BOZEMAN, Mont.—The University of Colorado ski team participated in Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association qualifier races on the alpine side Friday here at Big Sky Resort ahead of the 2014 Montana State Invitational, which begins Saturday.
The qualifier races do not count toward team scoring, but are used as an extra opportunity for skiers to earn qualification points for the NCAA Championships at the end of the season.
In windy conditions that created a tough day of skiing, the Buffs placed nine skiers place in the top 20 of the giant slalom races, led by a fifth place finish from sophomore Brooke Wales on the women’s side and sixth place from sophomore Kasper Hietanen on the men’s side.
“That’s how it is here a lot of the time,” CU coach Richard Rokos said. “Big Sky is open to the northwest and when it blows, it blows straight up the mountain. It’s supposed to continue all weekend so the conditions will remain tough but it’s the same for everybody.”
Wales was fighting for a race win and was in fourth place after the first run and still had the fifth-fastest second run as she was just nine-hundredths of a second off the podium in a two-run time of 2:00.39. Junior Shane McLean finished eighth in a time of 2:01.82 while sophomore Thea Grosvold took 14th in 2:03.69 despite being a victim of the windy conditions on her first run.
Sophomore Jessica Honkonen finished 19th in a time of 2:04.58 while freshman Katie Hostetler was 23rd in 2:04.96 and sophomore Clare Wise finished 27th in 2:06.56.
On the men’s side, the Buffs had two top 10 and five top 20 finishers. Hietanen’s time was 1:56.16. Senior Andreas Haug finished 10th in a time of 1:58.80 just ahead of sophomore Henrik Gunnarsson, who was 12th in 1:59.06. The Buffs would have finished second in the race behind Denver if it had been scored as a team.
Sophomore Adam Zika finished 15th in 1:59.43 just ahead of sophomore Cameron Smith and his time of 1:59.46 to place him 17th. Freshmen Tanner Mottau was 23rd in 2:00.66 ahead of his classmate Roger Carry by two-hundredths of a second as Carry finished 24th in 2:00.68. Senior Fletcher McDonald did not finish the race.
Saturday will mark the start of the 2014 Montana State Invitational with another pair of giant slalom races on the alpine side and the Nordic teams will pick back up with the 5K women’s and 10K men’s classical races, both slated for an interval start.
The meet will conclude Sunday with slalom races on the alpine side and 10K freestyle mass start races on the Nordic side.
“We will see how we ski tomorrow,” Rokos said. “It will be different because today was still a little casual and tomorrow it will go back to being a dog fight.”
Men’s Giant Slalom (40 Collegiate Finishers)—1. Trevor Philp, DU, 1:55.49; 2. Sebastian Brigovic, DU, 1:56.02; 3. Tim Lindgren, WMC, 1:57.03; 4. Grant Jampolsky, DU, 1:57.86; 5. Espen Lysdahl, DU, 1:57.89; 6. Jonas Nyberg, WMC and Kasper Hietanen, CU, 1:58.16; 8. Armin Triendl, UNM, 1:58.38; 9. Sean Horner, UNM, 1:58.73; 10. Andreas Haug, CU, 1:58.80. Other CU Finishers: 12. Henrik Gunnarsson, 1:59.06; 15. Adam Zika, 1:59.43; 17. Cameron Smith, 1:59.46; 23. Tanner Mottau, 2:00.66; 24. Roger Carry, 2:00.68. Did Not Finish (First Run): Fletcher McDonald.
Women’s Giant Slalom (36 Collegiate Finishers)—1. Kristine Haugen, DU, 1:59.64; 2. Kelly McBroom, MSU, 1:59.82; 3. Mateja Robnik, UNM and Kristiina Rove, UU, 2:00.31; 5. Brooke Wales, CU, 2:00.39; 6. Chloe Fausa, UU, 2:00.82; 7. Natalie Knowles, DU, 2:01.66; 8. Shane McLean, CU, 2:01.82; 9. Tonje Sekse, WMC, 2:01.99; 10. Stephanie Irwin, MSU, 2:02.99. Other CU Finishers: 14. Thea Grosvold, 2:03.69; 19. Jessica Honkonen, 2:04.58; 23. Katie Hostetler, 2:04.96; 27. Clare Wise, 2:06.56.