Mads Stroem finished second in the men's 10K freestyle race, and Colorado moved into a tie for first with Denver with two events left at the Utah Invitational, held Sunday at historic Soldier Hollow Resort.
The Buffs and Pioneers are both sitting with 454 points, while Utah sits in third with 448.
Montana State (355) and New Mexico (351) are battling it out for fifth place, while Alaska Anchroage (281) moved into sixth place ahead of associate member Westminster (258). Colorado Mountain College (73) rounds out the team scoring.
"The conditions were great today," CU Nordic coach Bruce Cranmer said. "We weren't thrilled with our results, but it wasn't desperately bad. We were a fraction below what I was hoping for, but I'm not panicking. I remember feeling this way a lot of first races of the year, getting back from break and back into the season. As we get into the season, I'm hopeful we will be at full strength in terms of having everybody skiing and I'm optimistic we can build from here and just keep going like we usually do."
The Buffs were short two skiers on the women's side, as Ane Johnsen and Christiana Rolandsen both did not ski due to illness. Rolandsen was sick back home over break and is not yet fully recovered and Johnsen spent a lot of time last year sick and Cranmer just wants to try and get her full go before starting to race again.
The Buffs did struggle a little on the women's side, as sophomore Petra Hyncicova finished in 11th as the Buffs' top performer. She was just 33.1 seconds behind the race leader and less than 20 seconds off the podium, showing the depth of the RMISA skiers.
On the men's side, Stroem picked up where he left off last year, taking second and hitting the podium for the 17th time in his 21 career races at CU. The junior was just 7.8 seconds behind the race winner, Nick Hendrickson of Utah, in at time of 23:34.8.
The Utah Invitational concludes today with the women skiing 10K and the men 15K in mass starts.
Team Scores (Through 6 of 8 races)
1. Colorado and Denver, 454; 3. Utah 448; 4. Montana State 355; 5. New Mexico 351; 6. Alaska Anchorage 281; 7. Westminster 258; 8. Colorado Mountain College 73.
Men's 10K Freestyle (29 collegiate finishers)
1. Nick Hendrickson, UU, 23:27.0; 2. Mads Stroem, CU, 23:34.8; 3. Moritz Madlener, DU, 23:41.9; 4. Sawyer Kesselheim, MSU, 23:47.9; 5. Niklas Persson, UU, 23:51.0; 6. Karsten Hokanson, MSU, 23:56.6; 7. Petter Reistad, CU, 23:57.1; 8. Kevin Bolger, UU, 24:02.3; 9. Petteri Vaherkoski, UNM, 24:16.2; 10. Jackson Hill, CU, 23:57.1. Other CU Finishers: 12. Arnaud Du Pasquier, 23:35.4; 22. Max Scrimgeour, 25:50.0; 27. Ian Boucher, 26:08.2.
Women's 5K Freestyle (28 collegiate finishers)
1. Emilie Cedervarn, UNM, 13:09.3; 2. Linn Eriksen, DU, 13:13.9; 3. Veronika Mayerhofer, UU, 13:19.6; 4. Cambria McDermott, MSU, 13:22.6; 5. Sloan Storey, UU, 13:24.4; 6. Johanna Talihaerm, MSU, 13:28.0; 7. Natalia Mueller, UU, 13:32.4; 8. Mackenzie Kanady, UAA, 13:38.3; 9. Anika Miller, MSU, 13:41.0; 10. Kati Roivas, UNM, 13:42.0. CU Finishers: 11. Petra Hyncicova, 13:42.4; 14. Jesse Knori, 14:12.5; 18. Camilia Brautaset, 14:34.0; 26. Lucy Newman, 15:18.6. Did Not Start: Ane Johnsen. Did Not Race: Christina Rolandsen.