Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Olivia Butrymovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Colorado ski team finished up the weekend in third place of the Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The Buffs finished out the meet with 583 points, 66 points behind the University of Utah (649), and four points behind the University of Denver (587).
After the first day of alpine competition at Howelsen Hill, the Buffs sat just 15 points behind the University of Denver Pioneers. Colorado senior Henrik Gunnarsson won the men’s slalom race with a time of 1:25.43. This is Gunnarsson’s first win for the university after competing in 46 collegiate races. Other top finishes for the men’s team went to Ola Johansen, who placed fourth with a time of 1:26.17, and missed his fifth podium in six races by six hundredths of a second.
On the women’s side, CU’s top finisher was freshman Tonje Trulsrud, who finished in seventh place with a time of 1:29.91.
On day two of the competition, the Nordic team got their chance at the podium. Cold temperatures got the best of the cross country racers as they fought back illness leading up to the race. The women’s 5-kilometer freestyle race turned out a fifth-place finish by sophomore Petra Hyncicova with a time of 16:01.8. The Buffs’ next best finisher was sophomore Ane Johnsen who skied into thirteenth with a time of 16:36.2.
In the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle, the Buffs’ top finisher was Petter Reistad. The freshman placed seventh with a time of 26.54.4.
On the downhill side, the Buffs recorded some excellent finishes in the giant slalom. Freshmen Max Luukko and Johansen finished the day in third and fourth place, respectively. Luukko finished with a time 1:55.70 while Johansen closed out the day with his sixth top-five finish.
Trulsrud recorded the second win of her collegiate career after overtaking Utah’s Julie Mohagen on the second run to come away with a time of 1:56.58.
After a strong performance by the alpine team, the Buffs only slid eight points behind Denver, falling to third going into the final day of competition.
The weekend concluded with the men’s and women’s 20k and 15k Nordic races. Mads Stroem led the men for Colorado, finishing with a time of 56:52.9. The junior concluded his weekend with a second-place finish. Stroem was one of two CU men to finish the race due to the low temperatures outside.
The women’s race concluded with Petra Hyncicova as CU’s top female finisher. She finished in fourth place with a time of 50:17.5.
The Buffs were unable to improve on their third-place overall finish after the conclusion of the cross country race.
In the midst of the Nordic race at Howlsen, the alpine team competed in a giant slalom Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) qualifier at Mt. Werner. Johansen led the way for the men’s team, putting up the second fastest time of the day: 1:56.53. Trulsrud was able to place third on the women’s side with a combined time of 1:57.81.
The Buffs’ next event takes them to Red River, New Mexico on Feb. 23. The team will be back in Steamboat in the beginning of March for the NCAA Championships, looking to go back-to-back and take the league title for the 21st time.