Even in the wake of tragedy, the Buffs came out on top.
After losing team member Spencer Nelson in the summer, the Colorado Ski team came together to win the 58th Annual NCAA Skiing Championships Saturday in Stowe, Vt. The win gives the Buffs their 18th National Championship.
“It was our goal to do this for Spencer from the beginning, and we were consistently accomplishing that goal throughout the season,” CU head coach Richard Rokos said. “Every single run, every single meet, everybody kept it in their minds.”
Colorado scored 831 points – the most since a new scoring system was implemented three years ago. They beat runner-up Utah by 80.5 points, the fifth-largest winning margin in NCAA history. Vermont, who came into the tournament ranked No. 1, finished in sixth.
Senior Gabriel Rivas, who came in second in the men’s slalom, completed two runs in 1:40.60, less than a second behind Vermont’s Tim Kelley.
After his race, Rivas said he was happy to leave CU on top.
“We’ve been second the two years that I’ve been here,” Rivas said. “This feels great, there’s not much else to say; winning a national championship is indescribable.”
Sophomore Max Lamb finished in tenth with a two run time of 1:44.26, and freshman Andreas Haug’s time of 1:52.51 was good enough for 20th.
On the women’s side, sophomore Erika Ghent came in 10th with a time of 1:58.09. Senior Carolina Nordh finished in 11th with a time of 1:58.13 and junior Sara Hjertman was 11th with a time of 1:58.16.
Nordh said that all the adversity the team has been through made the win even better.
“We’ve gone through a lot this year,” Nordh said. “First Spencer, and then the bad car accident, some of my teammates got hurt. And then being a senior, last year, you want to accomplish so much and we did.”
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Mark McNeillie at Mark.email@example.com.