,” Talbot said. “The conditions were really fast, one of the faster races I have been in.”
Talbot was the fourth American, Patterson fifth to cross the line.
“There were very few Americans in front of me today. It was kind of dominated by the Europeans for the most part,” Talbot said. “I was pretty happy with my result.
Talbot is a two-sport star for Dartmouth. The junior also runs track and field, excelling in the 800 and 1,500, and plans to compete this spring. Last year, he ran a PR of 3:47.35 in the 1,500 to qualify for the NCAA East Regional.
“It’s sort of been a question of whether or not I want to stop doing one sport and focus on the other, but I think I’m going to see them both out in college because I’m having success in both directions and seeing development in both sports,” Talbot said. “It’s like my two different families. I can’t give either one up at this point.”