Utah wins Denver Invite, Alaska powers to third
Following the final day of Nordic races in the University of Denver Invitational, Utah claimed its second team win of the season with 902 points, kicking off a perfect record in 2012. The Utes' Parker Tyler won the women's 5K classical while teammates Miles Havlik and Didrik Smith took second and third in the men's 10k. They switched positions in Saturday's (Jan. 21) 15k freestyle race when Smith placed second and Havlik third.
Colorado's Rune Oedegaard swept both men's races of the weekend, the first time any RMISA athlete has accomplished that feat this season as well as since 2010. His victory in the freestyle race was by a margin of less than five seconds over the pair of Utah skiers. Fellow Buff Eliska Hajkova took second in the women's freestyle to add convincing team points to the Colorado squad that seems stuck just off the top block this year. They finished the meet in second overall with 845 points.
Denver's Kate Dolan and Makayla Cappel showed fast form in the classical race to claim second and third places, respectively, but an impressive push by the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves bumped the Pioneers into fourth overall.
The dynamic trio of Jaime Bronga, Laura Rombach, and Steffi Hiemer, all three of whom finished no lower than sixth in both Nordic races, propelled the Seawolves to a third place finish overall with 770 points. Bronga's freestyle win and Rombach's third assured the RMISA circuit that Alaska-Anchorage is bringing the heat this year.
RMISA racing takes a short hiatus and continues in Anchorage on Feb. 4 with the Alaska-Anchorage Invitational.
Final team scores at the conclusion of the Denver Invitational:
Utah - 902
Colorado - 845
Alaska - Anchorage - 770
Denver - 752
New Mexico - 705
Montana State - 642
Westminster - 346
Wyoming - 240
Colorado Mountain College - 87
Photo of double race winner Rune Oedegaard by University of Colorado