Denver Ski Team surges to claim 23rd National Title

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The current record holders for NCAA National Championship Skiing Titles, the Denver Pioneers, extended their title wins to 23 following the final day of racing at the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado on March 12.

Denver’s ski team excelled to first place (405.5 points) with individual national championships from alpine skiers Erik Read (Calgary, Alberta), Kristine Haugen (Lommedalen, Norway) and nordic skier Linn Eriksen (Oslo, Norway).

Denver completed the first day of competition on March 9, with 138 points, trailing ten points behind the University of Montana State Bobcats. During the alpine women’s giant slalom, Haugen finished her first run with a time of 57.55 and her second run in 1:00.45 to combine for a total winning time of 1:58.00 and 40 points. Freshman Tuva Norbye (Oslo, Norway) earned sixth with an overall time of 1:59.74 and 27 points.

On the men’s side, Read placed third on the podium with his first run time of 55.53 and his second run of 55.71 for a total time of 1:51.24, plus 34 points. Sebastian Brigovic (Rijeka, Croatia) took eighth place and added 23 points with an overall 1:52.41 time, along with Taylor Shiffrin (Avon, Colorado) who finished 17th with an overall time of 153.08 and 14 points.

Read and Haugen earned First-Team All-American honors following their performances. Brigovic and Norbye were named to the second team.

On March 10, the nordic skiers added 125 points to Denver’s overall score. In the men’s ten kilometer freestyle race, junior Moritz Madlener (Sulzber, Bavaria, Germany) compiled a third place finish and 34 points from his 22:26.6 time. Steamboat Springs local Lars Hannah finished in 22:56.9 to claim eighth place and 23 points. Dag Frode Trolleboe (Oslo, Norway) secured 17th place with his 23.28.2 time.

The women’s five kilometer race was led by freshmen Taeler McCrerey (Frisco, Colorado) who earned 25 points from her 13:19.5 finish. Eriksen trailed just 0.2 seconds behind McCrerey scoring 23 points. Aja Starkey (Bozeman, Montana) came in 25th place tallying six points with her 13:55.0 finish.

Madlener received first team All-American honors, while Hannah was named to the second team. Both McCrerey and Eriksen picked up recognition as second team All-Americans

The alpine skiers advanced Denver’s score to 405.5 points on March 11, to raise the Pioneers to first place. In the individual slalom, Erik Read triumphed by two-hundredths of a second over University of ColoradoBoulder’s Henrik Gunnarson, to claim the national championship with a 1:24.66 finish.

Former national champion Hubner placed third and Haugen finished in sixth. Read and Hubner received first team All-American honors, Haugen earned second team nominee.

A phenomenal effort from the nordic skiers secured the 2016 NCAA Championship for the team on March 12.

Mandlener finalized his junior season with a second place finish in the men’s 20 kilometer classic. Trolleboe finished in tenth place and Hannah trailed to earn thirteenth. Linn Eriksen conquered the women’s 15 kilometer classic race, earning first place.

 
The 23rd National Championship Ski Title extends DU’s overall NCAA titles to 31 and boosts DU to the tenth highest program in the nation for total titles.  

Sasha is a second-year Journalism Studies major with minors in Business Analytics and Marketing. Sasha loves combining her passions of sports with writing and is a HUGE fan of data-driven narratives and visualizations. Despite being a Colorado native, Sasha aspires to live in New York City or Boston as soon as she can.

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