NCAA Skiing Championships
At Franconia, N.H. at Cannon Mountain
9 a.m. — Women's GS: First run
9:45 a.m. — Men's GS: First run
11:30 a.m. — Women's GS: Second run
12:15 p.m. — Men's GS: Second run
8 a.m. — Women's 5k Classical
9:30 a.m. — Men's 10k Classical
7 a.m. — Women's Slalom: First run
8 a.m. — Men's Slalom: First run
10:30 a.m. — Women's Slalom: Second run
11:15 a.m. — Men's Slalom: Second run
8 a.m. — Men's 20k Freestyle: Mass start
10 a.m. — Women's 15k Freestyle: Mass start
After the type of successful season that's a norm at Colorado, the No. 1-ranked ski team is poised to win its 21st team national championship this week in Jackson and Franconia, N.H., after qualifying the entire team.
"I think everybody is really excited, everybody is looking forward to it," Colorado head coach Richard Rokos said.
Last year, the Buffaloes fell to Denver in the NCAA Championship, but this year, after battling back from various injuries, they're obstacle-free and ready to tackle the competition.
"We had a strong team last year too, but sometimes it doesn't go your way," sophomore Petter Reistad said. "I think we have an even stronger team this year, so our chances will be slightly better."
Throughout the 2017 season, each skier made the podium at least once. Of the 12 skiers that qualified for nationals, six earned all-Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association first team honors, led by men's alpine MVP David Ketterer, Reistad for Nordic, Tonje Trulsrud for women's alpine and Petra Hyncicova for Nordic.
After a phenomenal freshman season finishing top 10 in every race, Ketterer earned the No. 1 alpine spot on the men's side, something that certainly gives Colorado the edge over some of its closest downhill competition this year.
"We're pretty strong, I think, especially on the men's side," Ketterer said. "I think we're the best team, and on the ladies' side, we have some good quality there. In a ski race, anything can happen. It's all about giving the best performance on the given day."
This year, sophomore Trulsrud believes the true difference for success lies in the alpine team's overall speed.
"I feel like this year we have more potential to ski fast for everyone," Trulsrud said. "Last year was more consistent but not that fast. This year, a lot of people can ski really fast and there's been some inconsistencies throughout for individuals."
After coming back from a heel injury she suffered earlier in the season, junior Hyncicova said she and her Nordic teammates are fired up for the competition that starts Wednesday and are confident in their abilities to take home the title.
"We are definitely more motivated because we didn't win it last year," Hyncicova said. "This year, we have a really strong team. We have seven girls and I think no once expected that we would be able to be on the podium in each race. I think it's really good that we have at least five girls who can make the podium."
On the men's side, the confidence is just as high, if not higher.
"The women's (Nordic) team is phenomenal," Reistad said. "We have five girls on the team that can all be on the podium. We have the big three, and I think we have three really solid skiers there. On the men's side, we've had some issues, but I think we'll be at our strongest in the NCAA, so that's going to be good."
Per the usual, Colorado believes its greatest competition will come from its neighboring teams.
"It's going to be between DU, Utah and CU, for sure," Reistad said. "I think DU will be our strongest competitor, but I think CU will be the best school. It has been close all year, so this will be close too, but we'll give it a solid try."
Either way, Rokos said each day will be a gamble.
"It can change back and forth, but it's all about consistency in those four days there, how well everybody feels, how healthy they come there," Rokos said. "It's really a mental game."