The University of Utah won three races and placed seven athletes on the podium in opening day competitions (Feb. 24) of the RMISA Championships in Bozeman, Mont., taking a commanding 61.5 point lead at the midway mark of the event. The Utes, undefeated in regular season RMISA Invitationals, continue to stake their outright claim to a national championship this season.
Utah swept the women’s giant slalom podium on the performances of race winner Tii-Maria Romar, runner-up Anna Kocken, and third place finisher Julie Bordeau. Another Ute, Jaime Dupratt, finished fifth, placing four of Utah’s women in the top five. The men’s giant slalom results were strikingly similar with Utah’s one-two punch claiming the top steps on Ryan Wilson’s victory and Nick Cohee’s second place finish. Andreas Haug of Colorado rounded out the podium in third.
The Utah onslaught did not end there. In the women’s 5k freestyle, Maria Graefnings took the win by more than a half second to once again topple Colorado’s Eliska Hajkova and Joanne Reid who placed second and third, respectively. The Utes did have to settle for second place in the men’s 10k freestyle when Miles Havlick was overtaken by Colorado’s Rune Oedegaard who won by 16.4 seconds. Montana State followed up with Tyler Reinking and David Norris in third and fourth.
The RMISA Championships conclude tomorrow (Feb. 25) with the alpine slalom and nordic classic races.
Team scores at the conclusion of the first day of the RMISA Championships:
Utah – 484
Colorado – 422.5
Montana State – 375
New Mexico – 368.5
Denver – 346
Alaska-Anchorage – 336
Westminster – 133
Colorado Mtn. – 51
Photo of race winner Maria Graefnings by Curtis Snyder