The Colorado ski team, powered by a strong performance from its women's cross country performers that also produced an individual national champion, moved up two spots into third place here Thursday at the midway point of the NCAA Skiing Championships in Jackson, N.H.
Utah took over the team lead with 301.5 points, comfortably ahead of defending national champion Denver (265) and Colorado (240). Montana State is a distant fourth (177) with Dartmouth (170) rounding out the top five.
Junior Petra Hyncicova claimed her first NCAA title in cruising to an easy win in the women's 5-kilometer classical race. She was timed in 14:55.5 in her one loop around the track, besting Utah's Merete Myrseth by almost 19 seconds in the event which featured an interval start. She was one of three Buffaloes in the top eight, as sophomore Christina Rolandsen claimed fourth in 15:23.5 and senior Jesse Knorri placing eighth in 15:42.9.
Hyncicova's title was the 92nd won by a Buff in NCAA Championship history, now four more than Denver (88); Utah won its 73rd Thursday. CU moved ahead of DU, 31-30, in years with multiple winners when adding in David Ketterer's giant slalom win Wednesday.
"You just have to go for it because the first half of the race is uphill, so you have to go full in and then just hope that you are fast enough in the downhill," Hyncicova said. "I didn't expect to win in the short race, because I am better in skating, but winning the classic race is so good."
"She just felt like her skis were good and she won by quite a bit," Nordic coach Bruce Cranmer said. "Obviously, she had the right combination with her skis and today that was a big factor because having good skis made a big difference. If you didn't have the right wax or fast enough skis, then you would have had a tough time overcoming (the conditions)."
Her victory highlighted a very strong day for the Buffs where five of six racers earned All-America honors.
"To have everybody but one person top 10 ... I always figure to win championships you need almost if not everybody in the top 10, and everybody was there in the classic race," Cranmer said.
NCAA Skiing Championship\
Team Scores (4 of 8 events)— 1. Utah 301 ½ 2. Denver 265; 3. Colorado 240; 4. Montana State 177; 5. Dartmouth 170; 7. Vermont 152; 7. Northern Michigan 120; 8. New Mexico 109 ½ ; 9. New Hampshire 86; 10. Alaska-Anchorage 79; 11. Williams 62½; 12. Colby 59 ½ ; 13. Middlebury 43; 14. Alaska-Fairbanks 39; 15. Bates 16; 16. St. Michael's 15; 17. Plymouth State 13; 18. St. Scholastica 12; 19. Michigan Tech 11; 20. Colby Sawyer 10; 21. Bowdoin 0.
Women's 5-Kilometer Classical (40 finishers)— 1. Petra Hyncicova, CU, 14:55.5; 2. Merete Myrseth, Utah, 15:14.2; 3. Alayna Sonnesyn, UVM, 15:15.3; 4. Christina Rolandsen, CU, 15:23.5; 5. Guro Jordheim, Utah, 15:31.7; 6. Vivian Hett, NMU, 15:34.5; 7. Krista Niiranen, UNM, 15:41.2; 8. Jesse Knorri, CU, 15:42.9; 9. Elizabeth Gill, UNM, 15:43.9; 10. Lauren Jortberg, Dart., 15:44.2.
Men's 10-Kilometer Classical (39 finishers)— 1. Martin Bergstroem, Utah, 25:33.1; 2. Dag Frode Trolleboe, DU, 25:59.1; 3. Martin Mikkelsen, Utah, 26:25.7; 4. Petter Reistad, CU, 26:29.3; 5. Moritz Madlener, DU, 26:36.7; 6. Fredrik Schwencke, NMU, 26:40.2; 7. Adam Martin, NMU, 26:50.5; 8. Mads Stroem, CU, 27:03.1; 9. Ian Moore, UVM, 27:07.7; 10. Lars Hannah, DU, 27:10.8. Other CU Finisher: 36. Jackson Hill, 28:27.9.