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The defending national champion CU ski team is seeing its share of tough competition this winter.
At the conclusion of the Alaska Invitational in Anchorage on Friday, the No. 3-ranked Buffs ended up in second place behind No. 1-ranked Utah.
Colorado was not far behind its Pac-12 rival, finishing with 831 points compared to the Utes’ 898. It is the third time this season the Buffs have finished in second behind Utah, as the Utes also captured victory at the CU and DU Invitationals.
Friday’s portion of the meet included the men’s and women’s slalom races. Conditions were far from perfect, but all CU skiers were able to finish their races. Senior Carolina Nordh came in fourth out of all women with a time of 1:43.14, while seniors Katie Hartman and Jennifer Allen finished sixth and 10th, respectively.
On the mens’ side, junior Max Lamb led the Buffs with a fifth place finish of 1:38.48. Sophomore Fletcher McDonald finished sixth, just .11 seconds behind Lamb.
The Buffs remain in Anchorage over the weekend to finish out competition at the Seawolf Invitational, which began on Thursday and continues through Saturday. Friday’s portion of the Seawolf Invitational featured the men’s and women’s classical races, in which several CU athletes recorded impressive times.
Freshman Rune Oedegaard led the men’s 20K classical race with a first-place finish in 54:25.5, while teammates sophomore Andreas Hoye and junior Ian Mallams finished fourth and fifth, respectively. In the women’s 15K, senior Eliska Hajkova edged runner-up Jaime Bronga of the University of Alaska by four tenths of a second to take first in 47:56.9. Colorado junior Joanna Reid finished 10th.
The meet concludes Saturday with the men’s and women’s slalom events. Forecasts call for blizzard conditions and up to 16 inches of snow accumulation. Because the men’s giant slalom race was canceled on Thursday due to dangerous conditions, the men’s slalom race will be prioritized on Saturday.
“It’s harder to forecast in this part of Alaska,” head coach Richard Rokos said to the CU Sports Information Department. “But if the conditions force us to compromise, we’ll do everything we can to get the men’s race in.”
The Buffs do not compete next weekend, but on Wednesday, Feb. 22, they hit the slopes again for the RMISA Alpine Qualifier in Big Sky, Mont.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Caryn Maconi at Caryn.email@example.com.