Junior Mads Stroem won his fourth straight RMISA Individual Championship and freshman Max Luukko won the men’s slalom, helping the CU’s ski team to a second place finish Saturday at the 67th Annual RMISA Championships, which double as the NCAA Western Regional Championships in Beaver Creek..
CU had four podium appearances and 11 skiers finish in the top 11, which gave the Buffs 634 points, 28 behind Utah (662). The Buffs passed Denver, which finished with 595 points in third place. Montana State (521) and New Mexico (473) round out the top five.
Stroem dominated for the second straight day with a time of 51 minutes, 8.6 seconds, taking the race by 39.8 seconds over freshman teammate Petter Reistad, giving the Buffs a 1-2 finish in the race.
It is Stroem’s fourth straight win and 12th of his career.
He has also won the last four RMISA Individual Championships, having now swept both races for two years in a row.
CU has now won five in a row and eight of the last 11 of the men’s classic race at RMISA Championships dating back to 2006.
His six wins this season are also tied for eighth most in program history.
Senior Arnaud Du Pasquier finished in 16th place in a time of 54:06.1, as CU’s third scorer.
On the women’s side, the Buffs were without Petra Hyncicova, who is on her way back from Romania and the Under 23 World Cross Country Championships. Ane Johnsen was also unavailable.
CU’s other four women all finished in the top 13, as sophomore Jesse Knori finished fifth in 47:26.2 and freshman Christina Rolandsen finished sixth in 47:43.7. Junior Camilla Brautaset was ninth in 48:30.7 and junior Lucy Newman 13th in 49:18.5.
When Nordic races were over, the Buffs (467 points) trailed Utah (549) by 82 points. The Buffs had opened up a 41 point lead over third-place Denver (426).
When the women’s classic race was finished at Maloit Park, the women’s slalom second run was just beginning over at Beaver Creek and the meet standings tightened up dramatically.
Always labeled the equalizer, the slalom proved that theory right on Saturday.
The Buffs were led by seniors Thea Grosvold, who finished sixth in 1:57.70 and Jessica Honkonen, who was seventh in 1:58.26. Add to that an 11th place finish from freshman Nora Christensen, the Buffs finished second behind Denver in the race.
Junior Katie Hostetler finished 14th in 2:02.76 and senior Clare Wise finished 17th in 2:04.98.
Denver finished 1-3-5 in the race and the Utes struggled, finishing just two skiers.
Luukko won the men’s slalom, putting two Buffs on the podium along with Adam Zika’s third place finish. Henrik Gunnarson gave CU three top-10 finishers with his 10th place finish.
All three Buffs made their moves during the second run.
Gunnarrsson had the second-fastest second run to move all the way from 23rd into 10th. Zika moved up from sixth to third and Luukko won the race after being in third after the first run.
Unfortunately, Luukko injured his hand as he crossed the finish line, adding him to the list of banged up Buffs.
Next, the Buffs will host NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs March 9-12.
1. Utah 662; 2. Colorado 634; 3. Denver 595; 4. Montana State 521; 5. New Mexico 473; 6. Alaska Anchorage 449; 7. Colorado Mountain 101; 8. Wyoming 83.
Men’s 20k Freestyle
1. Mads Stroem, CU, 51:08.6; 2. Petter Reistad, CU, 51:48.4; 3. Niklas Persson, UU, 41:50.7; 4. Luca Winkler, UAA, 51:43.4; 5. Kevin Bolger, UU, 52:04.1; 6. Sawyer Kisselheim, MSU, 52:47.8; 7. Moritz Madlener, DU, 52:59.2; 8. Petteri Vaherkoski, UNM, 53:12.0; 9. Aljaz Praznik, UNM, 53:12.0; 10. Niklas Rombock, UNM, 53:21.0.
Other CU Finishers: 16. Arnaud Du Pasquier, 54:06.1; 23. Ian Boucher, 55:42.0; 25. Max Scrimgeour, 57:13.9; 30. Jackson Hill, 59:40.7.
Women’s 15k Freestyle
1. Veronika Mayerhofer, UU, 45:05.0; 2. Sloan Storey, UU, 45:27.7; 3. Kati Roivas, UNM, 46:57.3; 4. Natalie Mueller, UU, 47:09.4; 5. Jesse Knori, CU, 47:26.2; 6. Christina Rolandsen, CU, 47:43.7; 7. Cambria McDermott, MSU, 47:56.8; 8. Aja Starkey, DU, 48:15.8; 9. Camilla Brautaset, CU, 48:30.7; 10. Anika Miller, MSU, 48:32.3.
Other CU Finishers: 13. Lucy Newman, 49:18.5.
Did Not Start: Ane Johnsen.
1. Max Luukko, CU, 1:41.37; 2. Taylor Shiffrin, DU, 1:41.90; 3. Adam Zika, CU, 1:42.06; 4. Endre Bjertness, UU, 1:42.20; 5. Carl-Johan Oester, UNM, 1:42.26; 6. Joergen Brath, UU, 1:42.47; 7. Sean Alexander, UAA, 1:42.80; 8. Morten Bakke, MSU, 1:43.03; 9. Sebastian Brigovic, DU, 1:43.41; 10. Henrik Gunnarsson, CU, 1:43.42. Other CU Finishers: 15. Kasper Hietanen, 1:44.82; 17. Cameron Smith, 1:45.12.
1. Monica Huebner, DU, 1:54.22; 2. Maria Gudmundsdottir, UAA, 1:54.86; 3. Kristine Haugen, DU, 1:54.90; 4. Sydney Staples, UNM, 1:56.56; 5. Tuva Norbye, DU, 1:56.76; 6. Thea Grosvold, CU, 1:57.70; 7. Jessica Honkonen, CU, 1:58.26; 8. Jocelyn McCarthy, MSU, 1:58.70; 9. Teagan Palmer, UU, 1:58.87; 10. Tenaya Driller, MSU, 1:59.11. Other CU Finishers: 11. Nora Christensen, 2:00.32; 14. Katie Hostetler, 2:04.98.
Did Not Finish: Tonje Trulsrud.