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Boee and McCabe Win By Narrow Margins in Nordic Freestyle at Denver Invitational

Friday, January 22, 2021 • by Ron Knabenbauer, Special To RMISA

MINTURN, Colo.—Colorado's Magnus Boee won the men's 7.5K and Utah's Novie McCabe won the women's 5K by narrow margins on Friday as the University of Denver Invitational resumed with Nordic freestyle races at Maloit Park.

The University of Utah picked up 183 points during the first day of Nordic action of the Denver Invitational-89 in the men's race and 94 in the women's race-to take the overall lead at the meet (490). Westminster College (359) had started the day ahead after winning three of the four Alpine events that opened the competition on Jan. 10-11 in Aspen.

Both races on Friday were conducted by an interval start.

In the men's 7.5K in the morning, Boee edged Utah's Sam Hendry by three-tenths of a second to pick up his second victory of the season with a time of 19:07.9 seconds. It was just the fifth time since 2014 that a Nordic race had been decided by that close, with the only smaller margin coming at the 2019 New Mexico Invitational when New Mexico's Kornelius Grov beat out teammate Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier by two-tenth (0.2) in the men's 5K freestyle.

Both of Boee's victories this season have come in freestyle, and he now has five overall wins in his career. The CU sophomore has placed in the top five in each of the three races this season.

Led by Boee's victory, the University of Colorado won its first RMISA race of the campaign as the Buffaloes' Oyvind Haugan joined his teammate on the podium in third place in his collegiate debut while Will Koch finished eighth. Colorado earned 97 points in the men's 7.5K and also had non-scoring skiers take 11th and 12th in the standings.

Utah ended eight points behind CU with 89 points, with Bjorn Riksaasen (sixth) and Ola Jordheim (seventh) joining Hendry with top-10 finishes. The University of Alaska Anchorage came in third after also placing multiple athletes near the top of the leaderboard, as Espen Persen and Magnus Noroey led the Seawolves with ninth and 10th-place results, respectively.

Montana State's Zanden McMullen took fourth place for his third top-five placement of the season, while Denver's Bernhard Flaschberger came in fifth, tying his season high.

In the afternoon women's 5K, McCabe won her second career race in a time of 14:27.4 as she beat Alaska Anchorage's Astrid Stav by 4.5 seconds. The two skiers finished nearly a minute ahead of Stav's teammate, Tuva Bygrave, who came in third at 15:27.8.

McCabe, a Utah freshman, has reached the podium in each of the first three events of her young career, while Stav picked up her third-straight top-five result and was the runner-up in consecutive races after also coming in second in Monday's 15K classic at the RMISA Invitational at Utah.

The margin of victory between McCabe and Stav's schools was also close in the women's team event, but McCabe's individual victory was just enough to push the Utes ahead. UU registered 94 points in the race to edge Alaska Anchorage, which had 91.5. Utah's Nordic team has won all three women's events this season and four overall.

The Utes finished with four skiers in the top 10 in Friday's 5K, as Mariah Bredal also came in fifth, Julia Richter in seventh and Sydney Palmer-Leger in eighth. Colorado joined Utah and Alaska Anchorage with multiple top-10 finishers to take third place with 81 points, as Anna-Maria Dietze's came in fourth, Ezra Smith in sixth and Weronika Kaleta in ninth.

While the Utes were the biggest climbers of the day on the overall leaderboard, the Buffaloes were close behind, recording 178 points for a total of 448 after six of eight events at the DU Invite. Montana State is currently third at the meet with 407.5 following a 126.5-point gain on Friday. The Denver Invitational concludes on Saturday at Maloit Park with the women's 7.5K and men's 10K classic races.

Denver Invitational Overall Team Results (Through 6 of 8 events): 1. Utah (490), 2. Colorado (448), 3. Montana State (407.5), 4. Westminster (359), 5. Alaska Anchorage (346.5), 6. Denver (190), 7. Colorado Mountain (120)

Team Notes: The three-tenths margin of victory in the men's race marked the fifth time since 2014 that the determination of first and second was that close ... New Mexico holds the record of two-tenths after Kornelius Grov bested teammate Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier in the 5K freestyle at the 2019 New Mexico Invitational ... The margin of victory between first and third in the women's race was 1:00.4, marking the eighth time since 2014 that the podium has had that wide of a gap ... It's the first race on record with a minute between first and third in a 5K race ... Both races were conducted with interval starts ... Alaska Fairbanks has yet to compete in the Denver Invitational ... Westminster College and Colorado Mountain College do not field Nordic teams ...

Men's 7.5K Freestyle Top 10 Individual Results: 1. Magnus Boee, CU, 19:07.9; 2. Sam Hendry, UU, 19:08.2; 3. Oyvind Haugan, CU, 19:21.6; 4. Zanden McMullen, MSU, 19:36.5; 5. Bernhard Flaschberger, DU, 19:38.5; 6. Bjorn Riksaasen, UU, 19:49.5; 7. Ola Jordheim, UU, 19:52.0; 8. Will Koch, CU, 19:56.9; 9. Espen Persen, UAA, 20:05.9; 10. Magnus Noroey, UAA, 20:06.4

Men's 7.5K Freestyle Team Results: 1. Colorado (97), 2. Utah (89), 3. Montana State (69), 4. Denver (64), 5. Alaska Anchorage (60)

Men's Individual Notes: Magnus Boee's win marked his second of the season, both of which have come in freestyle races (also Jan. 17, 2021 at RMISA Invite) ... It was the CU skier's fifth career victory and third in freestyle ... Boee has placed in the top five in each of the three men's races this season and owns 10 such results in his collegiate career ... Utah's Sam Hendry placed on the podium in back-to-back races and has been in the top 10 in all three events this year... Hendry has now podiumed in six of his eight races of his career ... Colorado's Oyvind Haugan made his collegiate debut and recorded his first podium appearance with a third-place result ... Zanden McMullen of Montana State has placed in the top five in each of the three events this season-now taking fourth place twice as well as owning a second-place result-and has six top-five results in his career ... Bernhard Flaschberger tied his season high after coming in fifth (also Jan. 17, 2021 in freestyle at RMISA Invite) ... UU's Bjorn Riksaasen (sixth) and Ola Jordheim (seventh) each have three top-10 results this season ... CU's Will Koch's eighth-place result was a season high ... UAA's Espen Persen recorded his second top 10 of the campaign, while teammate Magnus Noroey reached the threshold for the first time this year.

Women's 5K Freestyle Top 10 Individual Results: 1. Novie McCabe, UU, 14:27.4; 2. Astrid Stav, UAA, 14:31.9; 3. Tuva Bygrave, UAA, 15:27.8; 4. Anna-Maria Dietze, CU, 15:40.3; 5. Mariah Bredal, UU, 15:43.8; 6. Ezra Smith, CU, 15:43.9; 7. Julia Richter, UU, 15:56.5; 8. Sydney Palmer-Leger, UU, 15:57.0; 9. Weronika Kaleta, CU, 15:57.5; 10. Vera Norli, DU, 16:09.7

Women's 5K Freestyle Team Results: 1. Utah (94), 2. Alaska Anchorage (91.5), 3. Colorado (81), 4. Montana State (57.5), 5. Denver (55)

Women's Notes: Novie McCabe of Utah has opened her career with wins in each of the first two freestyle races and three podiums overall ... Alaska Anchorage's Astrid Stav has now been the runner-up in consecutive races (also second in the 15K classic on Jan. 18 at the RMISA Invitational at Utah) and has three top-five results on the year ... In her third career race, UAA's Tuva Bygrave recorded her first podium after placing third and picked up her second top-10 result of the campaign ... The fourth-place finish of Colorado's Anna-Maria Dietze was a season's best for her and marked her fifth career top-five result ... Utah's Mariah Bredal has placed in the top five in all three women's Nordic events this year and has nine such results in her career ... CU's Ezra Smith finished in sixth place, which was a season best ... The Utes' Julia Richter recorded her third top-10 finish of the campaign ... UU teammate Sydney Palmer-Leger has now finished in the top 10 in each of the first three races of her career ... Weronika Kaleta of Colorado recorded her second top-10 result of 2021, both of which coming in the freestyle discipline ... Vera Norli was the highest-placed DU athlete in the women's race, coming in 10th.

Denver Invitational Nordic Team Results (Through 2 of 4 events): 1. Utah (183), 2. Colorado (178), 3. Alaska Anchorage (151.5), 4. Montana State (126.5), 5. Denver (119)

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