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Skiers In Lead After Day One of RMISA Championship

Discussion in 'University of Colorado News and Olympic Sports' started by cmgoods, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. cmgoods

    cmgoods Olympic Sports Mod Club Member

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    Joanne Reid and Rune Oedegaard claimed regional titles in the Nordic freestyle events Friday.

    Photo Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
    [h=1]Skiers In Lead After Day One of RMISA Championship[/h] Release: 02/22/2013 Courtesy: CUBuffs.com


    BOZEMAN, Mont. - The University of Colorado ski team crowned two regional champions and swept one race here Friday as the first day of competition was completed in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships, an event that doubles as the NCAA West Regional.

    The Buffaloes racked up 255 team points, with Utah in second (215) and host Montana State in third (189). Colorado is bidding for its 12th RMISA/West Regional title in the 23 years that Richard Rokos as served as the program's head coach, as its 23rd overall in the 60-plus year history of the conference.

    "You can hardly ask for more," Rokos said. "Just short of two weeks before the NCAA Championships, this is a great confidence builder. It puts everybody in a good comfort zone, but we just can't sleep on it. There is no pressure for (CU skiers) qualification, and having such a good cushion, it does provide a comfort zone for going out and skiing fast in both alpine and Nordic tomorrow."

    All six west schools will have full 12-skier teams at the next month's championships, as the NCAA made qualification changes to permit such; it also returns a little more significance to the regional title meets with coaches tweaking starting spots to improve seedings as opposed to attempting to qualify a full team.

    Senior Joanne Reid, named this week as the RMISA's Women's Nordic Most Valuable Skier, continued her phenomenal season, capturing her eighth race in nine attempts. She recorded a 16:35.9 time in the women's 5-kilometer classic, besting teammate and fellow senior Eliska Hajkova, who was timed in 16:45.5; it marked the third time the pair finished 1-2 this year. Freshman Maria Nordstroem took the bronze spot on the podium with a 16:51.9 clocking, while senior Mary Rose rounded out the Buffalo performers with a 12th place effort in 17:49.9.

    The sweep also made some school history. It was CU's first-ever 1-2-3 sweep in women's Nordic action since the sport went coed in 1983; on five previous occasions, Colorado women posted 1-2-4 finishes, along with three 1-3-4 efforts. It was the first all-podium finish by any Buffalo unit since January 10, 2009, when Nordics Jesper Ostensen, Vegard Kjoelhamar and Matt Gelso topped the standings in the 15k classic in the UAA Seawolf Invitational.

    The last by a CU women's discipline came in the giant slalom at the 2006 Western State Invitational, as Lucie Zikova (first), Lisa Perricone (second) and Sabrina Mocellin (third) hogged the podium that day. And under the current scoring system (adopted in 2010), it was just the second podium sweep by any school in any discipline (New Mexico in their own 2010 meet in the men's freestyle).

    Reid's seven straight wins are tied for the second most by a Buff since '83 as well. Line Selnes won eight in a row in 1998 with Maria Grevsgaard also winning seven straight in 2008; both went on to win 11 races those winters and were NCAA champions in both the freestyle and classical events. Reid's eight wins this season (her other finish was a runner-up effort), stand as the third most in a single season behind the aforementioned 11 by at Selnes and Grevsgaard.

    [FONT=arial black,avant garde]ALL-TIME INDIVIDUAL WINS BY CU SKIERS [/FONT]
    24 Maria Grevsgaard, 2006-09 (15 CL, 9 FS)
    16 Lucie Zikova, 2005-08 (12 SL, 4 GS)
    13 Per Kare Jakobsen, 1988-90 (9 FS/XC, 4 CL)
    12 John Skajem, 1986-87 (7 SL, 5 GS)
    11 Anette Skjolden, 1991-93 (7 CL, 4 FS)
    11 Line Selnes, 1998 (6 FS, 5 CL)
    10 Bjorn Svensson, 1990-93 (6 FS, 4 CL)
    10 Ove Erik Tronvoll, 1998-99 (7 CL, 3 FS)
    10 Joanne Reid, 2010-13 (5 CL, 5 FS)

    "This is definitely a hard course, it starts with a huge uphill, then you're just tired the whole rest of the way," Reid said. "If I think about the streak, I'll get too nervous and I won't keep my hot chocolate down," she mused.

    "I was hoping for a sweep all year, I'd always have my team do well rather than I win, but we got both today, so that's awesome. The snow was pretty slow for everybody. When you're skiing by yourself, it feels like you're going nowhere. Then when you go by a coach and they give you the splits, you think it's not quite that bad," she noted of the race format, which featured interval starts.

    "When we came here as freshmen, it was Bruce's ultimate goal, to go 1-2-3," Hajkova said. "It was great to do it today, and hopefully we can do it again. It was really good snow for Montana, it's usually not stable and changes temperature. Today we had great kick and awesome slide.

    Hajkova also had an unexpected tribute to her native Czech Republic, as she was assigned a starting time toward the middle of the pack instead of near the end where she usually begins. The bib number she was given was number 68.

    "At first, I was really mad with my starting bib, I was nervous because I'm usually not that far up front," she said. "But I also had bib 68, it's the same number that (professional hockey player) Jaromir Jagr wears. He wears it because 1968 was when the Red Army occupied Czechoslovakia and a lot of people died and wears it to honor them. At the starting line, I looked at my bib and said, 'Wow, it's such an honor to wear this bib today.' I was skiing not only for my CU team but for my country.

    Rokos also escaped the communist occupied country in 1980, fleeing to Austria before eventually migrating to the United States. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Russian tanks rolling into Prague (on August 21, 1968).

    "It was really fun, that's what you want with a team, you always want to go 1-2-3," Nordstroem said. "There was a really tough uphill later in the race, I was a little scared for that. I didn't push myself too hard in the beginning, so I had some energy left for the big uphill, so that turned out to be good."

    By virtue of the sweep, CU won the women's race by a lopsided 141-90 margin. But Utah captured the men's 10-kilometer race, though by only 125-114 over the Buffaloes, as the Colorado men placed four finishers in the top 12, headlined by the fourth win this season by sophomore Rune Oedegaard.

    He edged Utah's Miles Havlick (who hails from Boulder) for his seventh podium finish, timed in28:15.3; Havlivk was three-tenths of a second back in 28:15.6. Freshman Gustav Nordstrom tied for seventh (29:18.7), with senior Ian Mallams 11th (29:37.5) and junior Andreas Hoye 12th (29:36.9).

    "The wind really picked up, there were a few uphills with some good head wind. But then I thought, 'it's the same for everybody, it's not like this just for me,'" Oedegaard commented in dissecting his performance. "You just have to fight it. You have to think, 'Okay, I'm tired,' but so is everybody else. You just have to be a little tougher, make it an advantage, which could be the thing that turns it around and be the difference for you if you put a little more effort in."

    "I like this course, it's tough, it's always changing," he said. "It's a prefect course, it has everything. Steep hills, gradual hills, tough downhills. You have to be good at everything, double polling, striding, herringboning.

    "I was thinking about that this year, maybe I shouldn't win here," he continued. "But I think it's good. I trained really hard until last weekend, and then I focused a lot more on school this past week. Last year, a lot of guys got sick between regionals and NCAA's. I was actually sick for two weeks after NCAA's last year and had to cancel the Spring Series, so this year we are on the right track, we just need to stay healthy.

    "The team is really coming up. We're on the right track, everybody is skiing faster and faster, you can see it in training, everybody's getting closer and closer, which is great."

    "I didn't have my best day, my body wasn't feeling perfect," Nordstrom said. "I had really good skis, I had a good race and paced it well. I didn't push as hard as I wanted on the second lap, so I lost a lot of time, but overall I'm satisfied.

    "It was a good team effort today," he added. "(Tomorrow) is a mass start, and I'm a little concerned I haven't done that well. I'll try to take the offensive, hang with the top group as long as possible. If I'm with the guys in the last 2K, I think I can win. I just need to hang on."

    Rounding out the CU men were sophomore Arnaud Du Pasquier (16th, 30:03.4) and freshman Michael Vigers (17th, 30:25.3) and Charlie Von Thaden (22nd, 31:17.4).

    "This is a pretty nice place, other than NCAA's, to sweep a race," CU Nordic Coach Bruce Cranmer said. "It's fun to have all three on the podium. This year's a little different for us, I feel like we have three people qualified without too much risk coming in. Even though it's a little different, last year Mary was the last person to qualify, this year on the women's side we had four qualify pretty easy.

    "Looking ahead, especially Rune, who wants to look ahead to NCAA's, he's been training a lot, and I don't think he's trying to peak here at all," Cranmer continued. "It's good that he was able to pull it (the win) off. He didn't win by a lot, but Miles was ahead at one point by 30 seconds, so he brought back a lot of time.

    "Eliska had a good race, and those two were a ways ahead of the field. Joanne brought it out at the end, it was nice to see her at the top again, she's had such a great season, I'm sure Eliska is happy to be right around Joanne, too.

    As to his rearranged start order of his skiers, Cranmer's unintended plan played out to perfection.

    "I thought it might fire up Eliska," he said. "Maria's had a few good races and Eliska didn't race great at Utah. Sometimes you mix things up. In cross country there's really not a huge difference where you start, but it fired her up, it wasn't my motive but it was a nice side benefit. Maria struggled a little bit; she started the season off well and then struggled at high elevation in the middle of the season. (At NCAA's) Sea level will be even better for her, she's more used to that.

    Hajkova, Reid and Oedegaard also continued their climb up CU's all-time podium (top three) list. The Nordic trio has 64 among them, with Hajkova's runner-up effort Friday making her the third Colorado skier to record 30 career podium finishes. Reid ranks 11th with 18, while Oedegard is now 13th with 16.

    [FONT=arial black,avant garde]ALL-TIME PODIUM (TOP THREE) FINISHES BY CU SKIERS[/FONT]
    34 Maria Grevsgaard, Nordic, 2006-09 (24 wins; 7 seconds; 3 thirds)
    34 Lucie Zikova, Alpine, 2005-08 (16-11-7)
    30 Eliska Hajkova, Nordic, 2010-13 (7-17-6)
    25 Per Kare Jakobsen, Nordic, 1988-90 (13-6-6)
    22 Unni Odegard, Nordic, 1998-2000 (1-8-13)
    22 Andreja Rojs, Alpine, 1991-94 (5-9-8)
    22 Anette Skjolden, Nordic, 1991-93 (11-7-5)
    22 Bjorn Svensson, Nordic, 1990-93 (10-10-2)
    22 Matt Gelso, Nordic, 2007-10 (7-4-11)
    19 John Skajem, Alpine, 1986-87 (12-5-2)
    18 Joanne Reid, Nordic, 2010-13 (10-3-5)
    17 Ove Erik Tronvoll, Nordic, 1998-99 (10-4-3)
    16 Rune Oedegaard, Nordic, 2012-13 (8-5-3)
    15 Jana Rehemaa, Nordic, 2003-06 (6-8-1)
    14 Erling Christiansen, Nordic, 2003-06 (2-4-8)
    14 Kit Richmond, Nordic, 2006-08 (6-6-2)
    14 Linda Wikstrom, Alpine, 1999-2000 (4-2-8)

    Next up on Saturday are the first alpine races, with the six schools competing in the men's and women's giant slalom. The Nordic events will conclude with the freestyle, the women covering 15-kilometers and the men's 20.

    "The plan tomorrow is to see if we can all ski together, see if we can all finish near the top," Reid said of the final race ahead of the NCAA's. "Every time you plan, it never works out, so I've stopped trying, we'll just go out and see what happens."

    Cranmer added that Saturday's weather could be a challenge. "They are talking about some snow, which could make for some tactical changes," he noted. "But we'll try to stay relaxed, go out hard and try and enjoy it."

    NCAA EAST: Over in the East Regional hosted by Bates, Dartmouth holds a slim lead through four events. The Big Green has amassed 448 points, ahead of Vermont (438.5); the Catamounts have won all five winter carnivals heading into the east's regional meet. Middlebury, which hosts next month's NCAA Championships, is in third (382).

    RMISA Championship Team Scores (through 2 of 8 events)- 1. Colorado 255; 2. Utah 215; 3. Montana State 189; 4. Alaska-Anchorage and Denver 188; 6. New Mexico 147.

    Men's 10K Classical (30 collegiate finishers)- 1. Rune Oedegaard, CU, 28:15.3; 2. Miles Havlick, Utah, 28:15.6; 3. Einar Ulsund, Utah, 29:04.4; 4. David Norris, MSU, 29:05.3; 5. Lukas Ebner, UAA, 29:08.0; 6. Andrew Daugherty, DU, 29:16.8; 7 (tie). Gustav Nordstrom, CU and Noe Bellet, Utah, 29:18.7; 9. Patrick Madden, MSU, 29:25.2; 10. Niklas Persson, Utah, 29:27.9. Other CU Finishers: 11. Ian Mallams, 29:37.5; 12. Andreas Hoye, 29:37.9; 16. Arnaud Du Pasquier, 30:03.4; 17. Michael Vigers, 30:25.3; 22. Charlie Von Thhaden, 31:17.4.

    Women's 5K Classical (29 collegiate finishers)- 1. Joanne Reid, CU, 16:35.9; 2. Eliska Hajkova, CU, 16:45.5; 3. Maria Nordstroem, CU, 16:51.9; 4. Marine Dusser, UAA, 17:03.8; 5. Silje Benum, DU, 17:04.0; 6. Makayla Cappel, DU, 17:12.4; 7. Rose Kemp, Utah, 17:24.8; 8. Jessica Yeaton, MSU, 17:26.8; 9. Patricia Sprecher, UAA, 17:35.5; 10. Anna Svendsen, Utah, 17:40.4. Other CU Finisher: 12. Mary Rose, 17:49.9.

    (Associate SID Curtis Snyder contributed to this report.)

    from cubuffs.com
     

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