Feb. 25, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – With the NCAA Championships just around the corner, the University of Denver ski team dominated the final day of the RMISA Championships on Sunday, winning both the men's 20K Freestyle and the women’s Giant Slalom.
The Pioneers took home their first Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championship in 11 years, with the last coming in 2007.
DU secured 86 points in the women’s 15K Freestyle and 90 in the men’s 20K. Alpine took 98 points in the women’s GS and 86 in the men’s, good enough for second behind Montana State’s 100.
Denver totaled 710.5 points, beating host and rival Colorado by 92.5 points.
“CU and Steamboat Winter Sports Club hosted absolutely excellent races here as always and we look forward to being back here for NCAA's next week,” said Nordic coach Dave Stewart.
On the day, the Crimson and Gold individually took first in two events, Eivind Kvaale in the 20K and Kristine Aasberg in the Giant Slalom.
Kvaale, a native of Hoydalsmo, Norway, earned his first collegiate win of his career.
“I’m very happy to finally get my first college win,” stated Kvaale. “I felt great during the race and I knew that I was among the stronger guys out on the course, I just had to finish it off. Great weekend overall with a win and a second place. Hopefully I can do the same in a couple of weeks at the NCAA championship.”
In the 15K, Linn Eriksen took second in a time of 49:41.2, meanwhile Alex Leever placed third in the men’s GS. Also scoring top 5 finishes for Denver were Tuva Norbye and Nick Santaniello in the Giant Slaloms and Lars Hannah in the 20K.
“Dag Frode broke away on the first lap and skied alone off the front for 10-km before the chase group reeled him in,” said Stewart. “Eivind attacked next on the final lap and won a well-deserved sprint for his first RMISA win. Lars fought in the lead pack the whole race and had his best result of the year in 5th. Simon also had one of his strongest performances of the year with a great last lap here on his home trails.”
“A lot of good memories from Steamboat, so it is fun to be back,” said Eriksen. “I skied technically and tactically well today, and was awarded with a new podium finish. It was great to have Jasmi and Taeler with me in the top 10 as well, a strong team performance!”
Five other Pioneers skied for top 10 spots, including a pair of sixth place finishes from Andrea Komsic in the GS and Jasmi Joensuu in the Freestyle. Taeler McCrerey in the 15K took ninth, as did Tobias Kogler in the men’s Giant Slalom who tied with CU’s David Ketterer.
Completing the top 10 skiers was Dag Frode Trolleboe, who chalked up a time of 1:01:34.5 in the 20K.
“I'm pleased with the team performance today, seeing all their hard training paying off in top results,” added Stewart. “Everyone raced aggressive today and got on a good experience on the NCAA race course. Linn, Jasmi and Taeler all skied in the lead group, with Linn in a tight sprint for the win.”
Back in the Giant Slalom, Amelia Smart took 12th in her first RMISA Championships, as the pairing of Tanner Farrow in 22nd and Jett Seymour in 25th finished the day for Alpine.
Racing for 15th in the 15K was Aja Starkey in a time of 53:37.1. Taking 16th in the 20K Freestyle was Simon Zink.
Finally, Borgar Norrud in a time of 1:05:01.0 and Nick Sweeney in 1:07:50.7 completed the day for the Pioneers.
DU takes to the slopes one last time in 2018 with the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs. The Crimson and Gold will look for NCAA title No. 24 starting March 7.
To view video highlights throughout the RMISA season, check out the conference’s YouTube page that will be updated constantly throughout the season.
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