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Utah Wins RMISA Championship, Boee and McCabe Victorious in Nordic Freestyle

Saturday, February 27, 2021 • by Ron Knabenbauer, Special To RMISA

MIDWAY, Utah—Magnus Boee of Colorado and Novie McCabe of Utah won individual regional titles in Nordic freestyle and the University of Utah claimed the overall 2021 RMISA Championship on Saturday at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center.

After securing the regular-season championship earlier in the week, Utah won the conference meet with 680 points after also being victorious in each of the previous four RMISA competitions in 2021. It is the Utes' 15th coed championship and 27th overall in the conference. UU now has five RMISA titles in the last 10 seasons, having last won in 2019.

Utah had a 49-point lead over second-place Colorado entering the day, and the deficit was too much for the Buffaloes to close despite gaining 162 points and winning the men's team event on Saturday. The Utes ended up winning by 84 points, with CU finishing with a total of 596.

Boee won the the men's 20 kilometer freestyle race in the morning for CU to pick up his second straight conference title after winning the 10K classic on Friday. It was the first sweep in men's Nordic at the conference championships since Denver's Moritz Madlener did it in 2017, and Boee is the first Colorado skier to win both events at the regional meet since Mads Stroem accomplished the feat in men's Nordic in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016.

Boee and Utah's Sam Hendry finished first and second, respectively, for the second straight race at these regionals after Hendry was also the runner-up in Friday's competition. Boee completed the Soldier Hollow course in 48:59.1, with Hendry 17.9 seconds behind with a time 49:17.0.

The victory by Boee was the edge the Buffaloes needed to defeat the Utes for the team victory of the race, winning 92-91. Utah scored three skiers in the top seven and had four overall in the top 10, while Colorado scored three in the top 11.

Bjorn Riksaasen (fifth) and Luke Jager (seventh) where the other two scorers for UU, while teammate Ola Jordheim came in ninth. Colorado's Oyvind Haugan was fourth place and fellow freshman Will Koch also scored for the school in the 11th spot.

Denver's Bernhard Flaschberger joined Boee and Hendry on the stand in third place, recording his second career podium at regionals after winning last year's 10K freestyle. Alaska Anchorage had two skiers in the top 10 with Sigurd Roenning in sixth and Magnus Noroey in 10th.

Novie McCabe picked up her first individual conference championship and fifth victory of the year by winning the women's 15 kilometer freestyle race in the afternoon. McCabe has finished on the podium in all eight races she competed in, and her victory marked the second straight day a Utah freshman was on top of the podium after Sydney Palmer-Leger won Friday's 5K classic.

McCabe won with a time of 42:43.7 and finished 35.1 seconds ahead of Palmer-Leger (43:18.7) in second and was 1:16.5 ahead of third-place Astrid Stav (44:00.1), another freshman from Alaska Anchorage. McCabe had the fastest time in five of the six splits while Palmer-Leger had the second-best mark each of those five checkpoints and bested McCabe in other one. Overall, it was the fifth podium of the season for both Palmer-Leger and Stav.

With McCabe and Palmer-Leger on top of the leaderboard, Utah won the women's team event for the 10th time this season by recording 106 points. The school had four skiers in the top 10 as Mariah Bredal also scored for the Utes in fifth place and fellow senior teammate Karianne Moe was ninth.

Alaska Fairbanks was second place with 72 points after being led by Mariah Pulles' fourth-place finish and rookie Kendall Kramer posting a new career best in sixth. Colorado was two points behind in third place (70 points) and joined Utah as the only teams with three scorers in the top 10, as Anna-Maria Dietze was seventh, Ezra Smith eighth and Weronika Kaleta 10th.

Next up is the NCAA Championships from March 10-13 in New Hampshire. The Nordic classic races are scheduled for March 11 and freestyle is set to close the overall competition on March 13. Alpine giant slalom opens nationals on March 10, with the slalom set for March 12.

2021 RMISA Championship Final Team Standings: 1. Utah (680), 2. Colorado (596), 3. Montana State (522), 4. Denver (464), 5. Alaska Anchorage (455), 6. Westminster (320), 7. Alaska Fairbanks (270), 8. Colorado Mountain (146), 9. Wyoming (138)

Team Notes: Utah won if 15th coed and 27th overall RMISA Championship, second-most behind only Colorado in both categories (15 and 24, respectively) ... The Utes have won all five meets this year and won the regular season championship for it conference-leading seventh time and third in a row ... UU's previous conference title was in 2019 and the school won five in the last 10 seasons dating back to 2012 ... Utah finished with the most points at the meet in both men's and women's Nordic and in men's alpine ... Westminster won the conference's overall and women's alpine championship ... Colorado won the men's team race on Saturday for the third time this season ... Boee's victory was CU's conference-leading 13th individual freestyle championship and the school's second in three seasons after Erik Dengerud won in 2019 ... With Boee's two wins in men's Nordic, Colorado has now swept 19 races at the at the RMISA Championship, eight more than second-place Denver and Utah (11) ... McCabe gave Utah its ninth individual freestyle championship, second-most all time behind Colorado (10) ... The Utes have won four individual freestyle titles in the last six years ... Alaska Fairbanks finished in second place in women's Nordic for the second-straight race ... The Utah women's Nordic team won all 10 races this year, earning at least 100 points in nine of them and scoring three skiers in the top five in nine of the 10 ... A UU athlete won nine of the 10 individual women's races this season.

Men's Freestyle Top 10 Individual Results: 1. Magnus Boee, CU, 48:59.1; 2. Sam Hendry, UU, 49:17.0; 3. Bernhard Flaschberger, DU, 49:58.2; 4. Oyvind Haugan, CU, 50:26.6; 5. Bjorn Riksaasen, UU, 50:28.0; 6. Sigurd Roenning, UAA, 50:35.4; 7. Luke Jager, UU, 50:40.4; 8. Christopher Kalev, UAF, 51:44.7; 9. Ola Jordheim, UU, 51:58.6; 10. Magnus Noroey, UAA, 52:03.0

Men's Freestyle Team Results: 1. Colorado (92), 2. Utah (91), 3. Denver (65), 4. Alaska Anchorage (63), 5. Alaska Fairbanks (59), 6. Montana State (51), 7. Wyoming (33)

Men's Individual Notes: Colorado's Magnus Boee won his second conference title in as many days after winning the 10K classic on Friday ... It is the first sweep of events at the RMISA Championships by a Colorado athlete since Mads Stroem did it in back-to-back years in men's Nordic in 2015 and 2016 ... This is the second straight season that an RMISA athlete swept both races at the West Regionals with Eveliina Piippo of Denver doing so in 2020 in women's Nordic ... Overall, it was Boee's eighth victory of the season, with four each in the classic and freestyle disciplines ... He placed on the podium in nine competitions and is the only RMISA skier this season to finish in the top five in all 10 races ... Boee now has 11 career wins and takes over the top spot for the most among active RMISA skiers (DU's Amelia Smart has 10 win in women's alpine), and his 14 career podiums are second among active men's Nordic athletes behind UAA's Sigurd Roenning (15) ... Utah's Sam Hendry was second place for the second-straight race after also being the runner-up in Friday's classic event ... Hendry now two career podiums at the RMISA Championships, seven overall this season and 11 in 14 career races ... His seven podiums in 2021 are second in men's Nordic behind Boee (nine) ... It was Hendry's fifth second-place result of the season, and he's finished either first or second in each of the last seven races this year ... Denver's Bernhard Flaschberger finished third to record his first podium of the season and his second at the regional championships after winning last year's 10K freestyle race ... It was Flaschberger's fifth career podium and his first since coming in third at the 10K freestyle at the 2020 NCAA Championships ... In 2021, Flaschberger finished in the top 10 in eight events and in the top five in three of the five freestyle races ... CU freshman Oyvind Haugan had his best finish in fourth place at the RMISA Championships after coming in 11th in Friday's classic ... Haugan has been in the top five in six of his eight races this year and in all four freestyle events he's competed in ... UU's Bjorn Riksaasen's fifth place finish marked a new career best for him in freestyle at the RMISA Championships and his third career top five at regionals (other two came in classic) ... He has finished in the top 10 in six of his eight career regional races ... Riksaasen recorded his fifth top five of the year and has come in the top 10 in all 10 races this season ... Alaska Anchorage's Sigurd Roenning finished sixth for his fifth top 10 of his career at the RMISA Championships (out of six races), with three coming in freestyle ... Roenning has finished in the top 10 now in five straight races and in seven of eight this season ... UU's Luke Jager recorded back-to-back seventh-place finishes at this year's regionals, his first RMISA Championships ... Jager has been in the top 10 in four straight events and in 12 of the 13 races he's finished in his career ... Alaska Fairbanks' Christopher Kalev recorded a new career-best finish for the fourth straight race by coming in eighth place ... It was Kalev's second top 10 of his career after finishing 10th in Friday's classic race, which was his best-ever placement at the RMISA Championships before Saturday's result ... UU's Ola Jordheim finished ninth and placed in the top 10 in all 10 races this season ... Jordheim, who came in sixth in Friday's 10K classic, has four career top 10s at the west regionals, which included two podiums last season when he won the 20K classic and finished third in the 10K freestyle ... UAA's Magnus Noroey's 10th-place finish was his best-ever result in an RMISA Championship event (previously 11th in 10K freestyle in 2020) ... It marked his third top 10 of the season and of his career.

Women's Freestyle Top 10 Individual Results: 1. Novie McCabe, UU, 42.43.6; 2. Sydney Palmer-Leger, UU, 43:18.7; 3. Astrid Stav, UAA, 44:00.1; 4. Mariel Pulles, UAF, 44:47.3; 5. Mariah Bredal, UU, 44:50.4; 6. Kendall Kramer, UAF, 45:28.9; 7. Anna-Maria Dietze, CU, 45:36.0; 8. Ezra Smith, CU, 45:47.1; 9. Karianne Moe, UU, 46:06.8; 10. Weronika Kaleta, CU, 46:47.9

Women's Freestyle Team Results: 1. Utah (106), 2. Alaska Fairbanks (72), 3. Colorado (70), 4. Montana State (56), T5. Alaska Anchorage (52), T5. Denver (52), 7. Wyoming (36)

Women's Individual Notes: Utah's Novie McCabe won her first RMISA Championship and picked up her fifth win of her freshman campaign ... McCabe, who came in second in her regional debut on Friday in the 5K classic, has finished on the podium in all eight races this year, most in women's Nordic and trailing only CU's Magnus Boee (9 in men's Nordic) for the most among all RMISA skiers ... Her eight podiums rank ninth for the most among active skiers in the conference ... McCabe's five race wins are second-most in the RMISA this season behind Boee (8 in men's Nordic) ... Fellow Utah freshman Sydney Palmer-Leger was second to finish on the podium in consecutive races after winning Friday's 5K classic at the RMISA Championship ... Saturday's result marked her fifth podium of the season and second in freestyle; she set a new career best in the discipline after coming in third in the 5K freestyle on Jan. 17 at the RMISA Invitational at Utah ... She has finished in the top 10 in all eight of her races this year ... Alaska Anchorage's Astrid Stav was third to record her fifth podium of the season and mark her third time on the stand in freestyle ... Stav, who came in fifth in her conference meet debut on Friday in the 5K classic, owns seven top-five finishes in eight races during her freshman season ... Alaska Fairbanks' Mariel Pulles, who is competing at her first RMISA Championships, recorded her second top-five finish of her career after finishing third in Friday's 5K classic ... Pulles has four top-10 placements in six events this year and seven overall in her career ... UU's Mariah Bredal finished fifth for her eighth top five of the season and her best-ever result at the regional championships ... She has finished in the top 10 in all 10 races this year and in 30 straight that she's competed in dating back to the 2019 season opener at the Colorado Invitational ... Bredal has been in the top 10 in six straight races at the RMISA Championships ... UAF rookie Kendall Kramer set a new career best in sixth place, her third career top 10 and her second at regionals following a 10th-place finish in Friday's 10K classic ... Colorado's Anna-Maria Dietze was seventh for her third top 10 in four career races at the conference meet ... Dietze has finished in the top 10 in seven of her 10 events in 2021 ... CU teammate Ezra Smith came in eighth for her second career top 10 at the RMISA Championships and her sixth overall of the season ... UU's Karianne Moe finished ninth for her third-straight top 10 of the season ... Moe has been in the top 10 in seven of her eight career races at the RMISA Championships ... She has finished 38 of 42 races in her career, recording 36 top 20s, 24 top 10s and five podiums ... Freshman Weronika Kaleta of Colorado (10th) earned her seventh top 10 of the season and her first at regionals.

2021 RMISA Championship Nordic Final Team Standings: 1. Utah (394), 2. Colorado (299), 3. Alaska Fairbanks (270), 4. Alaska Anchorage (242), 5. Denver (236), 6. Montana State (217), 7. Wyoming (138)

2021 RMISA Championship Alpine Final Team Standings: 1. Westminster (320), 2. Montana State (305), 3. Colorado (297), 4. Utah (286), 5. Denver (228), 6. Alaska Anchorage (213), 7. Colorado Mountain (146)

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