Tim Healy is a special contributor to LetsGoDU with expertise and access to the DU Ski Team. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@609Healy.
We are halfway through competition at the 2018 NCAA Skiing Championships up here in Steamboat Springs, CO. The Pioneers are looking great after the giant slalom on Wednesday and the Nordic classic races on Thursday. Denver sits in 2nd place, just 9 points behind leaders Colorado. Utah is in 3rd, 32 points behind Denver. Denver can thank the strong performances of the women’s alpine team and the men’s Nordic team for putting them in such strong contention.
Starting off on Wednesday with freshman Amelie Smart’s dominant performance in the giant slalom, which captured her her first (of what I bet will be many) NCAA titles. She was followed closely by teammates Tuva Norbye and Andrea Komsic in the top 15. Also finishing strong was freshman and Steamboat Springs native Jett Seymour, who finished 6th in the men’s race.
Thursday brought us over tot the historic Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat for the Nordic classical events. Starting with the women’s 5k classic race, which is an individual time trial race, the Pioneers were lead by junior Jasmi Joensuu who finished 5th and got her first All-American title. She was followed by senior Lin Erikseni 12th and junior Taeler McCrerey in 14th. The men’s race was twice as long and twice as exciting. Denver was led by senior last year’s third place finisher Dag Frode Trolleboe, who repeated his 3rd place finish and his 3rd straight All-American title. Dag was followed close behind by sophomore Eivind Kvaale who finished 4th. Rounding out the Pioneer finishers was Lars Hannah who finished 23rd after a few costly sips on his second lap of the circuit.
Now we move into the second half of the championships. Tonight is the slalom race under the lights. The slalom has been very strong for the Pioneers all season, so expect some more strong performances by the alpine team. The Championships finish on Saturday with the longer freestyle races in the Nordic
The team will openly admit that the freestyle races are their stronger races.
If you are making the trip up to Steamboat for the final two days, join the Pioneers for a tailgate before each race. Tonight the tailgate gets started at 5:00pm at the base of Howelsen Hill and Saturday’s starts at 8:30am. Just cook for the Denver tents and join us for some exciting skiing action. For live updates, follow me on twitter at @609Healy.