Tuesday, January 8, 2019 • by Brooke Frederickson, RMISA
NEDERLAND, Colo.—The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association opens its 2019 season on Wednesday, Jan. 9, with an RMISA giant slalom qualifier, with the first meet of the season beginning on Thursday, Jan. 10 with the Colorado Invitational.
The RMISA giant slalom qualifier does not count towards any team scoring and is used as an extra opportunity for skiers to earn qualification points for the NCAA Championships at the end of the season. The Colorado Invitational begins with the giant slalom, followed by the slalom race on Friday. On Friday evening, an exhibition dual slalom race will be held, which does not count towards any team scoring. The Nordic portion of the meet begins on Saturday, Jan. 12, with the women's 5-km and men's 10-km freestyle races with the men's and women's 10-km classic races on Sunday, Jan. 13.
The alpine races will be held at Eldora Mountain Resort with the Nordic races in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Denver won its 24th NCAA title in 2018 with Colorado finishing second and the Utes fourth. RMISA schools have won 57 of the 66 NCAA skiing championships held.
For more on each team, see below.
- In women’s alpine, Nora Christensen is a three-time All-American slalom racer and won two races last season. Isabela Fidjeland has also skied at NCAA’s while newcomers Stef Fleckenstein and Mikaela Tommy both have World Cup starts and strong NorAm finishes.
- Max Luukko is a four-time All-American in men’s alpine and has eight podiums in his career. Newcomer Fllip Forejtek skied in the 2018 Olympics for the Czech Republic.
- The Buffs have a solid women’s Nordic trio returning in Hedda Baangman, Anne Siri Lervik and Christina Rolandsen. Baangman won two races last season while Lervik and Rolandsen were both All-Americans.
- Alvar Alev won two races last year in men’s Nordic and was an All-American in the freestyle. Sondre Bollum earned All-America honors in both classic and freestyle last season.
- In women’s alpine, Amelia Smart won both the giant slalom and slalom NCAA titles last season. Tuva Norbye and Olympian Andrea Komsic are also returning All-Americans for a strong squad.
- Men’s alpine returns All-Americans Jett Seymour and Tobias Kogler while Nick Santaniello had three top-five finishes last year.
- Jasmi Joensuu, Linn Eriksen and Taeler McCrerey are all returning All-Americans in women’s Nordic while newcomer Natalia Muller earned All-America honors at Utah in 2016.
- Men’s Nordic returns Eivind Kvaale, who finished in the top four at 2018 NCAA’s in both freestyle and classic. Lars Hannah is also a returning All-American.
- The Utes have a change at the top with former New Mexico head coach Fredrik Landstedt taking over as the Utes Director of Skiing. In addition, former two-time Utah NCAA champion Miles Havlick returns as head Nordic coach while JJ Johnson joins the Utes as head alpine coach from the U.S. Men’s Ski Team.
- 2018 RMISA women’s Nordic Athlete of the Year Guro Jordheim led the league with seven race wins and 10 podium finishes last season. She is a four-time All-American. Mariah Bredal was also an All-American in women’s Nordic. Along with Leah Lange, Karianne Moe and Julia Richter, the ladies have been strong in preseason competition.
- Bjørn Riksaasen competed in NCAA’s last year in men’s Nordic. Logan Diekmann has also had strong finishes while newcomers Maximillian Bie, Ola Jordheim and Noel Keeffe will be looked to to contribute.
- 2014 NCAA giant slalom champion Mark Engel returns after spending the past four seasons with the U.S. Ski Team. Huston Philp earned All-America honors last year in the giant slalom. Addison Dvoracek is an All-American transfer from Montana State.
- In women’s alpine, Roni Remme has had several strong starts on the World Cup circuit for Canada and the three-time All-American returns after taking a year off to compete in the Olympics. Julie Mohagen won the 2016 NCAA slalom title and is a two-time All-American. Kristine Aasberg transfer to Utah from Denver. She won three races and finished on the podium four times in 2018.
- Morten Bakke is a three-time All-American skier in men’s alpine, finishing fifth at NCAA’s last season.
- Stephanie Gartner is a five-time All-American in women’s alpine. Jocelyn McCarthy has also earned All-America honors.
- Emma Tarbath earned All-America honors in the women’s freestyle last season.
- Karsten Hokanson competed at NCAA’s last season in men’s Nordic.
- New Mexico will be led by Joe Downing in 2019 with Christian Otto elevating to head Nordic coach. The Lobos appear to be in their final NCAA season as the UNM Board of Regents voted in August to cut skiing after this year.
- Vegard Busengdal earned All-America honors in the men’s slalom with two wins last year.
- Katharine Irwin is a two-time All-American in the giant slalom, winning two races last year, while Rebecca Fiegl earned slalom All-America honors and finished in the top-10 11 times during the year.
- Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier competed at NCAA’s last season in men’s Nordic after joining the team late in the year and has been strong in early SuperTour races.
- Brenna Egan had one top 10 finish last year in women’s Nordic and has competed twice at NCAA’s.
- Dominic Unterberger had two top 10 finishes in men’s alpine last year while Anthony Naciuk also competed at NCAA’s. Newcomers Liam Wallace and Didrik Nilsen have also been strong in preseason competition.
- Georgia Burgess had one top five and three top 10 finishes last year in women’s alpine while Alix Wells also competed at NCAA’s.
- Natalie Hynes competed at NCAA’s in women’s Nordic while Casey Wright competed in last year’s Olympics.
- Toomas Kollo finished in the top 10 twice last year and competed at NCAA’s in men’s Nordic. Marcus Deuling also raced at NCAA’s last year.
Alaska Fairbanks (Nordic Only)
- Max Donaldson and Seiji Takagi competed at NCAA’s last year for the men while Arnaud Guyon had two top 10 finishes during the year.
- On the women’s side, Kati Roivas returns from last year’s NCAA squad.
Westminster College (Alpine Only)
- For the women, Juliett Gauthier, Anne-Solene Bregou and Madison Ostergren have all had strong finishes in collegiate competition.
- On the men’s side, Raffael Breu, Michael Wahl and Oskar Voello were strong last season.
Colorado Mountain College (Alpine Only)
- Returning skiers for the men include Garett Black, Harrison Goss, Tai Juneau and Kristinn Audunsson.
- Madison Muxworthy continues her career.