BOULDER — The University of Colorado will host the Third Annual Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational over a long weekend with Nordic action taking place in Steamboat Springs Friday and Saturday and alpine races held at Winter Park Saturday through Monday.
All nine Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) members will be competing, eight in alpine action and seven in Nordic. The RMISA is composed of six NCAA teams covering the western half of the United States, Alaska Anchorage, Colorado, Denver, Montana State, New Mexico and Utah, and also field three associate members in Colorado Mountain College and Westminster College in alpine action and Wyoming in Nordic.
The Nordic portion of the meet will be held at the historic Howelsen Hill Ski Area in downtown Steamboat Springs with the classical races scheduled for Friday and freestyle races on Saturday. The classical races will be an interval start, beginning with the 5K women’s race at 9:30 a.m. and the 10K men’s race afterwards. The freestyle races will be a mass start beginning with the 20K men’s race at 9:30 a.m. and the 15K women’s race following.
The Buffs will field a full Nordic team for the first time this year with the season debut of junior Rune Oedegaard and collegiate debut of freshman Mads Stroem, who both missed the first two meets of the year competing at the Norwegian National Cross Country Championships. Oedegaard won an individual National Championship in the classical race and was second in the freestyle race his last collegiate outing at the NCAA Championships last March.
The alpine races will take place at Winter Park, the first time the Buffs have held a meet there in almost exactly 26 years since hosting the 1988 CU Invitational on Jan. 29-30, 1988. The slalom races will take place on Feb. 1 with giant slalom racing on both Feb. 2-3. The GS races of Feb. 2 will count toward the team scoring of the meet and the races on Feb. 3 will be RMISA Qualifier races.
The invitational serves to honor the late Spencer Nelson, as it is named in his memory. He died in a hiking accident near Aspen on August 16, 2010. Nelson was about to begin his sophomore year at CU at the time of his death.
SCHEDULE: The following is the tentative schedule for both days of competition; alpine times and order to be discussed and confirmed at seed meeting on February 25:
- Friday, Jan. 31 NORDIC INTERVAL START
Women's 5K Classic (Howelsen Hill/Steamboat Nordic Center, 9:30 a.m.)
Men's 10K Classic (Howelsen Hill/Steamboat Nordic Center, 10:30 a.m.)
- Saturday, Feb. 1 ALPINE LOWER HUGHES
Women's Salalom (Winter Park, 9:15 a.m.)
Men's Slalom (Winter Park, 11:30 a.m.)
- Saturday, Feb. 1 NORDIC MASS START
Men's 20K Freestyle (Howelsen Hill/Steamboat Nordic Center, 9:30 a.m.)
Women's 15K Freestyle (Howelsen Hill/Steamboat Nordic Center, 11:00 a.m.)
- Sunday, Feb. 2 ALPINE MEADOWS/HUGHES
Men's Giant Slalom (Winter Park, 9 a.m.)
Women's Giant Slalom (Winter Park, 10 a.m.)
- Monday, Feb. 3 ALPINE MEADOWS/HUGHES
Women's Giant Slalom (Winter Park, 9 a.m.)
Men's Giant Slalom (Winter Park, 10 a.m.)
All start times tentative.
SCORING: The new, standard NCAA team scoring system for skiing will be used: each school can designate up to six scorers, with three counting toward the team score. Points are awarded as follows for a maximum 30 positions: 40-37-34-31-29-27-25-23-22- 21-20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Any other finishers from a school that has already utilized its three scoring spots do not receive a team point credit, with that credit assigned to the next finisher of a school that has not yet utilized its three scorers. `
RESULTS: Daily results will be e-mailed to participating NCAA schools; SID’s are expected to take care of their own media. Results will also be available on CU’s official web site at www.CUBuffs.com as well as the official RMISA site at www.rmisaskiing.com; there will be a direct link from the front page to that day’s story and the results, as well as from the skiing home page.
CONTACTS: CU sports information director Dave Plati (303/492-5626 office, 303/944-7272 cell) and associate SID/RMISA SID Curtis Snyder (720/218-4796) are the contacts for the meet. Snyder will be on site in both Steamboat Springs and Winter Park for the races.