STEAMBOAT SPRINGS & WINTER PARK, Colo. – The University of Colorado ski team used nine top seven finishes to earn a victory in its own Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational and jump up a spot to second place at the Denver Invitational Sunday.
The Buffs used another dominant performance in women’s Nordic action to earn a 69.5 point victory in its own invitational, the Buffs first meet win since the 2011 NCAA Championships. CU finished the meet with an impressive 878 points with Denver taking second with 808.5. New Mexico finished third with 741.5 and Utah edged out Alaska Anchorage (732 to 717). Montana State was sixth with 637 points followed by associate members Westminster (259), Wyoming (101) and Colorado Mountain College (20) rounding out the team scoring.
Freshman Maria Nordstroem won the women’s race with senior Joanne Reid taking second on the women’s side and Rune Oedegaard finished second on the men’s side to earn podium appearances. Additionally, senior Eliska Hajkova (sixth) and Mary Rose (seventh) posted top seven finishes in the women’s race.
“The Nordies are my heroes,” CU head coach Richard Rokos said. “The girls placed well again and obviously Rune is skiing strong on the men’s side. The girls there, like the guys here, had four in the top seven and when you can do that, it’s always something special.”
Nordstroem gave the Buffaloes their third victory in Nordic action in the meet, joining Reid and Oedegaard’s victories from Saturday. She won the 5K classical interval start race in a time of 16:23.6, winning the race by 13.4 seconds over Reid (16:37.1), giving her two podium appearances in her first two career starts and a win in her first collegiate classical race.
Proving to be the deepest women’s team in the first two races, Hajkova took sixth in 16:44.0, just ahead of Rose, who was seventh in a time of 16:57.6. Despite not being 100 percent Hajkova recorded her 37th career top 10 finish. Rose finished in the top 10 for the second straight race and third time in her career.
“I’m not assuming anything from my finishes so far except that I’m so glad Maria is here,” Reid said. “It’s wonderful to ski with such a teammate and she’s an incredible skier. I can’t wait until Eliska fully recovers so we can really show them some Buff power.”
On the men’s side, Oedegaard finished in a time of 27:14.7, 10.9 seconds behind the race winner, Miles Havlick of Utah (27:03.8). Freshman Michael Vigers finished in 14th in a time of 28:35.5 while senior Ian Mallams was the Buffs third scorer in a time of 28:58.2, good for 18th. Sophomore Arnaud Du Pasquier finished 20th in 29:31.9 and freshman Charlie Von Thaden finished 25th in 30:03.6.
The men’s team is still a little short-handed with junior Andreas Hoye not racing due to illness and freshman Gustav Nordstrom in Europe racing in World Cup action.
In alpine action, the men’s team finished in succession between third and seventh places to counterbalance an off day from the women’s team to move into second place in the meet. Junior Fletcher McDonald finished third, freshman Henrik Gunnarsson took fourth while senior Max Lamb took fifth and Andreas Haug sixth as the Buffs again proved they are a force in the slalom circuit.
“Our goal is always to finish consistently,” Lamb said. “We’re such a strong slalom team right now that consistent means top 5 or top 10.”
With alpine action complete in the Denver Invitational, the Buffs racked up 386 points and trail the Pioneers by 71 as the host institution put an impressive 457 points on the board. CU edged out New Mexico (384) by two points in alpine action while Utah sits fourth with 376 points. Westminster is fifth with 337 points, followed by Montana State (320), Alaska Anchorage (306) and Colorado Mountain College (92).
McDonald’s placed third in a time of 1:31.58. He had the second-fastest first run and fell one spot but nearly passed up first run leader Espen Lysdahl from Denver, who was second just two-hundredths ahead of Fletcher in a time of 1:31.56.
Just behind McDonald was freshman Henrik Gunnarsson, who started the race 13th and had the 11th-best first run. He then had the second-fastest second run to finish fourth in a time of 1:31.75.
Senior Max Lamb took fifth in a time of 1:32.12 behind consistent runs, having the ninth-fastest first run (45.53) and eighth-fastest second run (46.59). Junior Andreas Haug finished just two-hundredths behind Lamb in a time of 1:32.14 to finish sixth.
“It gives you a lot of confidence, it’s a good solid feeling on the start when everybody is skiing well and raising the bar as a group,” Haug said. “We’re raising the bar in slalom and have a lot of confidence, so now we need to get our GS game back.”
“It’s great to see the guys finish like this,” Rokos added. “The main goal is to collect points, but also to get better qualification points. It looks like the guys will all have good starting places for slalom, so that will be big for us in our next meet.”
Freshman Kasper Hietenan was also impressive for the Buffaloes. Starting 37th, he posted the 22nd fastest first run to move up 15 spots and then on the strength of the fifth-fastest second run, he moved up another eight spots to finish 14th in a time of 1:32.85. Freshman Cameron Smith didn’t finish his second run.
On the women’s side, the Buffs were a little off par, other than freshman Thea Grosvold, who finished 12th in a time of 1:38.51, and freshman Brooke Wales, who was right behind her in 13th place in a time of 1:38.95.
Senior Khyla Burrows had a solid race, finishing 23rd after starting 43rd, moving up 20 spots on the strength of a great first run where she moved up to 26th. Freshman Clare Wise finished 29th in a time of 1:56.83, while sophomore Shane McLean didn’t finish her second run and freshman Jessica Honkonen was disqualified in the second run after posting a top five finish in the first run.
The alpine teams now have a few weeks off before action continues in Loveland at the Utah Invitational Feb. 6-7. The Buffs will then make a quick turn to New Mexico to close out the regular season at the New Mexico Invitational.
The Nordic teams will conclude the Denver Invitational next weekend in Minturn, Colo., with freestyle races on Friday, Jan. 19 and classical races the next day at Maloit Park.
University of Colorado Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational Team Scores (FINAL)—1. Colorado, 878; 2. Denver, 808.5; 3. New Mexico, 741.5; 4. Utah, 723; 5. Alaska Anchorage, 717; 6. Montana State, 637; 7. Westminster, 259; 8. Wyoming 101; 9. Colorado Mountain College 20.
Men’s 10-kilometer Classical (31 college finishers)- 1. Miles Havlick, UU, 27:03.8; 2. Rune Oedegaard, CU, 27:14.7; 3. Einar Ulsund, UU, 27:25.2; 4. Lukas Ebner, UAA, 27:28.4; 5. Andrew Dougherty, DU, 27:39.6; 6. Joergen Bye Brevik, DU, 27:51.9; 7. David Norris, MSU, 27:53.6; 8. Lasse Moelgaard, UAA, 27:55.3; 9. Mats Resaland, UNM, 28:12.3; 10. Noe Ballet, UU, 28:15.8; 11. Tucker McCrerey, UU, 28:17.2; 12. Patrick Madden, MSU, 28:25.2; 13. Viktor Braennmark, UAA, 28:26.7; 14. Michael Vigers, CU, 28:35.5; 15. Tyler Reinking, MSU, 28:39.2; 16. Niklas Persson, UU, 28:41.7; 17. Christian Otto, UNM, 28:43.6; 18. Ian Mallams, CU, 28:58.2; 19. Trygve Markset, DU, 29:08.2; 20. Arnaud Du Pasquier, CU, 29:31.9; 21. Luke Bromley, MSU, 29:36.4; 22. Scott Phelan, MSU, 29:56.9; 24. Galen Johnston, UAA, 29:58.9; 25. Charlie Von Thaden, CU, 30:03.6; 26. David Dunlap, UAA, 31:09.8; 27. Sjur Prestsaeter, UNM, 31:28.1; 28. Eivind Solberg, UNM, 33:12.9; 29. Patrick Rodgers, WYO, 33:22.4; 30. Kyle Bochanski, WYO, 35:32.6; 31. Willie Via, WYO, 35:34.7.
Women’s 5-Kilometer Classical (30 college finishers)- 1. Maria Nordstroem, CU, 16:23.6; 2. Joanne Reid, CU, 16:37.1; 3. Rose Kemp, UU, 16:41.0; 4. Marine Dusser, UAA, 16:41.3; 5. Silje Benum, DU, 16:42.1; 6. Eliska Hajkova, CU, 16:44.0; 7. Mary Rose, CU, 16:57.6; 8. Sloan Storey, UU, 16:58.7; 9. Patricia Sprecher, UAA, 17:05.0; 10. Jessica Yeaton, MSU, 17:05.9; 11. Linn Klaesson, UNM & Cambria McDermott, MSU, 17:22.0; 13. Parker Tyler, UU, 17:31.4; 14. Sarah Freistone, UAA, 17:36.7; 15. Makayla Cappel, DU, 17:39.9; 16. Clara Chauvet, UNM, 17:42.9; 17. Jessica Jortbert, DU, 17:43.5; 18. Katie Gill, DU, 17:43.6; 19. Annie Liotta, MSU, 17:48.0; 20. Isabella Smith, MSU, 17:52.9; 21. Kate Backstrum, MSU, 17:53.0; 22. Anita Kirvesniemi, UNM, 17:53.7; 23. Ingrid Leask, UNM, 18:00.2; 24. Maya Radonich, UAA, 18:17.6; 25. Karina Smith, UAA, 18:18.0; 26. Elena Breed, DU, 18:25.1; 27. Anni Nord, UNM, 18:53.9; 28. Maerta Larsen, UU, 18:56.5; 29. Catherine Schmidt, WYO, 21:08.9; 30. Britt Schroeter, WYO, 23:30.0.
Denver Invitational Team Scores (through 4 of 8 events)—1. Denver 457; 2. Colorado 386; 3. New Mexico 384; 4. Utah 376; 5. Westminster, 337; 6. Montana State, 320; 7. Alaska Anchorage 306; 8. Colorado Mountain College 92.
Women’s Slalom (30 collegiate finishers)- 1. Anna Goodman, WMC, 1:32.96; 2. Tonje Sekse, WMC, 1:35.39; 3. Kristin Haugen, DU, 1:35.60; 4. Ana Kobal, UU, 1:3.04; 5. Kristiina Rove, UU, 1:37.04; 6. Kayla Fry, UAA, 1:37.48; 7. Kate Williams, UNM & Linsday Cone, DU, 1:37.74; 9. Devin Delaney, DU, 1:38.29; 10. Mary Rachel Hostetter, UNM, 1:38.45. CU Finishers: 12. Thea Grosvold, 1:38.51; 13. Brooke Wales, 1:38.95; 23. Khyla Burrows, 1:42.96; 29. Clare Wise, 1:56.83. Did Not Finish (Second Run): Shane McLean. Disqualified (Second Run): Jessica Honkonen.
Men’s Slalom (32 collegiate finishers)- 1. Joonas Rasanen, UNM, 1:31.29; 2. Espen Lysdahl, DU, 1:31.56; 3. Fletcher McDonald, CU, 1:31.58; 4. Henrik Gunnarsson, CU, 1:31.75; 5. Max Lamb, CU, 1:32.12; 6. Andreas Haug, CU, 1:32.14; 7. Juho-Pekka Penttinen, UNM, 1:32.30; 8. Nikolai Narvestad, WMC, 1:32.61; 9. Chris Acosta, UNM, 1:32.64; 10. Andy Trow, UU, 1:32.74. Other CU Finishers: 13. Kasper Hietanen, 1:32.85. Did Not Finish (Second Run): Cameron Smith.