After two weeks off, the RMISA circuit reconvened for their regional championship hosted by the University of Denver (DU). CU Boulder won the alpine side of the event with 324 points. Montana State University placed second with 313.5 points and the DU finished third with 301.5 points. After the nordic events, the Buffs won the whole weekend by just 7.5 points, 672-664.5 over DU. The University of Utah ended the weekend in third with 601 points.
Stephanie Gartner led the Montana State team in Friday’s giant slalom. She won the women’s event with a combined time of 1:48.32. Gartner found herself in 14th place after the first run and was able win the second run by enough to unseat the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s Charley Field, who finished in second, 0.14 seconds back. Storm Klomhaus from the University of Denver finished third, 0.42 seconds behind Gartner.
This is the first time both Gartner and Klomhaus have been on the podium. Gartner’s best finish prior to the RMISA Championships had come two weeks ago in the UAA invitational. Gartner said that with such a skilled MSU women’s team, there was a lot of pressure to perform at the regional championships as it could decide who on the team would be sent to the NCAA National Championships.
“On the girl’s side, everyone is super close so there is definitely some pressure that contributed to [her performance],” she said. “All in all having the support of my teammates was probably the most important thing. We all were super happy with how we performed and everyone really came together to do what we did that day.”
Along with Gartner, MSU put three skiers in the top five with Benedicte Lyche placing fourth and Kari Hole in fifth.
CU Boulder’s David Ketterer won the men’s giant slalom. This is the first win for Ketterer in giant slalom, after winning four slaloms this season. He won with a combined time of 1:44.07. Vegard Busengdal from the University of New Mexico placed second, 0.52 seconds back and MSU’s David Neuhauser finished third, 1.08 seconds back.
“The first run was pretty good. I had bib one, so I had a slight advantage because I had a perfect slope,” Ketterer said. “I am pretty happy, I worked a lot on GS, it didn’t go as smooth and as easy as slalom did this year, so it’s even better feeling now to get back to my really good GS right before NCAAs,” he added.
In the women’s slalom, the University of Utah’s Roni Remme took first place with a combined time of 2:01.94, winning both runs in the process. MSU’s Lyche and CU Boulder’s Nora Grieg Christensen followed Remme, 0.80 and 0.99 seconds back respectively.
“We could not be more excited with Roni’s win today. She executed two runs flawlessly,” UU Head Alpine Coach Jaka Korencan said.
Busengdal took the win in the men’s slalom with a combined time of 1:49.47. This is the first win for Busengdal, despite finishing on the podium six times this season. CU Boulder athlete Ola Buer Johansen finished in second, 0.45 seconds back and Utah’s Endre Bjertness placed third, 0.62 seconds back.
“It was a very good race for me. It was very important for me because I have only had one result before this,” Johansen said, “So for me to be second is amazing.”
CU Boulder finished the slalom with two more athletes in the top five. Ketterer and Max Lukko finished fourth and fifth respectively and with that, the CU men led the Buffs to the RMISA Championship.
The NCAA National Championships will be hosted by the University of New Hampshire at Cannon Mountain from March 8-11. The RMISA and EISA athletes selected to compete will be named in the coming days.