DENVER — The Colorado Rockies Baseball Club honored the 2008 NCAA Champion University of Denver ski team in a pregame ceremony prior to last Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field.
In one of the best seasons in their storied history, the Pioneers captured their 19th national title at the 2008 NCAA Championships. With 11 of the maximum 12 skiers competing, Denver edged second place Colorado by 30.5 points after entering the final day of competition trailing the Buffaloes by 17.5 points. DU's win marked the first time in 13 years that a team had overcome deficit entering the final day to win the title.
Denver's 19 team championships in skiing are the most in NCAA history, ahead of Colorado's 16 and Utah's 10. This year's win also marked the Pioneers' fifth championship since 2000. DU also won in 2000, '01, '02 and '05.
At the NCAA Championships, John Buchar (Ostersund, Sweden) was the second Pioneer in as many years to claim both the men's slalom and giant slalom individual titles. Adam Cole (Park City, Utah) won both events last year, but missed this season after breaking his left leg during the first run of the year.
The Pioneers recorded 10 top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships. Seppi Steigler (Wilson, Wyo.) and joined Buchar on the podium with a second place finish in the slalom. Meanwhile, Francesco Ghedina (Cortina, Italy) was fourth in giant slalom, just 0.85 seconds behind Buchar in first. In the women's alpine competition, Jenny Lathrop (North Conway, N.H.) was third in slalom and fourth in giant slalom.
Antje Maempel (Stuelzerbach, Germany) finished third in classical while Annelise Bailly (Ruffieu, France) was third in freestyle and fifth in classical. For the men, Rene Reisshauer (Erfurt, Germany) placed fifth in the freestyle.
Along with claiming the national title, nine Pioneers earned All-American honors.
Bailly made First Team All-American in both classical and freestyle, while Maempel earned First Team honors in classical and Second Team in freestyle. Reisshauer was a First Team honoree in freestyle, and John Stene (Trondheim, Norway) earned Second Team All-American honors in both classical and freestyle.
In alpine, Lathrop and Buchar were First Team All-Americans in both slalom and giant slalom. Ghedina made the First Team in giant slalom and the Second Team in slalom, while Stiegler earned First Team honors in slalom. Molly Ryan (Big Sky, Mont.) joined Lathrop in representing the alpine women, earning Second Team honors in giant slalom.