Denver’s ski team placed third at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) Regional Championship races. Following a successful season, the program aspires to reclaim the NCAA national title. The record-holding program with 22 titles under their belt aspires to complete the season with a victory in Steamboat Springs, Colorado on March 9-12.
For the alpine team; Taylor Shiffrin (Avon, Colorado) earned a second-place podium finish with a time of 1:41.90 and former National Men’s Alpine Skier of the Year Sebastian Brigovic (Rijeka, Croatia) finished in ninth place. Monica Huebner (Garmisch-Partenkrichen, Germany) took gold in the women’s race with a 1:54.22 time. Kristine Haugen (Lommedalen, Norway) placed third and freshman Tuve Norbye (Oslo, Norway) took fifth.
The Nordic ski team finished strong as Mortiz Madlener (Sulzber, Bavaria, Germany) finished in seventh place with a time of 52:59.2. Freshman Lars Hannah (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) earned a thirteenth-place finish. On the women’s side, Aja Starkey (Bozeman, Montana) took eighth place with a 48:15.8 finish. Freshmen Taeler McCrerey (Frisco, Colorado) and Jasmi Joensuu (Kurotane, Finland) took 17th and 20th place, respectively.
One year removed from the National Championship, the Pioneers took second last season to their in-state rivals, the University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes. With 20 championship-title wins for the Buffaloes, the DU versus CU clash entails far more history than the close-proximity between the two schools.
DU head coach Andy LeRoy graduated from CU after winning the individual slalom National Championship in 2000. Born and raised in Steamboat Springs, LeRoy is excited to compete in his hometown and face his alma mater.
“It’s hard to describe. To be racing on my home hill where I grew up and used to win races as a kid and to do it in front of all of my friends and family is special,” said LeRoy.
Both the alpine and nordic teams have generated successful results this year. Brigovic, Shiffrin and sophomore Erik Read (Calgary, Alberta) have earned strong finishes this season for DU men’s alpine team.
Huebner who won the national championship in slalom last year, Haugen and Norbye led Denver’s women’s alpine team with top performances this season.
Denver’s women’s nordic team is led by a large amount of youth, as sophomores Linn Eriksen (Oslo, Norway) and Starkey, along with freshman Jasmi Joensuu (Kuortane, Finland), have produced favorable outcomes in races throughout the year.
“The NCAAs are during the end of winter quarter and begin during finals week. We’ll be finishing up classes, projects and exams early to try to direct our full attention on Steamboat that week,” said Coach LeRoy.
The team has a week to prepare for the NCAAs beginning March 9 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.