Photo:Courtesy of Denver Athletics – National Champion Jett Seymour
The Denver Alpine team took to the slopes on the final day of the NCAA Skiing Championships in Stowe, Vermont. While the Pioneers did not repeat as team champions, a DU sophomore won an individual NCAA championship.
On the men’s side, DU sophomore Jett Seymour became a national champion and All-American with a first-place finish in the men’s slalom Saturday morning.
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.
“Nothing is over until we decide it is!” – Bluto, Animal House
Cynics will say, “No chance”. But remember 2017 when the Pioneers led by 34.5 points going into the final day and finished third? With two days remaining and a 31 point deficit faced by the Pioneers, Denver is still within striking distance of this year’s NCAA Skiing Championship.
The men’s and women’s Giant Slalom was featured Thursday morning in Stowe, Vermont. The Pioneers rebounded from the prior day’s Nordic performance with top 10 finishes in both the men’s and women’s sides. Denver (228 points) now sits in 4th place. Dartmouth leads the field with 259 points on the strength of a powerful women’s Giant Slalom finish by all three of their team members. Denver trails Vermont by 17 points and Utah by 24 points. Continue reading NCAA Championships Day 2: Pioneers cling to fragile title hopes→
Article special to LetsGoDU by Denver Ski Team Insider Tim Healy
The 2019 NCAA Skiing Championships began Wednesday in Stowe, Vermont.
The Pioneers began their defense of their 2018 title, hoping to clinch their 25th title. But it was a challenging day for the Crimson and Gold.
On the Nordic side, Coach Dave Stewart has a new look squad. After losing some of his team members from last season to graduation and illness, Stewart fielded three skiers this year that are new to the NCAA Championships – but show strong potential. During the 10k event, Eivind Kvaale led the Pioneers to an 11th place finish while other newcomers Borger Norrud (24th) and OleMarius Kirkeng (27th) finished back in the pack. I have nicknamed the three Norwegians – the “Attacking Vikings” – but today was not the type of day they could attack. Continue reading NCAA Championships Day 1: DU Skiers face tough uphill battle→
While men’s hockey and lacrosse take up the lion’s share of fan interest for most Pioneer fans, it’s important to recognize some otherDU athletic teams who continue to climb higher into national prominence and greater conference impact:
The 13th-ranked DU women’s lacrosse team beat its very first top five opponent since coach Liza Kelly took the helm in 2006, upsetting (#6/#4) Stony Brook (N.Y.) University, 11-7, behind Bea Behrins’ three-goal hat trick. This was a statement win for the program. The Pios have been a top-20 program for a while now, but have had trouble beating the very top echelon teams. Sunday’s win over SBU kept DU undefeated at 4-0 and may see the Pioneers knocking on the door of a top-10 ranking. The Michigan Wolverines come to town this Tuesday to face the surging Pioneers for a 12 noon start.
The sixth-ranked DU women’s gymnastics team scored its second highest all-time score (and the highest score of this season) with a 197.725 on Sunday afternoon before over 4,000 fans at Magness Arena, to win the meet over Iowa State and Boise State. This kind of scoring should keep DU in the hunt for a top-five national ranking as the season moves into the stretch run.
The DU men’s (#24th nationally) and (#47) women’s swim teams once again won the Summit League title for the sixth year in a row. DU was so dominant at the Summit League Championships that the DU women set an all-time league record for points, and DU mens and women swimmers won 37 of 38 of the swimming events overall. That’s an incredible achievement – perhaps the swimming equivalent of winning the Summit League basketball title game by 30 points, and repeating the winning margin for six straight years.
DU women’s basketball (15-12, 8-6 Summit league) continued its rise into a winning program with a dramatic road win at North Dakota. Often-injured senior Pioneer Haley Simental hit the long-range three point shot-of-her-college-career to send the game into overtime at the buzzer, in a game that the Pios would later win, 92-91. With the OT win, the Pios’ have earned at least a top-five seed at the Summit League tournament next month.
The DU women’s tennis team, ranked #40 nationally, are 7-2 this year in a sport where 317 teams compete nationally. DU has already defeated brand name schools such as Oregon, Wisconsin, BYU and Colorado this season.
All of these teams deserve our support, and we look forward to seeing how they compete in the coming months.
Maintaining a winning culture is a precious formula with a variety of methods that concern core values, an environment to succeed, commitment, demanding results and myriad other variables. It’s a complex process that few ever perfect. For a dynasty like the University of Denver Pioneers ski program, it has become a matter of tradition and innovation; a recurring expectation the athletes are devoted to and prestige they hold themselves accountable towards.Continue reading Inside the dynasty of the Denver Ski Team→
Below is an account from LetsGoDU ski team insider, Tim Healy, on this season’s outlook for DU’s defending national champions. His recent day with the team is chronicled below:
This past Saturday the DU ski team hosted its annual Ski with the Team fundraiser up at Winter Park Resort. Members of both the Alpine and Nordic teams joined supporters and friends of the program on the Winter Park Express for a train ride up to the slopes. On board the train the athletes served beverages and breakfast burritos from local favorite Snooze an A.M. Bakery. Once we arrived at the mountain, we hit the slopes. I was joined by senior Tuva Norbye, junior Storm Klomhaus, sophomore Amelia Smart, & freshman Katie Hensien. And, frankly, how many sports can you spend the day with NCAA national champions doing a hobby you love to do!Continue reading A Day with the Denver Ski Team→
The University of Denver Men’s Soccer team has been not only selected for the NCAA tournament, but rewarded with a #15 seed, a bye in the first round, and will host the winner of Air Force and Central Arkansas at DU on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 pm MT.
If the Pioneers should win that home game, they will face the winner of #2 seed Indiana University’s pod of Indiana, University of Connecticut or the University of Rhode Island in the third round. The full NCAA bracket is here: http://www.ncaa.com/brackets/soccer-men/d1/2018
There was certainly some concern last night that DU might not get to host an NCAA tourney game this season, as its RPI had fallen to #17 on the evening of tournament selection (only 16 teams are seeded, the other 32 at-large teams play each other for the right to advance to one of the 16 seeded home sites), but fortunately for DU, the NCAA tournament committee did not use straight RPI to seed the tournament.
In looking ahead, Air Force, with an at large bid, is the far better of the two teams (RPI#26) when compared with Central Arkansas (#67). However, Air Force is not playing well right now, having lost its last two games to Grand Canyon (#53 RPI).That said, Air Force being only an hour from the DU campus would likely bring more fans to DU for the game than Central Arkansas, the Champion of the Missouri Valley Conference.
For the Pioneers, it is likely that Sunday’s game will be the last home field opportunity to watch Senior Andre Shinyashiki play for DU.Shinyashiki’s 28 goals this season leads the nation by wide margin, and he may be enjoying the finest season ever for a DU athlete in any sport.He is one of the favorites for the Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s national equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in football or the Hobey Baker award in college hockey.Should Andre win that award, he could be considered DU’s finest athlete in the modern era, given that there are only 60 teams playing D-I hockey, where DU has two Hobey Baker Winners, Matt Carle in 2006 and Will Butcher in 2017, the only two DU team sports athletes to win a national MVP trophy. Since there are 206 teams playing D-I soccer, Shinyshiki’s achievement would be arguably greater than Carle or Butcher. DU has also had individual NCAA D-I champions in gymnastics (Nina McGee in 2016), swimming (Jack Kelso in 1962) and many in skiing over the years, but it could be argued that individual national MVP awards in team sports are greater achievements, since there are opponents directly trying to physically stop an athlete from achieving them, versus individual sports where the clock or judges’ scoring determines win or loss status.
While Shinyashiki’s achievements are spectacular this year, detractors argue that most of his goals have come against lower level opponents, and that against top-25 teams, Andre’s goal scoring is much rarer. Let’s hope Andre and DU score more goals in the coming weeks, and that DU can advance deep into the tournament.
In any event, all DU fans should come to the soccer game this Sunday to cheer on Andre and the Pioneers in the NCAA tournament.
As soon as next season, Denver will likely not be facing New Mexico in either men’s soccer or skiing due to sweeping program cuts.
With mounting losses projected well into the future and after extensive study, University President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Eddie Nunez presented their recommendations to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents to drop athletic programs at the Albuquerque institution. While football remains relatively unscathed, elimination was proposed for skiing, men’s soccer, women’s beach volleyball, and diving. Other programs such as cross country are likely to face budget cuts and scholarship reductions. Continue reading New Mexico Lobos facing drastic cuts→