Steamboat Springs, Colorado – Going into the morning with a miniscule lead at nationals with two freshman, three sophomores, one junior and no seniors, the Denver Pioneers men’s and women’s XC classical squads could have collapsed under the pressure of high expectations. Instead, DU skiers summoned all their skill and determination to win their record 23rd NCAA National Ski Team Championship, DU’s 31st NCAA team title.
The men built a commanding 45 point margin after the first race of the day. Then, DU sophomore Linn Eriksen in the women’s 15k punished 2nd place University of Utah and the rest of the field from start to finish. She entered the finishing stadium loop all alone, 17 seconds in front, to all but seal the team victory for DU. In total, the women’s nordic team extended DU’s final winning margin to 76 points. Denver finished first overall in the team standings with 567.5 points, ahead of the University of Colorado (491.5) and the University of Utah (485).
DU’s 23rd championship extends the Pioneers lead as the NCAA’s most successful ski program. As the host of this year’s NCAA Skiing championships , CU remains stuck in second with 20 national ski team championships.
DU was tied with the University of Florida with the 10th most overall NCAA titles but now stands alone in 10th with 31 titles. DU has more championships titles than many other local and national athletic powerhouses programs such as CU, Notre Dame, the Ohio State University, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and the University of Oregon.