STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – The fourth and final day of the NCAA Skiing Championships included the Men’s 20K Freestyle and ended with the Denver Pioneers capturing their 24th national championship in program history.
At 9 a.m. local time on Saturday morning, the men geared up for the final men’s event of the championship series. Contrasting to the previous freestyle race, this race consisted of a mass start, meaning the racers all started at the same time. They experienced the coldest race of the entire series, registering temperatures of around 25 degrees. As the student-athletes rushed out the gate, they paced themselves to keep their energy intact. The top five racers finished as such: Ian Torchia, Northern Michigan (first place), Alvar Alev, Colorado (second), Eivind Kvaale, Denver (third), Dag Frode Trolleboe (fourth), Callan DeLine, Dartmouth (fifth). Every racer completed the race.
The Women’s 15K Freestyle started just minutes after the men’s race finished on Howelsen Hill. Although it was slightly warmer than the first race, the snow was still in great shape. The student-athletes started with a solid pace, knowing that they had to keep their energy up in order to finish strong. The top five finishers for the Women’s 15K Freestyle were: Katharine Ogden, Dartmouth (first place), Hailey Swirbul, Alaska-Anchorage (second), Linn Eriksen, Denver (third), Guro Jordheim, Utah (fourth), and Emma Tarbath, Montana State (fifth). Again, all racers finished.
As the final event ended, so did the 2018 NCAA Skiing Championships. The combined scores put Denver at the top, delivering the Pioneers their 24th skiing national championship and second in three years.
The final standings were as follows: 1st: Denver (2018 NCAA Skiing Champions), 2nd: Colorado, 3rd: Dartmouth, 4th: Utah, 5th: Vermont, 6th: Montana State, 7th: New Mexico, 8th: Middlebury, 9th: Alaska Anchorage, 10th: Northern Michigan, 11th: New Hampshire, 12th: St. Michael’s, 13th: Williams, 14th: Alaska Fairbanks, 15th: Colby, 16th: Plymouth State, 17th: St. Lawrence, 18th: Bates, 19th: Michigan Tech, 20th: Boston College, 21st: Bowdoin, 22nd: St. Scholastica, 23rd: Harvard.
The student-athletes and workers involved then received a complementary barbecue during the awards ceremony, thus ending the thrilling NCAA Skiing Championships in Steamboat, Colorado.