DILLON, Colo. — The University of Colorado alpine team opened up the Denver Invitational being held at Loveland Ski Area and stands in second place after the running of the men's and women's giant slalom races on Friday.
CU was led by juniors Ola Johansen, who finished second in the men's race, and Tonje Trulsrud, who placed third in the women's.
Colorado scored 149 points overall and trails day one leader Montana State by six points. Close behind the Buffs is New Mexico in third with 146 points and Utah in fourth with 131.
Men's giant slalom race
Behind three finishers in the top 10, Colorado finished second with 85 points in the men's race. Montana State won it by 11 points over the Buffs, as the Bobcats had the race winner in Addison Dvoracek, got a fourth-place finish from Jeffrey Bell and a seventh-place showing from Patrick Carry, the younger brother of former CU skier Roger Carry, who is now a digital marketing associate for the Buffs.
Behind Johansen's second-place showing, Max Luukko recorded his best result of the season in a giant slalom race by finishing sixth Friday. After finishing 11th or higher in the first five races of the season, he has now put together a string of three consecutive finishes of eighth or better, with two of those coming last week in the slalom at the New Mexico invite.
Freshman Joey Young was 10th for CU to round out its scoring; in collegiate skiing only the top three finishers count towards that team's point total. His 10th-place showing matches his best giant slalom result of the season, which he first registered at the Utah Invitational on Jan. 12.
David Ketterer finished in 14th and Bobby Moyer placed 30th. This was Ketterer's first giant slalom race since returning from the World Cup circuit at the end of January. He made eight World Cup slalom starts, but did not race in any giant slalom events. He is the defending NCAA giant slalom and slalom champion.
Women's giant slalom race
Trulsrud's third place finish pushes her streak up to three consecutive giant slalom races where she has hit the podium.
She was the only Buff inside the top 10 Friday. The Buffs finished fourth in the women's race, recording 64 points. Alaska Anchorage was third with 66, Utah was second with 73 and New Mexico won it with 81 points. The 17-point difference between first and fourth is the closest women's giant slalom race of the winter when looking at the top four.
Junior Nora Christensen picked up 16 points for CU with her 15th-place finish and Megan McGrew earned 14 points by finishing 18. It was just McGrew's second giant slalom race of the season, as she missed the GS qualifier and Montana State Invitational to open the year. She did not finish her first run at the Utah Invitational.
Isabella Fidjeland, who started 41st on the first run, barely missed making it into the flip for the second run and stood 31st after one time down the hill. She finished 23rd in the race.
Colorado entered the day with a 90-point lead in the RMSIA standings with this being the last meet of the regular season. Denver sat in second behind the Buffs, but the Pioneers stand in sixth place after day one of its invitational. Thus, Colorado has expanded its lead to 136.5 points. The Buffaloes are looking to close out their sixth RMISA title since 2006, a figure that is the most in the conference.
The alpine team will close out its portion of the Denver Invitational on Saturday with the men's and women's slalom races that begin at 9:30 a.m. with the women's event at Loveland Ski Valley.
CU's Nordic teams join in on the action Saturday with the 5/10K classic races taking place at the Maloit Park Trails in Minturn, Colo.