Last year, Rune Oedegaard was disappointed with his seventh-place finish in the 10K men's Classical race at the NCAA Championships.

This time around he made sure there was no letdown.

The Colorado sophomore claimed the NCAA title in the Nordic race with a time of 26 minutes, 0.2 seconds. New Mexico's Mats Resaland was second in 26:05.4 in Ripton, Vt.

"I've been thinking a lot about last year's NCAA's during training," Oedegaard said. "I've been trying to hold back from peaking physically too soon, last year I was a lot stronger for regionals than I was this year so the last two weeks I knew I'd have a lot more to give for NCAAs, and that was the plan all along."

Oedegaard's win boosted the Buffs to second place in the team standings.

Defending champion Vermont remains in the lead with 389 points through four of the eight events. CU, which was third after the first day, is second with 368.5 points.

Utah is in third (350) and Denver fourth (328). New Mexico is a distant fifth at 280 points.

In the women's 5K Classical, Joanne Reid was the top finisher for CU. The senior finished fourth in 15:44.2. Vermont's Anja Gruber won in 15:31.1. CU freshman Maria Nordstroem was sixth in 16:03.3.

Friday's slalom could play a major role in which team takes charge among the top four or as many as three other schools could get back into contention.

With half of the meet complete, the NCAA title remains up for grabs, but CU head coach Richard Rokos is optimistic.


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"For us, it is the fact that we're coming up on our strong events, slalom and skating," he said. "It's encouraging. We'll come prepared and fight for the best. Slalom is usually the great equalizer, but the guys are ready, the girls are prepared as well. Unless there's a disaster with the hill, it looks like it will be warm and soft, so everyone will have to deal with that."

The women's first slalom run is at 7:30 a.m. Friday, followed by the men's first run at 8:15 a.m.; the second runs will follow at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., respectively.

Notable

Boulder's Miles Havlick was sixth in the men's race Thursday in 26:46.2. He skis for Utah. ... Kelsey Phinney, a freshman for host Middlebury, clocked in at 17:18.6 to place 34th in the women's race.

NCAA Championships

Team Scores (4 of 8 events) -- 1. Vermont 389; 2. Colorado 368.5; 3. Utah 350; 4. Denver 328; 5. New Mexico 280; 6. Alaska-Anchorage 274.5; 7. Dartmouth 263.5; 8. New Hampshire 228.5; 9. Montana State 200; 10. Middlebury 178; 11. Northern Michigan 111; 12. Williams 60; 13. St. Lawrence 53; 14. Alaska-Fairbanks 52; 15. Colby 43; 16. Bates 23.5; 17. Harvard 22; 18. Maine-Presque Isle 15; 19. St. Michael's 11; 20. St. Scholastica 2; 21. Bowdoin 0.5.

Men's 10K Classical (40 finishers) -- 1. Rune Oedegaard, CU, 26:00.2; 2. Mats Resaland, UNM, 26:05.4; 3. Viktor Brannmark, UAA, 26:28.5; 4. Ben Lustgarten, Midd., 26:32,6; 5. Silas Talbot, Dart., 26:37.7.; 6. Miles Havlick, Utah, 26:46.2; 7. Scott Patterson, UVM, 26:46.2; 8. Lasse Molgaard-Nielsen, UAA, 26:50.6; 9. Lukas Ebner, UAA, 26:51.3; 10. Erik Soderman, NMU, 26:56.5. Other CU Finishers: 18. Andreas Hoye, 27:12.3; 21. Gustav Nordstrom, 27:32.5.

Women's 5K Classical (40 finishers) -- 1. Anja Gruber, UVM, 15:31.0; 2. Mary O'Connell, Dart., 15:42.2; 3. Marine Dusser, UAA, 15:43.0; 4. Joanne Reid, CU, 15:44.2; 5. Sloane Storey, Utah, 16:02.1; 6. Maria Nordstroem, CU, 16:03.3; 7. Annie Hart, Dart., 16:04.1; 8. Linda Davind-Malm, UVM, 16:05.7; 9. Silje Benum, DU, 16:10.0; 10. Anna Svendsen, Utah, 16:17.1. Other CU Finisher: 16. Eliska Hajkova, 16:24.5.