Utah Wins Colorado Invitational

Saturday, February 6, 2021 • by Ron Knabenbauer, Special To RMISA

ASPEN, Colo.—The University of Utah swept the podium in the women's 5 kilometer classic race and placed two skiers in the top three in the men's 10K to win the University of Colorado Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational on Saturday. Utah's Julia Richter and Colorado's Magnus Boee picked up individual victories on the second day of Nordic competition at the Aspen High School course.

Utah led entering the classical events and pulled away for its second-straight meet victory of the season, having also won the University of Denver Invitational on Jan. 10-23. Buoyed by the team win in the women's 5K classic, the Utes finished with 708.5 total points after the eight events, 79.5 more than second-place Colorado (629.5). The host Buffaloes won the men's team race on the Saturday, garnering 100 points.

Both races were conducted with an interval start.

Richter's victory in the women's 5K classic was her second in as many days after she also came in first in the freestyle sprints on Friday. Richter crossed the finish line in 17:13.0 for her fifth career win and 3.9 seconds ahead of teammate Mariah Bredal in second (17:16.9). It marked the second time in Richter's career that she has won consecutive races, also doing so in 2019 at the RMISA Championship 20K classic and NCAA Championships 5K freestyle.

Karianne Moe completed the trifecta for the Utes by registering a time of 17:27.2 to come in third and claim her second straight podium after being the runner-up in Friday's sprints. The Utes swept the podium for the second time this season after also doing so in the 15K freestyle at the RMISA Invitational at Utah on Jan. 17 (Richter came in second in that race for the first of her three podiums of the season).

Each of Utah's four competing skiers ended up in the top 10 as Abigail Jarzin finished in eighth. Sophia Mazzoni of Montana State (17:34.6) and Vera Norli of Denver (17:38.0) rounded out the top five.

Colorado was second in the women's team event with 75 points after three skiers posted top 10 finishes: Ezra Smith in sixth, Anna-Maria Dietze in seventh and Weronika Kaleta in ninth. Montana State was one point behind the Buffaloes with 74 points as freshman Adrianna Proffitt recorded a new career best in 10th place and Aubrey LeClair also scoring in 12th.

Boee won the men's 10K in the afternoon with a time of 30:42.7, defeating Utah's Bjorn Riksaasen (31:14.1) by more than 30 seconds for his fourth-straight victory. The two skiers also finished first and second, respectively, in Friday's freestyle sprint competition.

The win for Boee marked his fifth of the season and the eighth of his career, four of which have been in the classic discipline. Boee has swept the last two men's Nordic meets, also winning the 7.5K freestyle and 10K classic at the Denver Invitational two weeks ago. He is the first RMISA skier to win four in a row and sweep consecutive meets since Colorado's Mads Stroem did so in 2016 as part of six-straight victories.

Utah's Ola Jordheim joined Boee and Riksaasen on the podium in third place (31:47.1), coming just five-tenths of a second ahead of the Buffs' Ryan Jackson (31:47.6). Oyvind Haugan came in fifth to give CU three skiers in the top five, which was enough for the Buffaloes to earn 100 points and win their second men's team event of the year. Utah (92) was eight points behind in second place, while Denver and Montana State tied for third with 68 points each.

The Pioneers and Bobcats recorded multiple skiers in the top 10 as well, with DU's Bernhard Flaschberger in sixth and Borgar Norrud in ninth and MSU's Eli Jensen in seventh and Reed Godfrey in eighth. Utah's Noel Keeffe finished in 10th for his second-straight top-10 result after coming in third on Friday.

The next Nordic races are at the RMISA Invitational at Westminster/Soldier Hollow on Feb. 22-23 in Utah, the final regular-season meet before the RMISA Championships on Feb. 26-27. The women's 5K and men's 10K classic is on Feb. 22 at the Soldier Hollow course, while the women's 10K and men's 15K freestyle is set Feb. 23.

The Alpine skiers resume their regular season on Monday with two women's slalom races at Snowbird Resort in Utah for the first leg of that RMISA Invitational. The men's slalom competition is Tuesday.

Colorado Invitational Overall Final Team Results: 1. Utah (708.5), 2. Colorado (629), 3. Montana State (577), 4. Westminster (362), 5. Denver (289), 6. Alaska Anchorage (242.5), 7. Colorado Mountain (174)

Team Notes: The University of Utah has now won seven consecutive regular-season meets, dating back to the 2019 New Mexico Invitational ... In the Colorado Invitational, Utah won the women's slalom #1, men's freestyle sprints and the women's freestyle sprints and 5K classic races ... The Utes have won both meets this season by at least 75 points ... Utah's Nordic women have won all six races this season, recording 100 or more points in five of them and two perfect scores of 111, which it accomplished on Saturday ... Colorado won the men's Nordic classic race, its second team win of the year and the first time its reached the 100-point mark ... CU also won the 7.5K men's freestyle at the Denver Invitational on Jan. 22 ... Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks did not compete in the meet's Nordic competition, while Westminster College and Colorado Mountain College do not field Nordic squads ... Westminster College won the Alpine competition with 362 points, finishing with the most points in both the men's and women's events ... Montana State finished half a point ahead Utah for second place in Alpine (302-301.5) ... CU finished first in the standings in men's Nordic and in the overall men's competition ... Utah claimed the top spot in the overall Nordic, women's Nordic and in the overall women's competition.

Women's 5K Classic Top 10 Individual Results: 1. Julia Richter, UU, 17:13.0; 2. Mariah Bredal, UU, 17:16.9; 3. Karianne Moe, UU, 17:27.2; 4. Sophia Mazzoni, MSU, 17:34.6; 5. Vera Norli, DU, 17:38.0; 6. Ezra Smith, CU, 17:49.0; 7. Anna-Maria Dietze, CU, 18:19.6; 8. Abigail Jarzin, UU, 18:22.9; 9. Weronika Kaleta, CU, 18:28.7; 10. Adrianna Proffitt, MSU, 18:47.9

Women's 5K Classic Team Results: 1. Utah (111), 2. Colorado (75), 3. Montana State (74), 4. Denver (68)

Women's Individual Notes: Utah's Julia Richter picked up her second win of the season after also winning in the freestyle sprints on Friday ... She earned her third podium of the year and has placed in the top five in four of the six races ... It was Richter's fifth career win and third in the classical, with her last victory in the discipline being in the 20K classic at the 2019 RMISA Championships ... Richter has won consecutive races for the second time in her career ... UU teammate Mariah Bredal tied her career high in second place, which also marked her first podium of the season and fifth of her career ... Bredal has placed in the top 10 in all six races this season and finished in the top five in five of them ... The Utes' Karianne Moe was third for her second straight podium finish after taking second place in Friday's freestyle sprints, marking the first time that the senior had podiumed in back-to-back races in her career ... Moe has now reached the podium five times in her career and has seven top-five finishes ... Rookie Sophia Mazzoni of MSU set a new career high with a fourth-place finish, besting her previous top mark of seventh in the 15K classic at the RMISA Invitational at Utah on Jan. 18 ... Mazzoni placed in the top 10 in both Nordic races at the CU Invitational ... Denver's Vera Norli's fifth-place result was a season high and her best finish since coming in second in the 15K classic at the 2020 RMISA Championships ... Norli now has three career top-five places ... CU's Ezra Smith tied a season best in sixth place (two times previously) and has placed in the top 10 in each of the last four races ... Colorado teammate Anna-Maria Dietze recorded her second-straight top-10 result after placing fifth in Friday's freestyle sprints, her fourth top 10 of the season and ninth of her career ... UU's Abigail Jarzin (eighth) registered her fourth top-10 result of the season and has finished inside the upper 10 in each of the last two races ... Rookie Weronika Kaleta of CU came in ninth for her fifth top-10 finish through six races this season ... Montana State freshman Adrianna Proffitt recorded a new career high in 10th place, as well as Colorado's Quinn Lehmkuhl (11th) and MSU's Emma Albrecht (13th).

Men's 10K Classic Top 10 Individual Results: 1. Magnus Boee, CU, 30:42.7; 2. Bjorn Riksaasen, UU, 31.14.1; 3. Ola Jordheim, UU, 31:47.1; 4. Ryan Jackson, CU, 31.47.6; 5. Oyvind Haugan, CU, 31:59.5; 6. Bernhard Flaschberger, DU, 32:32.0; 7. Eli Jensen, MSU, 32:40.6; 8. Reed Godfrey, MSU, 32:46.5; 9. Borgar Norrud, DU, 32:51.7; 10. Noel Keeffe, UU, 33:04.0

Men's 10K Classic Team Results: 1. Colorado (100), 2. Utah (92), T3. Denver (68), T3 (Montana State (68)

Men's Individual Notes: Magnus Boee of Colorado won his fifth race of the year and has now been in the top five in all six competitions of 2021 ... He is the first RMISA skier to win four straight races since Colorado's Mads Stroem won six straight to close out the 2016 season ... Boee now has 10 career podiums and eight career victories, winning four in classic and four in freestyle ... Utah's Bjorn Riksaasen finished runner-up in consecutive races, the first time in his career that he's finished on the podium in back-to-back competitions ... Riksaasen now has three career podium finishes and has placed in the top 10 in all six races this year ... UU teammate Ola Jordheim registered his second podium of 2021 and tied his season best in third place ... Jordheim has six career podium finishes and has placed in the top 10 in all six races this year ... Colorado's Ryan Jackson recorded a new season-high in fourth place, his first top 10 of the season and sixth of his career ... Jackson, who now has three top-five results in college, had his best finish since coming in second at the 20K classic at 2020 RMISA Championships ... CU teammate Oyvind Haugan (fifth) recorded his second straight top-five result and has been in the top five in three of his four races to begin his collegiate career (finished sixth in 10K classic at DU Invite on Jan. 23) ... Bernhard Flaschberger of Denver came in sixth for his fifth top-10 finish of the season and a new season's best in the classical ... Flaschberger, a sophomore, has now placed in the top 10 in 14 of his 15 career races, including all nine in 2020 ... Montana State's Eli Jensen's seventh-place finish was a season high and his best result since coming in fourth at the 2019 New Mexico Invitational 7.5K classic ... MSU Reed Godfrey (eighth) posted back-to-back top-10 results for the first time in his career after coming in fifth in Friday's freestyle sprints ... DU's Borgar Norrud was in ninth to also record consecutive top-10 finishes (eighth in Friday freestyle) and now owns six top 10s in his career ... Noel Keefe of Utah posted his second-straight top-10 result, marking the second time in his career he finished in that position in consecutive races (eighth place in both the 10K freestyle and 20K classic at 2020 CU Invitational)

Colorado Invitational Final Nordic Team Results (4 events): 1. Utah (407), 2. Colorado (358), 3. Montana State (275), 4. Denver (272)

Colorado Invitational Final Alpine Team Results (4 events): 1. Westminster (302), 2. Montana State (302), 3. Utah (301.5), 4. Colorado (271), 5. Alaska Anchorage (242.5), 6. Colorado Mountain (174), 7. Denver (17)

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