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College: Colorado wins at Western State for back-to-back meet titles

College: Colorado wins at Western State for back-to-back meet titles{mosimage}CRESTED BUTTE – Individual wins Saturday, Feb. 11 in the women’s slalom and the men’s and women’s classical races paved the way for the University of Colorado ski team to win back-to-back meets for the first time in six years as the Buffaloes cruised to victory in the Western State Invitational.

The No. 2 ranked Buffaloes scored the second-most points in a Western region meet since the current scoring format was adopted in 1998. Colorado won with 599.5 points, defeating top-ranked Denver in convincing fashion, as the defending NCAA champion Pioneers scored 556 with the 43.5-point difference CU’s third-largest margin of victory in the same span.

Colorado also owns the Western record of 618, which it scored in the 2003 CU Invitational.

New Mexico finished third with 527 points, followed by Utah (450) and Nevada (412) to round out the top five; host Western State finished seventh (296.5).

‘It’s good to be back at the top of the results’ head coach Richard Rokos said of his team’s second straight win. ‘We’ve had some lean years when it came to victories, so I hope this signals the start of something good for us. This is a good confidence builder, having two second-place finishes and then following with two victories. We can go into regionals with a little more momentum, and it definitely raises our own expectations high across the board.’

The Buffaloes had 22 top-10 finishes in the meet (Denver followed with 17 and New Mexico had 15), as that kind of balance has paved the way for CU the last two weekends. In winning its own invitational two weekends ago, Colorado had 21 top-10 efforts. The Buffs, who snapped a 17-meet drought with that win, claimed back-to-back victories for the first time since winning four in a row in the middle of the 2000 season.

Lucie Zikova swept the alpine events in a meet for the second time this year, as the CU sophomore posted the fastest times in both runs Saturday for a 1:17.17 clocking in the women’s slalom, easily winning over Nevada’s Jaana Vaelimaeki (1:17.63). It was Zikova’s fifth win in 2006, setting a school record for most wins in a single season by an alpine woman. Linda Wikstrom won four in 1999, matching the mark set the previous year by Caroline Gedde-Dahl. Zikova could have even more, as she finished second in the three races that she didn’t claim the top honors.

Freshman Lisa Perricone continued her sensational season, posting her sixth top-five effort of the winter in finishing third in 1:17.74. Junior Kristin Taylor (13th, 1:19.56), junior Sabrina Mocellin (15th, 1:19.93) and sophomore Rachel Roosevelt (17th, 1:20.12) rounded out the CU performances, as the Buffalo alpine women won their two events at a meet for the fourth time in as many tries.

In the men’s giant slalom, New Mexico’s Tor Fodnesbergene won easily in a two-run time of 2:27.64, topping Nevada’s Cameron Barnes by over four-tenths of a second. Colorado had two top finishes for just the third time in eight tries this winter (but in the last four races), as freshman Patrick Duran tied for seventh in 2:29.32 and sophomore Miles Cooke finished ninth in 2:29.38. CU’s other scorer for the race was freshmen Jonas Kryzl, who placed 14th in 2:30.18

Senior Jana Rehemaa, who won her first career collegiate race Friday, made it a double by claiming the 5-kilometer classical race in 17:53.8, good for over a 13-second victory over Denver’s Ingvild Engesland. Rehemaa now has 20 top-five finishes in 23 career races including her two wins at Western State.

In the men’s 10-kilometer classical race, sophomore Kit Richmond earned his first career victory, as he pulled away at the end for a three-plus second win in a 29:25.9 time, defeating New Mexico’s Geir-Endre Rogn (29:29.3). Richmond was the runner-up the previous day in the freestyle race, at the time matching his collegiate best finish.

Attention now turns to qualifying a full 12-skier team for the NCAA Championships.

The NCAA West Regionals will take place Feb. 23-24 in the Lake Tahoe area (Sugar Bowl and Auburn Ski Resort).

– University of Colorado

Team scores

1. Colorado 599½; 2. Denver 556; 3. New Mexico 527; 4. Utah 450; 5. Nevada 412; 6. Montana State 344; 7. Western State 296½; 8. Alaska-Anchorage 205; 9. Whitman 173; 10. Boise State 62.

Individual scores
Women’s Slalom-1. Lucie Zikova, CU, 1:17.17; 2. Jaana-Maari Vaelimaeki, UN, 1:17.63; 3. Lisa Perricone, CU, 1:17.74; 4. Stefanie Klocker, UAA, 1:18.55; 5. Claire Abbe, DU, 1:18.67; 6. Karin Ohlin, UNM, 1:18.81; 7. Mikaela Grassl, Utah, 1:18.82; 8. Erika Hogan, Utah, 1:18.97; 9. Karine Falck Pedersen, DU, 1:19.01; 10. Florence Roujas, DU, 1:19.29. Other CU Finishers: 13. Kristin Taylor, 1:19.56; 15. Sabrina Mocellin, 1:19.93; 17. Rachel Roosevelt, 1:20.12.

Men’s Giant Slalom-1. Tor Fodnesbergene, UNM, 2:27.64; 2. Cameron Barnes, UN, 2:28.06; 3. Scott Hume, UN, 2:28.70; 4. Will McDonald, Utah, 2:28.80; 5. Timothee Theaux, UAA, 2:29.05; 6. Scott Veenis, Utah, 2:29.09; 7. Patrick Duran, CU and Andre Hokholt, WSC, 2:29.32; 9. Miles Cooke, CU, 2:29.38; 10. Francesco Ghedina, CU, 2:29.44. Other CU Results: 14. Jonas Kryzl, 2:30.18; 24. Joel Adams, 2:33.10; 27. Jean-Francois Ferreira, 2:33.96; 20., 1:15.18. Did Not Finish (second run)-Josh Bryan, Tony Cesolini.

Women’s 5K Classical-1. Jana Rehemaa, CU, 17:53.8; 2. Ingvild Engesland, DU, 18:07.2; 3. Melanie Zemp, UNM, 18:08.0; 4. Crystin Jaques, UNM, 18:14.6; 5. Anna-Karin Maeki, DU, 15:50.2; 6. Maria Grevsgaard, CU, 18:44.8; 7. Marit Rognmo, UNM, 18:57.1; 8. Eva Bohmova, UN, 19:00.6; 9. Lenka Palanova, CU, 19:02.3; 10. Ashley Quiggle, WSC, 19:03.3. Other CU Results: 13. Kristin Soenstegaard, 19:23.6; 15. Mia Gaw, 19:30.4; 38. Megan Wilder, 23:52.5.

Men’s 10K Classical-1. Kit Richmond, CU, 29:25.9; 2. Geir-Endre Rogn, UNM, 29:29.3; 3. Rene Reisshauer, DU, 29:33.3; 4. Dirk Grimm, UNM, 29:44.2; 5. John Stene, DU, 30:02.4; 6. Haavard Selseng, DU, 30:27.3; 7. Fabian Figi, Utah, 30:46.7; 8. Henrik Hoye, CU, 30:56.9; 9. Erling Christiansen, CU, 31:20.8; 10. Chris Coe, MSU, 31:39.3. Other CU Results: 11. Nick Sterling, 31:45.5; 25. Garrett Reid, 34:05.8; 29. Josh Smith, 34:56.6.

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