Former Colorado Buffaloes ski team member Alvar Alev finished an impressive 33rd place finish in the men’s 15K/15K Skiathlon Sunday at the Winter Olympics in Zhangjiakou China.
Alev started in 56th place and finished 33rd, moving up some 23 spots. After things settled out of the gates, he had his strongest push early in the race, moving up to 51st by the first intermediate time check at 1.3K, then the next 2.5K he really made his move, going into 40th at the 2.5K mark and then into 33rd at the 3.8K mark.
At that point, he was essentially in the lead pack just 7.5 seconds behind the race leader. He moved down to 41st at the 5.1K mark and then back to 36th by the 6.3K mark. From that point on, he found his rhythm and stayed between 33rd and 37th the rest of the 30K race.
Alev was the top Estonian finisher in the race, and it’s his best finish at the world’s top level. He skied one skiathlon race last season on the World Cup level, finishing 54th, and also finished 50th in a World Cup skiathlon in 2017. He finished in the top five in two Estonia National Championship skiathlon races, taking fifth in 2016 and finishing as the runner-up in 2018.
Alev skied for Colorado from 2018-19 and was a three-time All-American, including two first-team honors, and was named All-RMISA twice, as well. He won three races in his two years. He placed second in the freestyle race at the 2018 NCAA Championships and fourth in the classic at the 2019 NCAA Championships.
He isn’t expected to compete in the Classic sprint races this week and is next expected to race in the Men’s 15K Classic race on Friday (Feb. 11).