Tara Hamilton Wins US Title; Denver Skiers Lead Montana State Invitational

Jan. 10, 2002

Freshman University of Denver nordic skier Tara Hamilton won her first U.S. title in the women's 5-km classic race at the Chevy Truck U.S. Cross Country Championships at Bohart Ranch in Boxeman, Mont. The U.S. Championship event was combined with the collegiate event, the Montana State Invitational meet where Denver leads by 20 points after three days with 436 points.

Utah trails Denver in the meet with 416 oints while Nevada is third with 373 and New Mexico stands at fourth with 352 points. CU is fifth with 339.5 points.

Hamilton actually crossed the finish line second, but according to U.S. Ski Team Ski and Snowboard Association rules, the first U.S. skier is recognized as the national champion, and therefore Hamilton took the 5-km gold medal over Katerina Hanusova from the Czech Republic.

In the collegiate race, Hanusova, skiing for Nevada, earned the women's 5K title in a time 11 seconds faster than Hamilton's (17:16.9). However, the Denver women dominated the event, totaling 79 points, with Niina Karvonen finishing third and Karin Camenisch placing ninth.

Newcomer Ola Berger beat his teammates, two defending national champions, to win the men's nordic 10K classic event, leading an extremely deep men's nordic squad. Berger finished just 10 seconds ahead of reigning NCAA Freestyle Champion Pietro Broggini who took second. 2001 NCAA Classic Champion Wolf Wallendorf finished fourth, less than a minute behind Broggini. The top three finishers combined for 86 total points, 16 ahead of the closest competitor, Utah (70).

In addition to the top three, Hakon Johansen finished ninth, a finish sure to score on any other team. Denver had six other skiers race, including Dylan Prosser who was 11th and Zach Hill who finished 13th.

Team Scoring:
1. Denver 436 2. Utah 416 3. Nevada 373 4. New Mexico 352 5. Colorado 339.5 6. Alaska-Anchorage 265 7. Western State 260.5 8. Montana State 124 9. Whitman 65

Denver Skiers: Women's 5K -- 2. Tara Hamilton, 3. Niina Karvonen, 9. Karin Camenisch. Men's 10K -- 1. Ola Berger, 2. Pietro Broggini, 4. Wolf Wallendorf, 9. Hakon Johansen, 11. Dylan Prosser, 13. Zach Hill, 22. Jack Gervais, 23. August Teague, 29. Beau Terhaar, 33. Bryce Turzian





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