TESERO, Italy—Junior Rune Oedegaard got the Buffs off to a strong start at the 26th Winter World University Games, taking 12th place in the Skiathlon in a time of 39:09.5 and less than 30 seconds behind the race winner.
In all, three Buffs were in action with senior Arnaud Du Pasquier finishing 56th in a time of 42:57.2 while 2013 senior Eliska Hajkova finished 22nd in the women’s race in a time of 30:39.5. Both Hajkova and Oedegaard were the top finishers among those skiers who compete for schools in the United States.
The Skiathlon got action underway Thursday and is the first of eight busy days of racing for all the Nordic and alpine skiers at the Games. The Skiathlon is a combined freestyle and classic race, the men ski 7.5 kilometers in each discipline and the women 5K in each.
All three skiers as well as former Buff Gustav Nordstroem are slated to be in action on Saturday in the Sprint Classic races.
Alpine takes center stage Friday with the downhill races. Slated to compete for the Buffs are Roger Carry (Canada), Fletcher McDonald (USA), Cameron Smith (USA), Shane McLean (USA) and Brooke Wales (USA).
Hartman Goes Fast During Speed Week
In other news, former All-American Katie Hartman is on a quest for Sochi and the Winter Olympics. The last five days at Copper Mountain, the speedster had some great results in Downhill and Super G races, hitting the podium four times in six races.
She opened up her week with a third place finish in a Nor-Am Cup Super G race on Saturday and then took fourth in a Super Combined and third in a Super G on Sunday. Tuesday as part of the US National Championships, she was the runner-up in the Downhill race and then mirrored that result the next day in another Downhill race in Nor-Am Cup action. Thursday she finished seventh in another Downhill race.