Colorado finishes strong to capture 18th NCAA title


The Buffaloes celebrate a come-from-behind victory and their 18th NCAA title.RIPTON, Vt. — The Buffaloes of Colorado overhauled the University of Vermont, Day Three leader, with a strong showing in the women’s 15km freestyle race on March 9, and survived a bit of a scare from Utah in the 20km men’s race to win the 2013 NCAA Skiing Championships. It was Colorado’s 18th NCAA title.

The final standings showed Colorado in first with 708 points, Utah second with 665, Vermont third with 653 and Denver fourth with 629. Dartmouth College used two strong nordic races on Saturday to move up to fifth with 594 points.

The warm sunshine, and the best college racers in the country, brought out a huge and enthusiastic crowd to watch the races on the Rikert Nordic Center’s new Tordmondsen Family Race Course, a 5km loop, with the women running three
laps and the men four.

CU’s Joanne Reid ran away from the field toward the end of the women’s race, winning by 27 seconds. The senior followed in the ski tracks of her mother, the former Beth Heiden, the speedskating Olympian (brother of Eric) who won an NCAA nordic title for, of all schools, UVM in 1983. The runner-up was Reid’s teammate Eliska Hajkova, and Colorado’s Maria Nordstroem was 12th. That gave the Buffs 125 points, which vaulted them from a 54-point deficit after Day Three into a 16-point lead over UVM, the defending national champions. Behind Reid and Hajkova in the top five were Marine Dusser from Alaska-Anchorage, Dartmouth’s Mary O’Connell, and Denver’s Silje Benum.

Utah's Miles Havlick edges CU's Rune Oedegaard for the national title in the men's 20km freestyle.In the men’s race, Utah had an even better day, with Miles Havlick, who won last year’s classic race, adding a second NCAA title and teammates Einar Ulsund in third and Niklas Persson in fifth. Utah’s near-perfect performance was enough to reel in the Catamounts, but not enough to catch Colorado, which got the points it needed from Rune Oedegaard in second, Gustav Nordstroem in 22nd, and Andreas Hoye in 32nd. Fourth place in the men’s race went to Northern Michigan’s Erik Soderman, defending freestyle champ. The tight finish was a contrast to the women’s race: Reid’s winning margin of 27 seconds took in the the top 12 skiers in the men’s contest.

Following the women’s race in the morning, Utah trailed UVM by 87 points, which seemed like an insurmountable margin. But the Utes made it happen, outscoring UVM by 99 points, 133 to 34. Accepting congratulations after the race, Havlick said, “I’ve got to give a shout-out to my teammates. We were sitting around the breakfast table this morning and talking about three in the top five. It was going to be hard, but that’s what happened, so we’re psyched about that.”

The Catamounts just picked an inconvenient time to have a bad day. The best finish the usually strong women’s team could muster was 20th. As for the men’s team, they lost Joergen Grav to a nasty crash and a broken ski early on, though he was able to get a replacement and claw his way back to finish 33rd. But neither Scott Patterson nor Rogan Brown was able to hang with the top group, and wound up 26th and 27th, respectively.

For the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association teams, the highlights on Saturday were the performances by the Dartmouth skiers, second as a team in both races, and another All-American result for Middlebury’s Ben Lustgarten, who followed up his fourth place in the 10km classic with eighth in the freestyle race. For the Dartmouth men, Sam Tarling was seventh, Silas Talbot ninth and Scott Lacy 16th; for  the women, Mary O’Connell was fourth, Annie Hart eighth and Corey Stock 15th.

Top photo: The Buffaloes celebrate a come-from-behind victory in the nordic events at Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center on March 9, giving Colorado its 18th NCAA title.

Bottom photo: Utah’s Miles Havlick edges CU’s Rune Oedegaard for the national title in the men’s 20km freestyle. — Cory Ransom photo.

2013 NCAA Skiing Championships
March 9, 2013

Final Team Standings

1. University of Colorado (CU) 708.0
2. University of Utah (UU) 665.0
3. University of Vermont (UVM) 653.0
4. University of Denver (DU) 629.0
5. Dartmouth College (DAR) 594.0
6. University of New Mexico (UNM) 576.0
7. University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA) 493.5
8. University of New Hampshire (UNH) 461.5
9. Montana State University (MSU) 422.0
10. Middlebury College (MID) 357.0
11. Northern Michigan University (NMU) 278.0
12. Williams College (WIL) 143.0
13. Colby College (CBC) 132.0
14. University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) 103.5
15. St. Lawrence University (SLU) 89.0
16. Bates College (BAT) 57.5
17. Harvard University (HAR) 39.0
18. University of Maine-Presque Isle (UMP) 38.0
19. College of St. Scholastica (CSS) 35.0
20. St. Michael’s College (SMC) 24.0
21. Bowdoin College (BOW) 1.5

Women’s 15km Freestyle Mass Start

1. Joanne Reid, CU, 38:17.8
2. Eliska Hajkova, CU, 38:44.6
3. Marine Dusser, UAA, 38:45.0
4. Mary O’Connell, DAR, 39:18.3
5. Silje Benum, DU, 39:21.0
6. Anya Bean, UNH, 39:26.4
7. Rosie Frankowski, NMU, 39:36.9
8. Annie Hart, DAR, 39:42.4
9. Rose Kemp, UU, 39:48.1
10. Makayla Cappel, DU, 39:50.0
11. Clara Chauvet, UNM, 39:52.6
12. Maria Nordstroem, CU, 39:57.1
13. Anne Liotta, MSU, 39:57.6
14. Mary Kate Cirelli, NMU, 39:58.1
15. Corey Stock, DAR, 40:00.2

Men’s 20km Freestyle Mass Start

1. Miles Havlick, UU, 50:13.4
2. Rune Oedegaard, CU, 50:14.0
3. Einar Ulsund, UU, 50:14.4
4. Erik Soderman, NMU, 50:16.0
5. Niklas Persson, UU, 50:16.5
6. Mats Resaland, UNM, 50:16.7
7. Sam Tarling, DAR, 50:18.3
8. Benjamin Lustgarten, MID, 50:18.6
9. Silas Talbot, DAR, 50:19.6
10. Kyle Bratrud, NMU, 50:22.1
11. Jeremy Hecker, CSS, 50:36.8
12. David Norris, MSU, 50:40.3
13. Andrew Dougherty, DU, 50:41.1
14. Trygve Markset, DU, 50:41.6
15. Tyler Reinking, MSU, 50:51.6

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