NCAA Championships Day 3: Pioneers fade in Nordic Classical

Photo: Courtesy of DenverPioneers.com

The Pioneers continued their recent trend of every-other-year wins. And, Denver is usually not at their best when out East. It has never been more true than Friday when the Nordic team experienced another bad day.

Denver’s hopes for a repeat national championship were all but dashed in Stowe, Vermont Friday when the Pioneers struggled at the men’s (20k) and women’s (15k) Classical events. Denver needed to hold serve or make a little bit of progress but neither happened this morning.

The women started out the day’s races but the best DU finish was Jasmi Joensuu in 8th place with Taeler McCrerey 29th, Kristine Karsrud 40th, far behind. Dartmouth won and had a 12th place finish. Also, both Utah and Colorado had top 10 finishers which all but eliminated the Pioneers in their quest for a championship repeat.

The Denver men had their problems as well with no finishers in the top 10. Eivind Kvaale was DU’s top finisher in 15th place, followed by Olemarius Kirkeng at 31st and Borgar Norrud  36th. The day had to be a big disappointment for Dave Stewart and the Nordic team.

At the end of the carnage, Utah led all teams in both races, scoring 93 points in the women’s race and 81 in the men’s to bring its team total to 426.5 points, leading Colorado (361), Dartmouth (359) and Vermont (350).

Hopefully, tomorrow the Alpine team can end the competition on a high note and earn some All-American honors. Unfortunately, the nature of the sport of skiing is a very day-to-day sport. You have your good days and your bad ones – you just have to hope you have more good ones than bad.

Look forward to seeing Amelia Smart perform for Denver in women’s slalom tomorrow. Look for her to go all out on her runs Saturday.

Article special to LetsGoDU by Denver Ski Team Insider Tim Healy