BOZEMAN, Mont.. — Sophomore Joey Young won his first collegiate race, taking the men’s slalom title at the Montana State Invitational and enabling the University of Colorado ski team to remain in the hunt in second place in the team standings through six of eight races here at Bridger Bowl and Crosscut Mountain on Friday.
For the first time this season, both alpine and Nordic teams were in action on the same day and the Buffs racked up seven top 10 performances and two podium appearances. Along with Young, senior Nora Christensen was third place in the women’s slalom race at Bridger Bowl to pick up a podium appearance despite only one of the two runs being contested. The lift broke down prior to the start of the women’s second run and the race was already behind schedule due to snow. The race will count as a finished race both for team points and NCAA Qualification.
Senior Christina Rolandsen and junior Anne Siri Lervik on the women’s Nordic side and sophomore Sondre Bollum and freshman Wyatt Gebhardt on the men’s Nordic side all had top 10’s in extremely difficult conditions at Crosscut Mountain. It snowed overnight in the area making the course softer than ideal conditions call for, and continued snow and wind on Friday made for the tough conditions.
The Buffs are just nine points behind New Mexico, 434-425, with the Nordic classic races to conclude the meet on Saturday. There will be a men’s slalom make up race on Saturday, as well, to close out the CU Invitational.
Young picked up his first collegiate win and it was also his first podium in a two-run time of 1:42.78. He had the second-fastest first run in the field in 49.58 and was .16 behind Denver’s Jett Seymour. Young had the seventh-fastest second run to Seymour’s 10th fastest, besting him by .29 seconds on that run to pick up the win by just 13-hundredths of a second.
Christensen’s first run was in 53.58 and she would’ve been in contention to go for a race victory if the second run had been completed. Regardless, she picked up her first podium of her senior season and seventh of her career, all of which have come in slalom action. Freshman Mikaela Tommy also could have improved on her first run placement of 10th in 54.62. She started in 16th place, meaning she has the best slalom FIS points of those skiers who haven’t yet made use of the collegiate seeding system. She didn’t finish the first slalom race of the year at Eldora, so this is her first finish and thus first career top 10 in slalom. With her two GS wins the last two days, she now has three top 10s on the weekend in Bozeman.
Rolandsen was the Buffs top finisher in the women’s 5K freestyle race, earning seventh place in a time of 16:54.1, about 30 seconds behind race winner Guro Jordheim of Utah (16:20.5). Lervik was just 1.4 seconds behind Rolandsen in eighth place in 16:55.5. Freshman Ezra Smith finished 15th in a time of 17:24.5 and Sophomore Quinn Lehmkuhl, who injured her back at Steamboat Springs last week and is battling that, finished 25th in 18:21.7. Sophomore Hedda Baangman did not finish the race after she had trouble breathing midway through this race. She is expected to race tomorrow for the Buffs.
On paper, the men’s results were similar to the women’s with a pair in the top 10 and three in the top 15 of the men’s 10K freestyle race. Bollum had a solid race, finishing sixth in 29:48.9, about 18 seasons ahead of Gebhardt, who was ninth in a time of 30:06.8. Frensham Erik Dengerud finished tied for 13th in a time of 30:34.8 while senior Alvar Alev was 19th in 30:55.2 and freshman Tyler Terranova took home 27th in 32:03.0.