Ola Johansen continued the impressive start of his career by winning the giant slalom race, helping the Colorado ski team to a win in the event as CU edged closer to Denver in the team standings of the Utah Invitational on Wednesday at Park City Mountain Resort.
Freshman Max Luukko took fifth, and senior Henrik Gunnarsson was eighth as CU was the only team with three skiers in the top 10. The Buffs racked up 92 points, while Denver was second with 80.
At the midpoint of the meet, the Pioneers lead with 320 points to Colorado’s 318. Utah jumped into third and has 268 points, and Westminster is fourth with 258. New Mexico (214) is fifth and Montana State (202), Alaska Anchorage (179) and Colorado Mountain College (73) round out the team scoring.
“We’ve been skiing and training and racing a lot, but this was our first intercollegiate race that meant more for us,” CU coach Richard Rokos said. “In short, we are doing well, sitting in second place, just two points behind DU, and they are loaded with World Cup skiers. It’s good to compete on that level.”
Johansen is the first men’s alpine skier in the 26-year era of coach Rokos to finish as high as first and second in the first meet of the season. He is just the fifth men’s alpine skier to record two top 5 finishes in the first meet of the season. The last time that happened was in 2007 when Stefan Hughes finished third in the GS and second in the slalom, also in Utah.
4 of 8 events
1. Denver 320; 2. Colorado 318; 3. Utah 268; 4. Westminster 258; 5. New Mexico 214; 6. Montana State 202; 7. Alaska Anchorage 179; 8. Colorado Mountain College 73.
Men’s Giant Slalom
34 Collegiate Finishers
1. Ola Johansen, CU, 1:51.20; 2. Erik Read, DU, 1:51.28; 3. Ty Sprock, UU, 1:51.49; 4. Giulio Bosca, WMC, 1:51.58; 5. Max Luukko, CU, 1:51.78; 6. David Herzog, WMC, 1:52.20; 7. Dominic Demschar, UU, 1:52.23; 8. Henrik Gunnarsson, CU, 1:52.29; 9. Sebastian Brigovic, DU, 1:52.36; 10. Taylor Shiffrin, DU, 1:53.14.
Other CU Finishers
14. Roger Carry, 1:53.68; 15. Adam Zika, 1:54.07; 26. Cameron Smith, 1:57.19; 27. Kasper Hietanen, 1:57.96.