Colorado edges host Denver by 19 points to win invitational
MINTURN, Colo. -- Colorado completed an impressive comeback on Sunday in the Nordic classical races at Maloit Park, winning the 2013 Denver Invitational by 19 points ahead of the host Pioneers. DU held a 71 point advantage against CU entering the weekend’s Nordic action.
CU picked up two more individual wins, as well, with senior Joanne Reid taking her third race of the season and sophomore Rune Oedegaard picking up his second win. Neither Reid nor Oedegaard have finished lower than second in the four Nordic races this year.
CU opened the day down 20 points to the Pioneers after having made up 51 points on Saturday. Oedegaard’s win was big in that it enabled the Buffs to score 105 points in the race as the Buffs outscored DU by 19 to open the day, making it essentially a dead heat entering the women’s race with DU holding the slimmest of margins 725-724.
The CU women then dominated the field. Behind Reid was senior Eliska Hajkova in second place, while senior Mary Rose brought home ninth place as the Buffs won the race, scoring 128 points. The Pioneers didn’t go easily, however, finishing third, seventh and 11th to earn 108 points and finish second, giving CU a 19-point victory.
The Buffs finished the meet with 852 points, followed by Denver’s total of 833, while Utah jumped ahead of New Mexico for third place with 796 points to the Lobos’ 754. Alaska Anchorage finished fifth with 704 points while Montana State took sixth with 652.
In the early race, Oedegaard was part of a four-skier group that pushed hard from the beginning and opened up a big gap on the competition. The second group that consisted of the next 10-15 skiers slowly spread out over the first half of the six-lap, 15K race.
Oedegaard edged out Utah’s Einar Ulsund by just two seconds with his time of 39:33.8. New Mexico’s Mats Resaland was third about 25 seconds back after having fallen off the lead group near the end, but then there was another 17 second gap before Alaska Anchorage’s Lukas Ebner, the leader of the second pack some 43 seconds behind Oedegaard.
Oedegaard, who finished second Saturday, despite falling and needing Super Glue to close a cut on his forehead, now has seven victories and 13 podium appearances in 16 career races. This season, he has a pair of wins and pair of runner-up performances in the season’s four races.
Freshmen Gustav Nordstrom and Mike Vigers were the Buffs second and third scorers, finishing 13th and 14th, respectively, after Nordstrom beat Vigers and former Buff Vegard Kjoelhamar, skiing independently, in a sprint to win by less than a second. Nordstrom’s time was 41:40.8 while Vigers came in with a time of 41:41.6 to Kjoelhamar’s 41:41.8.
On the women’s side, Reid skied away with the victory after opening a lead the first time through the big uphill portion of the race course. She then extended her lead the remainder of the race, eventually winning over Hajkova by 17.2 seconds.
Reid she swept the Nordic races for the meet, the first time in her career she has accomplished that feat, and she has now won three of the four races on the season, taking second in the other one. She won both races this weekend by at least 17 seconds and she now has five victories and 13 podium appearances in her career.
Hajkova had second place showing and two podium appearances on the weekend. She was in the pack of three or four skiers behind Reid for the majority of the race. She was skiing uphill better than the competition, so on the final lap, she pushed on the last uphill and created a gap, pulling about five seconds ahead of Denver’s Silje Benum and Utah’s Rose Kemp. She finished the race in a time of 32:00.9. Hajkova now has 27 career podium appearances in her CU career.
Senior Mary Rose finished ninth in a time of 32:57.7, her fourth top-10 this season and fifth in her career. Freshman Maria Nordstroem finished 11th in a time of 33:22.2. Much like the men’s race, both Rose and Nordstroem found themselves skiing with a former Buff, as Alexa Turzian finished between the two in a time of 33:14.8.