2024 NCAA Championships (March 6-9, 2024)
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Colorado Wins 21st National Championship With Second-Largest Final-Day Comeback

Saturday, March 9, 2024 • by Tanner Feith, RMISA

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo.—The Colorado Buffaloes came into the final day of the NCAA Championships in third place down 51 points behind the Utah Utes and Denver Pioneers. By the end of Saturday, the Buffs had made up 53 points on their “home hill” and overtook the top two teams to bring a 21st National Championship to Boulder.

Three RMISA schools sat atop the leaderboard at the conclusion of the 2024 NCAA Ski Championships. Colorado finished Saturday sitting at 569.5 points. Utah sat right behind at 567.5 points making this the smallest margin of victory in NCAA Ski Championship History dating back to Colorado's 2.5-point win in 1998. The Denver Pioneers finished the week off with 491 points.

Two more RMISA schools finished in the top eight, Montana State and Alaska Anchorage. ending in fifth and seventh place respectively with 329 and 274 points. Alaska Fairbanks was the top-performing team for a school with one discipline participating in Steamboat Springs ending in ninth place with 175 points.

The RMISA has dominated both days, picking up 61 of 80 overall All-America honors and 30 of 40 first-team honors.

Dartmouth's Jasmine Drolet helped the Big Green bring home their sole Individual National Championship of the week finishing first in the Women's 20k Classical Race at Howelsen Hill. Vermont's Haley Brewster trailed right behind finishing in second and picking up First-Team All-America Honors.

Utah's Sydney Palmer-Leger looked to sweep the Nordic races in Steamboat Springs this weekend after winning the 7.5 Freestyle race on Thursday. Instead, she finished in third while picking up First-Team All-America Honors.

Colorado's women did not reach the podium but all three of their skiers finishing in the top nine helped propel the Buffs to another race win this week. CU's Hanna Abrahamsson came in fourth, followed directly by Anna-Maria Dietze finishing fifth and Weronika Kaleta coming in ninth. The Buffs combined for 82 points, a five-point win over Dartmouth.

Colorado's Magnus Boee had a dominating performance in the Men's 20k Classical race, finishing with time to wave a Colorado flag on his way into the finish line. Boee's dominating performance helped another Buff, Will Koch keep a fast pace, ultimately finishing in third place and picking up First-Team All-America Honors. Johannes Flaaten of the Buffs needed to finish above 12th place in order for the Buffaloes to take home the Championship and after fighting through some early-race adversity, he sprinted in finishing 11th. Colorado's 94-point race was their second-highest race point total of the weekend.

Denver's Florian Knoph led the charge for the Pioneers in the Men's division with a fantastic performance throughout the race. Knoph held down the second position for nearly the entire race, helping him achieve First-Team All-America Honors and the highest finish for a Pioneer Nordic Skier over the course of four races.

Utah's Tom Mancini, Joe Davies and Brian Bushley looked to build on their incredible performance in the freestyle race on Thursday after finishing with two Utes atop the leaderboard. Today, the pack of Utes stuck together and finished one after another in sixth, seventh and eighth place. Their finish was not enough as they fell two points short of Colorado.

Colorado brings home their first National Championship since 2015. Exactly eleven years after their 54-point comeback, history repeats itself in Steamboat Springs as the Buffs overcome a 51-point deficit on the final day to reach the pinnacle of college skiing once again.

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