Kristine Haugen of Denver had a big win in the NCAA giant slalom.HANCOCK, Vt.–Kristine Haugen of the University of Denver capped an undefeated season in college giant slalom racing with a convincing win in the NCAA GS on Wednesday, March 6, during the first day of competition at the 2013 NCAA Skiing Championships.

In the men’s giant slalom, the University of Vermont’s Jonathon Nordbotten edged Jeremy Elliot of Utah and Coley Oliver of the University of New Hampshire, who tied for second, just six hundredths back.

After Day One at the championships, defending champ UVM, with 217 points, led Denver (210.5) in the overall standings.

At the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, Haugen wound up with a two-run time of 2:04.60, 1.33 seconds ahead of Colorado’s Brooke Wales (2:05.93). Third place went to Kristina Riis-Johannessen of UVM.

On a course with big turns and lots of time to tuck on the Snow Bowl’s Allen trail — women’s runner-up Wales said it forced her to “chanuper-G skier” — Haugen outclassed a classy field. She won the first run handily and extended her lead with the fastest second run.

Fourth place went to Kristina Rove of Utah (2:06.40) and in fifth was UVM’s Kate Ryley (2:06.71), the EISA giant slalom champ.

UVM and Denver tied in the women’s GS team score with 112 points each, with Colorado third (100).

Jonathon Nordbotten on the way to a narrow victory in the men's GS at the NCAA championships. -- Photo: Cory RansomWhile the women’s race had a runaway winner, the men’s race in the afternoon could hardly have been tighter. The top 15 skiers were all in the same second, and winner Nordbotten (2:03.12) edged Oliver and first-run leader Elliot (2:03.18). Fourth went to New Mexico’s Christopher Acosta (2:03.28) and fifth to UVM’s Sean Higgins (2:03.57).

Nordbotten, who’d had strong finishes previously in the NCAAs, still “knew I could do better. It’s great to finally win an NCAA title.” He said the key was to ski “smooth on the flats” and keep gaining speed.

Nordbotten and his teammates Higgins and Travis Dawson (in 14th) won the men’s GS team competition, with 115 points to 106 for UNH and 98 for Denver. That gave defending NCAA champs UVM the overall lead on Day One over Denver, 227 points to 210.5. Colorado is third (175.5), New Hampshire fourth (165.5) Utah is just one point back in fifth (164.5).

NCAA action continues tomorrow at the Rikert Nordic Center with the men’s 10km classic and women’s 5km classic races.

Top photo: Denver’s Kristine Haugen meets the press after winning the women’s GS at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl.

Bottom photo: Jonathon Nordbotten on the way to a narrow victory in the men’s GS at the NCAA championships. Photo: Cory Ransom

NCAA Skiing Championships
March 6, 2013

Day One Team Standings

1. University of Vermont (UVM) 227.0
2. University of Denver (DU) 210.5
3. University of Colorado (CU) 175.5
4. University of New Hampshire (UNH) 165.5
5. University of Utah (UU) 164.5
6. University of New Mexico (UNM) 144.0
7. Montana State University (MSU) 103.0
8. University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA) 86.5
9. Middlebury College (MID) 83.0
10. Dartmouth College (DAR) 76.5
11. Colby College (CBC) 43.0
11. St. Lawrence University (SLU) 43.0
13. Williams College (WIL) 33.0
14. Harvard University (HAR) 22.0
15. Bates College (BAT) 20.0
16. St. Michael’s College (SMC) 11.0

Women’s Giant Slalom

1. Kristine Haugen, DU, 2:04.60
2. Brooke Wales, CU, 2:05.93
3.  Kristina Riis-Johannessen, UVM, 2:06.02
4. Kristina Rove,    UU, 2:06.40
5. Kate Ryley, UVM, 2:06.71
6. Ana Kobal, UU, 2:07.26
7. Devin Delaney, DU, 2:07.51
8. Geordie Lonza, WIL, 2:07.68
9. Mary Sackbauer, MID, 2:08.03
10. Thea Grosvold, CU, 2:08.05
11. Elli Terwel, UVM, 2:08.16
12. Jenna Kantor, UNH, 2:08.17
13. Tianda Carroll, DU, 2:08.18
14. Sara Kikut, DAR, 2:08.32
15. Kelly McBroom, MSU, 2:08.32

Men’s Giant Slalom

1. Jonathon Nordbotten, UVM, 2:03.18
2T. Jeremy Elliot, UU, 2:03.18
2T. Coley Oliver, UNH, 2:03.18
4. Christopher Acosta, UNM, 2:03.57
5. Sean Higgins, UVM, 2:03.60
6. Taylor Vest-Burton, UNH, 2:03.84
7. Trevor Philp, DU, 2:03.84
8. Max Marno, DU, 2:03.89
9T. Andreas Adde, UAA, 2:03.90
9T Espen Lysdahl, DU, 2:03.90
11. Graham Scott, SLU, 2:03.91
12T. Henrik Gunnarsson, CU, 2:03.97
12T. Andreas Willum Haug, CU, 2:03.97
14. Travis Dawson, UVM, 2:04.00
15. Michael Bansmer, UNM, 2:04.03