Denver Takes Lead At Own Invitational After Classic Races

Friday, February 9, 2024 • by Curtis Snyder, RMISA

MINTURN, Colo.—On the strength of a win from Andreas Kirkeng, the host Denver Pioneers took the meet lead at their own invitational Friday after the men's and women's 10K classic races here at Maloit Park.

Kirkeng was joined on the podium by the Utes Tom Mancini and Buffs Hugo Hinckfuss with MSU's Fredrik Nilsen and the Buffs Johannes Flaaten rounding out the top five. The Buffs won the race, edging out the Pioneers by two points, 86-84.

In the women's race, it was Montana State's Tilde Baangman who got the win, topping Colorado's Hanna Abrahamsson by 23.7 seconds while Utah's Witta Walcher hit the podium and Denver's Selma Andersen and UAA's Astrid Stav rounding out the top five. Colorado won the women's race, as well, 84-79.

Entering the Nordic portion of the meet, Utah held the lead with 350 points followed by Denver (327) and Colorado (288), all within 62 points of each other. That margin more than halved Friday as all three are now within 30 points entering Saturday's 5K freestyle races.

TEAM STANDINGS (Thru 6 of 8 Races): 1. Denver 482; 2. Colorado 458; 3. Utah 452; Alaska Anchorage 361; 5. Montana State 340.5; 6. Westminster 241.5; 7. Nevada 118; 8. Colorado Mountain 116; 9. Alaska Fairbanks 100; 10. Wyoming 62.

MEN'S 10K CLASSIC (26 Collegiate Finishers): 1. Andreas Kirkeng, DU, 25:56.5; 2. Tom Mancini, UU, 25:57.4; 3. Hugo Hinckfuss, CU, 26:23.5; 4. Fredrik Nilsen, MSU, 26:24.5; 5. Johannes Flaaten, CU, 26:27.0.

WOMEN'S 10K CLASSIC (30 Collegiate Finishers): 1. Tilde Baangman, MSU, 29:41.3; 2. Hanna Abrahamsson, CU, 30:05.0; 3. Witta-Luisa Walcher, UU, 30:38.2; 4. Selma Andersen, DU, 30:47.9; 5. Astrid Stav, UAA, 30:56.7.

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