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Conference Championships thread - Skiing at RMISA Championships (Bozeman, 2/27-29/2020)


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Best wishes to the team this weekend at their RMISA (The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association) conference championships (which also function as the NCAA Western Regionals), hosted by Montana State (MSU) and being held in and around Bozeman Montana!

Today are just individual qualifier Alpine races, while the RMISA Championships team competition itself will be competed Friday and Saturday, with both Nordic and Alpine teams in action both of those days.

As usual, assume the Buffs overall have probably already earned an NCAA Championship berth. But, in addition to just wanting to beat its rivals in every competition, things I can think of on the line this weekend include-
  • Especially in Alpine, getting high finishes in these races are important to help the various Buff individual skiers earn or keep better/ top national ratings to have low bib #'s at the NCAA Championships, which is important so they get to ski in as clean as snow as possible in their 1st runs there.
  • The Nordic team, especially the men's, had one of if not their worst overall finishes I can remember their last races a couple weeks ago at an Invitational hosted by the Utes. From articles after those races, I got the feeling that illness and wax issues may have been in play. Hopefully they're closer to 100% now, and I'm sure they'll want to show improvement this weekend.
  • Utah had a VERY dominant regular season, not only winning every overall overall Invitational, but winning pretty much every one of the 4 individual elements (slalom, giant slalom, shorter and longer (one each freestyle and classic style) Nordic races) within the competitions each time. (Looking at their schedule, they won 11 of 12 individual elements at the 3 big invitationals.) Be interesting to see if the Buffs can start changing that narrative in RMISA's. The Buffs also came in 3rd at Utah behind DU, so it will also be fun to see how they compete against them.
  • Hopefully the west coast teams will be developing an extra advantage this weekend in that they'll be competing at the same locations as NCAA's, as MSU is also hosting those in a couple weeks. (Those Championships begin March 11th. I hope they'll be racing similar if not the exact same runs/ trails in both Championships, but don't know for sure.)

Formal cubuffs.com preview- https://cubuffs.com/news/2020/2/26/skiing-buffs-head-to-bozeman-to-begin-postseason.aspx

BOZEMAN, Mont.--On to the postseason.

Just like that, the regular season is over. From the final race in Park City on Monday to the first race in Bozeman on Thursday, the transformation has happened. Things are kicked up a notch.

And while every RMISA team headed to Bozeman wants to win a league championship, there's always an element with regionals that are still building toward the other race in Bozeman - the NCAA Championships.

One unique aspect of the NCAA Championships is the quota system by which the participants are selected. The maximum number of participants one school can send is the same number as can score for the team, unlike any other event of the season including conference championships.

Because of that, even teams that qualify a full allotment of 12 skiers (three men and three women for both alpine and Nordic) are sending less than half their team to compete for the ultimate prize.

The domino effect on the RMISA Championships, which double as the NCAA West Regional, means that teams are more focused on getting the best possible qualification numbers for the NCAA Championships than they are about actually winning that championship.

Specifically for the Buffs, there are still questions on each team about who will represent the Buffs at the NCAA Championships.

On the men's alpine team, both Joey Young and Filip Forejtek have solidified qualification spots as Young currently sits second on the slalom list and eighth on the GS list and Forejtek is fourth on the slalom list and second GS and sixth on the GS list. The Buffs need a third member of the men's alpine team to separate from the others to complete the team for NCAAs.

The women's alpine team similarily has two skiers who have separated from the field. Mikaela Tommy has locked up the top GS seed in the west and is fifth in slalom while Stef Fleckenstein is second on both lists. On the men's Nordic side, Magnus Boee is currently second on the qualification list with four of the other five sitting between No. 12 and 21 on the list.

On the women's Nordic side, four Buffs are seeded in the top 13 with Anne Siri Lervik No. 5, Hedda Baangman No. 7, Anna-Maria Dietze No. 8 and Ezra Smith No. 13.

The Buffs have won 28 RMISA Championships in their history, 10 more than the next team on the list, both Utah and Denver with 18. The Buffs last won a championship in 2017 and have won five in the last 10 years. The Buffs also have 123 individual RMISA Champions with at least one in 13 of the last 14 years including a combined 33 in those 13 years. Erik Dengerud won last year's men's freestyle championship.

As I type this, I can't find links to live timings for any of the races, but will add them as I find them.

Schedule - I can't find anything for sure, and don't know how accurate it is, but overall the MSU season schedule (https://msubobcats.com/sports/ski/schedule) has each day's competition starting at 9:00 AM.

Live Timings (will add more links as they become available. EDIT - looks like a good general link for the Nordic races is http://summittiming.com/races/race_results.php.) :
Thursday (Individual Qualifying Giant Slalom's only. Races don't count towards Team or Individual RMISA Championships.):
Women's - http://live.fis-ski.com/lv-al6930.htm#/short
Men's - http://live.fis-ski.com/lv-al2003.htm#/short

Alpine (Both genders racing the giant slalom):
Men's -
Women's - http://live.fis-ski.com/lv-al6932.htm#/

Men's (10K freestyle) -
Women's (5k freestyle) - http://summittiming.com/race_results/2020/rmisa_regionals/interval_start/live_results_for_women.html

Alpine (Both genders racing the Slalom):
Men's -
Women's - http://live.fis-ski.com/lv-al6933.htm#/

Men's (20K Classic) -
Women's )15K Classic) - http://summittiming.com/race_results/2020/rmisa_regionals/mass_start/live_results_with_splits_for_women.html
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BOZEMAN, Mont.—Sophomores Filip Forejtek and Stef Fleckenstein and senior Mikaela Tommy each hit the podium to lead the Colorado Ski Team during the RMISA Alpine Qualifier giant slalom races here at Bridger Bowl on Thursday.

Forejtek finished second in the men's race, his third runner-up finish in the last four races, also taking second last week in Park City in both a GS and slalom race. He has four straight top-five finishes and five total on the season.

Tommy and Fleckenstein each won a run as Tommy was in the lead after the first run and Fleckenstein used the fastest second run to move up from sixth to third and get on the podium. For Tommy, it's the first GS race she hasn't won this season but she has finished on the podium in all eight finishes this season. Fleckenstein now has six podium finishes and eight top-five finishes in nine finished races this season.

"It was a beautiful day, no wind, soft snow, a little challenging course on the second runs," CU coach Richard Rokos said. "They don't have much turf, so they have to go over the initial course from the first run which makes it bumpy, but other than that it was a good race."

Tommy has already locked up the top GS qualification spot out of the RMISA, but Fleckenstein helped herself with her second runner-up finish. She moved from third into second on the list. Forejtek moved up from sixth into fourth on the men's GS qualification list.

Also helping themselves on the qualification lists were Teddy Takki and Emma Hammergaard, who both had top 10 finishes in eighth and ninth, respectively. For both, it was their second GS top 10 of the season, further strengthening their seeing number.

"In terms of qualification, there are two factors," Rokos said. "We have to try to improve and also protect whatever you have. Teddy is the highlight of the day, he solidified his GS position."

WHAT IT MEANS: Thursday was the final low-pressure day of the season, where skiers can lay it all on the line and not worry about team standings. Starting Friday, the stakes will get bigger with each run and each race through the NCAA Championships. Tommy couldn't improve her standings for NCAA qualifying, but both Forejtek and Fleckenstein improved and solidified top-five qualifying numbers for GS, which means they'll be in the top seed at the NCAA Championships.


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Looks like it was a solid 1st day of competition for the Buffs, with the top 3 teams VERY close together heading into tomorrow's 2nd half of the Championships.



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Article after today's action-

Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2020/2/28/skiing-tommy-wins-gs-buffs-in-three-way-battle-for-rmisa-championship.aspx

BOZEMAN, Mont.—Senior Mikaela Tommy won the women's GS race and six skiers earned top five finishes for the Colorado Ski Team, which sits third but just 6.5 points out of first at the midpoint of the 2020 RMISA Championships, held here Friday at Crosscut Mountain and Bridger Bowl.

Tommy was joined by sophomore Stef Fleckenstein on the podium for the women's GS race with her third-place finish while sophomore Filip Forejtek matched that third-place performance in the men's GS race. Junior Sondre Bollum had his career-best finish of second in the men's 10K freestyle race while freshman Anna-Maria Dietze (fourth) and sophomore Ezra Smith (fifth) earned top-five finishes in the women's 5K freestyle race.

The women's alpine team won the race with 93 points, both Nordic teams scored 80 points and the men's alpine team scored 69.5 points as the Buffs finished the day with 322.5. The Buffs sit third but are just a half-point behind Denver (323) and just 6.5 points back of Utah (329). That's significant because the Utes have been setting records for margin of victory throughout the regular season. Behind the Buffs in fourth place is Montana State with 247 points.

"It's one of those days where we shouldn't even get out of bed because there's no difference between the beginning and end of the day with only 6.5 points gapping the top three teams," CU coach Richard Rokos said. "It looks like our key people are fairly solid and staying in the top five or top 10 across the board and that's very good before NCAAs."

The RMISA Championships continue Saturday with the slalom races on the alpine side and classic races on the Nordic side, 15K for the women and 20K for the men. These are the same course that will be used in two weeks for the NCAA Championships.

WHAT IT MEANS: Friday's races prove that despite Utah handily winning each of the first regular-season meets, that anything can happen in college skiing and when teams get to the postseason, it's a different dynamic. Saturday will be a fun day in college skiing and expect all three teams to battle it out to try and win a conference and regional championship.

Richard Rokos:
"It's one of those days where we shouldn't even get out of bed because there's no difference between the beginning and end of the day with only 6.5 points gapping the top three teams. It looks like our key people are fairly solid and staying in the top five or top 10 across the board and that's very good before NCAAs. We have a core already in place and the fight will be for the third skier on each of the team.s There's still a little opening there for each team, we'll see who wants to take it."

"Slalom is always the great equalizer, tomorrow even more so with the surface being so soft. Anything can happen in those conditions, it's supposed to be warm and overcast. Slalom isn't predictable, so we'll rely more on the Nordic results and do the best we can do with slalom."

"Mikaela's performance, I don't know if it's precedented in our history. It's so outstanding it's scary. It's become a good competition between Mikaela and Storm, they're alike in many ways."

"Filip has been improving throughout the season and is coming into his own at the right time."

Jana Weinberger

"Overall, the boys did well, all three skiers in the top 10 and Sondre on the podium, his best race. Magnus has the potential to be better than he was today. For Ryan it was a good skating race, I'm happy he was top 10 today. For the girls, very good races for Anna-Maria and Ezra. Anne Siri is still coming back from being sick and Hedda should race better than she did today so hopefully, she'll have a better day tomorrow. Being in the shape that she was at the begging of the season.

"Ezra pulled together a very good race, and that helps us overall and gives us a good chance to compete for a regional championship."

"It was good course conditions for us, it's been a little too warm but you have to adjust. It's going to be more of an issue tomorrow for the classic. It'll be good practice for NCAas, We'll see what we do well tomorrow and try to fix it for NCAA chamionships."

UP NEXT: The RMISA Championships will conclude Saturday with the women's 15K and men's 20K classic races at Crosscut Mountain and the slalom races at Bridger Bowl. Teams will return to the same venue on March 11-14 for the NCAA Championships.

TEAM STANDINGS (Through 4 of 8 races): 1. Utah 329; 2. Denver 323; 3. Colorado 322.5; 4. Montana State 247; 5. Alaska Anchorage 226; 6. Westminster 146.5; 7. Alaska Fairbanks 88; 8. Colorado Mountain 47.


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Buffs get 2nd, 5th and 6th in the Men's Classic Nordic race, a great result, and still lose ground to the Utes, who get 1st, 3rd and 4th.



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Looks like the Buffs finish in 3rd, but both they and the 2nd place Pioneers (I believe?) finish closer to the Utes than they have in most of the earlier regular season Invitationals.

Next up are the NCAA Championships!