RED RIVER, N.M. — University of Denver skier John Stene (Trondheim, Norway) won the men’s 10K classical on Friday, one of six DU skiers to finish in the top 20 of the race, helping the Pioneers finish second after the first day of the New Mexico Invitational.
CU's Kit Richmond finished +0.9 seconds to take second place. Teammates Jesper Oestensen and Karl Nygren took fourth and sixth respectively.
â€œOverall today was our best performance of the year,â€ DU Nordic head coach David Stewart said. â€œThat's great, but what is really exciting is that everyone knows they can do better. Stene had his first win but was not satisfied because he knows he can reach another gear.â€
Havard Selseng (Sogndal, Norway) was third in the race, and Mike Hinckley (Anchorage, Alaska) was fifth, as the DU men won the race with 84 points, edging out Colorado’s 81 points.
After missing last week’s races due to illness, Rene Reisshauer (Erfurt, Germany) bounced back with a seventh place finish. Harald Lovenskiold (Oslo, Norway) was 13th and Dan Clark (Anchorage, Alaska) was 16th.
DU and CU combined to take the top seven spots.
â€œHaving six guys finish 16th or better shows how strong our men’s team can be,â€ Stewart said. â€œThe hard training in recent weeks is beginning to show in the results. We dominated the top spots while showing depth as well.â€
Maria Grevsgaard of CU one the women's 5km event, outdistancing the field by 38 seconds. NMU's Polina Ermoshina was second and DU made it back to the podium with Antje Maempel (Stuelzerbach, Germany) in third.
â€œWe’ve had some very good days in the past where we’ve stacked people up there before, but this is probably one of our best when you consider where everyone finished (eight in the top 15 between the two),â€ CU Nordic coordinator Bruce Cranmer said. â€œIt speaks well for everyone. This wasn’t a high-end, super important race for everybody, but it was important to go out there and ski well. People are coming back from some sickness, and we’ll have a week off before regionals for them to keep getting better. You want to have your best races ahead of us, and at this point I feel we’re starting to come around and beginning to peak. It wasn’t the best field, other teams are battling sickness as well and a few top skiers weren’t here, but this is encouraging.â€
â€œI don’t want Maria to feel like she has to perform every weekend and win every race,â€ he added. â€œIt’s not important for her to keep a streak alive forever. We’d rather see her lose a race if it means winning at NCAA’s. She’s handled all this well because she’s having fun. She just puts on her number (bib) and just goes.â€
Annelise Bailly (Ruffieu, France), who has four podiums in six races this year, did not race due to illness.
CU won the women's race ahead of New Mexico and DU. Overall (combined alpine, Nordic, men, women), Colorado (CU) leads Denver (DU) 304.5 to 291. New Mexico is third with 248 points.
The New Mexico Invitational concludes on Saturday in Taos and Red River.
Contributing Source: Denver University Media Relations, University of Colorado Sports Info