DILLON and MINTURN, Colo. — The University of Colorado ski team moved into first place at the Denver Invitational thanks to a pair of race wins and four podium finishes on Saturday.
The Buffaloes have scored 477 points in the meet and now hold a 35½-point lead over second place Montana State.
Freshman Alvar Alev won the first race of his career in the men’s 10K freestyle being held at a very snowy Maloit Park. Junior Petter Reistad finished in second behind him to help the Buffs men’s Nordic team win the race by 15 points.
The women’s team tied for the race win with Utah with 88 points, as the Buffs placed three individuals in the top eight.
“Being the top team of the day combined, men and women, was awesome,” head Nordic coach Bruce Cranmer said. “It always nice to win both races and we’ll take what we can get. The team did well today, I was happy with that.”
In the women’s slalom being held at Loveland Ski Area, junior Tonje Trulsrud claimed her third race victory of the winter.
“Those first place finishes, those are great gains for us in terms of team points,” head coach Richard Rokos said. “Tonje was excellent and it was huge because she gained lots of points for us. We’ll hope for the best tomorrow for Nordics to wrap it up. It is great to be in the lead and just hoping to maintain it.”
Women’s 5k freestyle race
Tying with Utah for the race win, Colorado got there thanks to third-, fourth- and eighth-place finishers.
Christina Rolandsen recorded her second podium finish of the season by placing third in the race and right behind her was Anne Siri Lervik in fourth. Lervik has now finished fifth or better in five consecutive races.
Senior Ane Johnsen was the third Buff scorer Saturday, as she placed eighth in the 5K freestyle race. It is her best freestyle result of the season. Rounding out the Buffs was Quinn Lehmkuhl in 25th place and Hedda Baangmandid not finish her race.
Men’s 10k freestyle race
With the 1-2 punch of Alev and Reistad earning a combined 77 points from the top two spots, freshman Tyler Terranova added on the last 15 points to the team total. It was the first time Terranova has scored points for the Buffaloes and it came in his first top 20 finish of his young career (he placed 18th).
Andrew Potyk finished in 19th, 1.7 seconds behind Terranova, and freshman Sondre Bollum did not race due to illness.
Women’s slalom race
Colorado as a team finished second in the women’s slalom race with 79 points, eight-and-a-half off of race winner Montana State’s 87.5.
Behind Trulsrud was Nora Christensen in sixth and Isabella Fidjeland in 20th. Megan McGrew placed 23rd.
Men’s slalom race
Sophomore David Ketterer finished fifth to lead the Buffaloes. It was his top finish in four races back on the NCAA circuit, as he has been acclimating back to the snow conditions in the United States after making eight World Cup slalom starts in Europe from November through January. The 2017 NCAA slalom and giant slalom champion, moved up from his 16-bib number to secure 29 points for the Buffs with his fifth-place finish.
Colorado finished third overall in the slalom race with 69 points. The two other scorers were Joey Young, earning 21 points with his 10th place finish and junior Max Luukko, earning 19 points, two spots back of Young in 12th.
Bobby Moyer finished 16th, a great race for the sophomore and his first top 20 finish of the season. Ola Johansenplaced 23rd Saturday.
If Colorado can hold on to its 35½-point lead on Sunday with the final two events of the DU Invitational, CU would then win three out of the four regular season meets on the season. The last time the Buffs won three or more regular season meets was back in 2013, a year CU swept the NCAA circuit and won all six meets (four regular season, the RMISA Championships and NCAA Championships).
What it means
Colorado keeps inching its way towards its sixth RMISA regular season championship since 2006. The Buffs all but have that wrapped up, as they held a 90-point lead over second place Denver entering the meet and that lead has grown to 130.5 points through 6-of-8 events in this meet.
The CU Nordic team is racing in the 5/10K classical races on Sunday at Maloit Park beginning at 10 a.m.