Colorado Records Five Top-10 Performances To Win DU Invitational

Saturday, February 10, 2024 • by Ryan Gallant, RMISA

MINTURN, Colo.—The University of Colorado registered five top-10 performances between the men's and women's 5K freestyle races, climbing atop the final meet standings as RMISA teams concluded the Denver Invitational on Saturday at Maloit Park.

Colorado came off of Friday's classic competitions in second place, trailing the host Pioneers by 24 points. Then on Saturday, CU racked up 168 points in the freestyle races to 133 for Denver, ultimately finishing with a meet-best 626 points. It goes as Colorado's second straight meet win, coming off its own meet last week in Steamboat Springs.

It came thanks in part to the Nos. 4-6 spots in Saturday's women's freestyle going to Colorado, including Weronika Kaleta, Hanna Abrahamsson and Karolina Kaleta. Montana State nabbed the top two podium spots with Tilde Baangman and Kate Oldham claiming gold and silver, respectively. Astrid Stav (UAA) had bronze.

The top two spots on the men's side were identical to yesterday, with Denver's Andreas Kirkeng winning the interval start and Tom Mancini of Utah once again behind him. Fredrik Nilsen placed third on the day, giving Montana State three podium results between the freestyle races and leading four Bobcat finishers among the top-eight.

Colorado picked up the Nos. 4-5 men's spots to lock up the meet victory, including Hugo Hinckfuss and Johannes Flaaten. Alexander Maurer wrapped up the team scoring for the Buffaloes in 11th place.

The schedule is open next weekend as teams get ready to head to Montana for the RMISA Championships, which doubles as the NCAA West Regionals. Montana State will serve as the host, with alpine races taking place at Big Sky Resort and Nordic competition at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center.

Prior to the regional meet, alpine will race a giant slalom qualifier at Big Sky on February 22 at Big Sky which is not scored as part of the regional meet. Regionals then include a GS on the docket for February 23 and slalom on February 24. The two days of Nordic races include a 7.5K freestyle on February 24 and a 20K classic the following day.

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Colorado 626; 2. Denver 615; 3. Utah 549; 4. Montana State 520.5; 5. UAA 495; 6. Westminster 241.5; 7. UAF 204; 8. Nevada 118; 9. CMC 116; 10. Wyoming 112.

WOMEN'S 5K FREESTYLE TOP 10 (30 finishers): 1. Tilde Baangman, MSU; 2. Kate Oldham, MSU; 3. Astrid Stav, UAA; 4. Weronika Kaleta, CU; 5. Hanna Abrahamsson, CU; 6. Karolina Kaleta, CU; 7. Tuva Bygrave, UAA; 8. Witta Walcher, UU; 9. Elsie Weiss, UAF; 10. Selma Andersen, DU.

MEN'S 5K FREESTYLE TOP 10 (26 finishers): 1. Andreas Kirkeng, DU; 2. Tom Mancini, UU; 3. Fredrik Nilsen, MSU; 4. Hugo Hinckfuss, CU; 5. Johannes Flaaten, CU; 6. Kai Meyers, MSU; 7. Florian Winker, MSU; 8. Phineas Fischer, MSU; 9. Ari Endestad, UAA; 10. Max Kluck, UU.

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