BOZEMAN, Mont.—Freshman Mikaela Tommy is already making her mark on the CU record book by winning her second collegiate race in as many days, sitting atop the podium for Thursday’s RMISA Giant Slalom Qualifier No. 2 here at Bridger Bowl. In all, four Buffs earned Top 10 finishes in the men’s and women’s giant slalom races to help improve their seeding for the NCAA Championships.
No team scores were calculated Thursday as the giant slalom races that were calculated as part of the Montana State Invitational happened on Wednesday when the Buffs finished second in both races to take a lead in the meet through two of eight races. Senior Max Luukko also posted his first top five finish of the season and junior Andrea Arnold posted her second straight and second career top 10 finish.
Tommy, who didn’t race for the first two giant slalom races at Eldora to open the season, has now won both races since, essentially securing her of a top seed at the NCAA Championships come March. She became the fifth known skier to win both runs within a women’s GS race and the third women’s alpine skier under CU coach Richard Rokos to win back-to-back giant slalom races.
On the strength winning both runs, Tommy won the race by almost one-second over the field with her two-run time of 1:37.54 coming in a .89 better than second place Tuva Norbye of Denver (1:38.43). Norbye won both GS races last week at Eldora and holds a tiebreaker over Tommy as it stands now through four GS races this season in terms of NCAA Qualification.
Arnold also improved her qualification number by finishing in the top 10 for the second straight day, taking 10th in a time of 1:40.34 and giving her back-to-back top 10s, the first two of her career.. Freshman Stef Fleckenstein finished 12th in 1:40.57 while senior Nora Christensen took 18th in 1:41.33 and freshman Olivia Gerrard was 21st in 1:42.99. Freshman Kaitlyn Harsch sat out today’s races due to illness.
Senior Max Luukko had the best finish of the season, taking fourth in a time of 1:31.82 while Joey Young finished seventh, matching his season and career best finish, in a time of 1:32.86. For Luukko, it’s his 19th career top 5 finish in his 46th career race with 11 of those 19 top 5’s coming in GS actin. Young now has three top 10 finishes in four races this season and eight overall in 16 career races.