Skiing at the venues that will be used for the NCAA Championships in two weeks, Colorado leads the 9-team meet with 266 points, though 54 points separate the top seven in the standings, making this easily the most contested race of the five thus far this season. Denver is in second (249), followed by Utah (245), New Mexico (230), Nevada (219), Alaska-Anchorage (214) and host Montana State (212).
â€œThe positive of this weekend is that we have an opportunity to race on the NCAA Championship courses,â€ Denver Nordic head coach David Stewart said. â€œOur skiers are really aiming to have their best races then, so getting out on these courses is perfect preparation.â€
CU's Maria Grevsgaard won the women's 5km freestyle race by 10 seconds over Annelise Bailly (DU). Bailly handed Grevsgaard her only loss of the season two weeks in new Mexico. Lenka Palanova (CU) finished third, less than a second ahead of University of Nevada's Chelsea Holmes. Antje Maempel (DU) was another two seconds back in fifth.
â€œAnnelise continued her streak of podium finishes in freestyle. She hasn’t been off the podium this year,â€ Stewart said. â€œOnly Grevsgaard is better now, and she has been having a dream season, losing only race all year, which came when Annelise beat her last week.â€
In the men's 10km freestyle, Kit Richmond joined teammate Grevsgaard at the top of the podium, edging UAA's Raphael Wunderle by four seconds. John Stene (DU) took third, 17 seconds out of first with Jesper Oestensen (CU) in fourth and Snorri Einarsson (UU) fifth.
â€œI felt good about today, everyone skied well and we accomplished what we set out to do,â€ CU Nordic coordinator Bruce Cranmer said. â€œWe’d like to win regionals, but there are more important things to accomplish here as we have our eye on the bigger prize in two weeks.
The teams concluded the NCAA Western Regionals earlier today with the slalom and classical races in Montana.