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Two CU Buffs claim skiing national titles

Colorado in second place in team standings at halfway point of NCAA championships

Colorado's Magdalena Luczak races in the giant slalom during the NCAA Championships on Thursday in Park City, Utah. (Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos
Colorado’s Magdalena Luczak races in the giant slalom during the NCAA Championships on Thursday in Park City, Utah. (Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos

PARK CITY, Utah – After four years and some close losses, Filip Forejtek finally got his national title.

Magdalena Luczak got hers on the first try, but it took a whirlwind journey to get there.

On Thursday, the Colorado ski team added two more individual champions to its remarkable history and put itself in a position to contend for the team title over the weekend.

CU is in second place at the mid-point of the NCAA championships. Two-time defending champion Utah has the lead, with 286.5 points, followed by CU (262) and Denver (249). The championships resume with slalom races on Friday and the Nordic freestyle races on Saturday.

The Buffs got the weekend off to a good start with Forejtek and Luczak winning titles in the giant slalom at Park City Resort. In its history, CU has had 100 individual NCAA championships – the first team to reach that mark.

A senior, Forejtek was runner-up in GS in 2020, losing by .02 of a second, and in slalom last year, losing by .06 of a second. This time, he completed his two runs in 1 minute, 57.41 seconds, winning by .73.

“I had a decent first run,” he said. “I know I still can go faster and just push much more and I was able to get it together for the second run. I can’t name a specific reason, but I just had a really good run.”

The only disappointment for Forejtek was in seeing sophomore Louis Fausa lose a ski on his second run, making him unable to finish and score points. Fausa had the fifth-best time through the first run.

Colorado’s Filip Forejtek races in the giant slalom during the NCAA Championships on Thursday in Park City, Utah. (Brett Wilhelm/NCAA)

“I’m very glad I was able to win,” Forejtek said. “The bitter part is that Louis lost a ski, which was not his fault. It was just bad luck for the team. You’ve got mixed feelings, but I’m for sure happy that I was able to win.”

Freshman Jacob Dilling, from Vail, had a good performance in placing 12th, with a time of 1:59.23.

Luczak, meanwhile, took advantage of an extra day of rest after poor weather postponed the GS from Wednesday.

Last month, Luczak skied for her native Poland in the Olympics in China and then spent Monday skiing in the FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in Panorama, B.C. She traveled to Utah on Tuesday, arriving just in time to do some training.

“I got another day to rest a little and I was feeling really well today,” she said. “It’s pretty unreal (to win) because a lot has happened for the past couple of months, so I’m really happy to be here and to be able to race and even happier to have the championship.”

Luczak completed her two runs in 2:02.03. She had the fastest time in both runs and won the title by 1.25 seconds.

“I really liked the slope and the snow,” she said. “The conditions were really great today and the GS was pretty long and turny. These are the GSs that I like to ski and I ski them well. … I put everything together and it’s paid off well.”

Junior Emma Hammergaard posted a 15th-place finish (2:05.77) while senior Kaitlyn Harsch finished 25th (2:07.95).

Also on Thursday, CU’s Nordic team had a solid performance in the classical races at Soldier Hollow with four athletes earning All-American honors. CU’s Nordic team scored 141 points, slightly behind Utah’s 148.5.

“That’s a good start,” CU Nordic coach Jana Weinberger said. “Most of (the Buffs) are better in skate (freestyle), too, so I think we can be a little closer to Utah on Saturday.”

CU junior Magnus Boee was unable to repeat as national champion in the men’s 10K classical race, but finished third to earn first-team All-American status. It is his fourth career All-American honor. Boee’s time of 24:03.7 was 20.6 seconds behind Vermont’s Ben Ogden, who won the title.

“He’s a good athlete, in shape,” Weinberger said of Boee. “If he’s in top shape, he probably would win pretty easily, but this season was not as perfect as last.”

Sophomore Will Koch earned second-team All-American status after placing seventh (24:37.3), while freshman Fredrik Nilsen was 16th (25:17.8).

All three Buffs in the women’s 5K classical race finished in the top 14, led by freshman Hanna Abrahamsson. She earned first-team All-American honors with a fifth-place finish and a time of 13:57.2. Abrahamsson was 34.4 seconds behind Utah’s Novie McCabe, who won the title.

Sophomore Weronika Kaleta was a second-team All-American with a 10th place finish (14:16.3), while junior Anna-Maria Dietze placed 14th (14:26.7).

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