STOWE, Vt. — A few mishaps on the giant slalom on Thursday dropped the Colorado ski team to fifth at the midway point of the NCAA championships, but the Buffaloes are still in contention.
CU had a pair of All-Americans on Thursday, but not the overall team result it was aiming for. The Buffs came into the day third overall, but lost some ground on the slopes.
Dartmouth, which had four top-five finishes in giant slalom — including three on the men's side — took the overall lead, with 259 points. CU is 41 points back, at 218.
"There were lots of ambitions, a lot of hard work put in," head coach Richard Rokos said. "Looking back, I can say the guys placed better than they qualified. But ambitions were higher. After the first run of the men's race, we were in a good position to stay with the rest of the field or be on top of it. When you lose a guy from sixth or seventh position, that's about 25-30 points, and that's about what we fell behind with the rest of the pack."
It was a great day for freshman Mikaela Tommy, however. She was fourth in the women's GS with an overall time of 2 minutes, 1.64 seconds for her two runs. She earned first-team All-American honors — the 500th All-American honor in CU history.
"These are probably the best conditions we've skied on this year," Tommy said. "The conditions were absolutely perfect for everybody; it's really icy and firm. I had a not-so-good first run and a better second run. Somebody has to come in fourth, I guess that was me today. It's alright, a pretty good day."
Max Luukko led the men's team with a sixth-place finish to earn second-team All-American honors. The senior posted a time of 1:57.83 — just .08 out of a top-five finish.
"The first run was really good, I was happy with that," Luukko said. "I was skiing fast and I haven't been that fast all season, so it was good to pull a run like that at NCAA's. On the second run, I heard at the top right before I went that Filip skied out, Richie messaged up, 'You have to go for it; we really need a good score here.' I went all out, but unfortunately I had a mistake here at the top and couldn't get into a rhythm after that. It bumped me back a couple places, so I'm disappointed with that. Joey really pulled his weight today, I'm really happy for him."
Joey Young was 11th — just missing out on All-American honors, while Filip Forejtek skied off the course on his second run and did not score. He was seventh after his first run.
The NCAA championships continue Friday with the Nordic classical races and on Saturday with the slalom races for the alpine skiers.
"We can't talk too much about what happened today," Rokos said. "It's no longer a point of discussion, we have to look ahead and get to the next day. Tomorrow will be a good day for the Nordies; I have a good feeling about it. They've had strong classical races. Coming out from elevation, the races being longer, that all helps us. And for (Saturday's) slalom, anything can happen. It's the great equalizer; things can flip flop in a big way."
NCAA Skiing Championships
Team scores (through 4 of 8 events)— 1. Dartmouth 259; 2. Utah 252.5; 3. Vermont 245; 4. Denver 228; 5. Colorado 218; 6. New Mexico 147; 7. Northern Michigan 117; 8. Alaska-Anchorage 102; 9. New Hampshire 82; 10. Middlebury 78
A lpine giant slalom
Men — 1. Tanguy Nef, Dartmouth, 1:56.10; 2. Simon Fournier, Denver, 1:57.35; 3. James Ferri, Dartmouth, 1:57.56; 4. Drew Duffy, Dartmouth, 1:57.71; 5. Tobias Kogler, Denver, 1:57.75. Colorado results: 6. Max Luukko, 1:57.83; 11. Joseph Young, 1:58.51; DNF second run, Filip Forejtek.
Women — 1. Laurence St. Germain, Vermont, 2:00.57; 2. Roni Remme, Utah, 2:01.02; 3. Patricia Mangan, Dartmouth, 2:01.56; 4. Mikaela Tommy, Colorado, 2:01.64; 5. Paula Moltzan, Vermont, 2:02.01. Other Colorado results: 19. Stef Fleckenstein, 2:04.79; 23. Nora Christensen, 2:05.85.