Colorado Olympic Sports
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU women taking on Iowa in third round of the WNIT
… Thursday, 6:00 p.m., MT … no television … 1190 AM radio … Audio: CUBuffs.com/watch …
… Related … “CU women carry confidence into WNIT matchup at Iowa” … from the Daily Camera
From CUBuffs.com … In Iowa (19-13) CU will face what Payne calls “pretty much everything you want in a team – a good post player, experienced guard play, size on the perimeter, some athleticism – not jump out of the gym athleticism, but kids that can move and run.”
The Hawkeyes favor scoring in transition but in post player Megan Gustafson, a 6-3 sophomore, have an inside presence much like the Buffs faced in the Pac-12. Gustafson averages 18.7 points and 10 rebounds.
“We’ve played against some fantastic post players,” Payne said. “Most of those times we’ve done that it hasn’t been one-on-one; it’s been a group effort. We’ve had a good game plan. It’s not that our post players can’t defend one-on-one, but we just felt like with some of the length and scrappiness on our perimeter we could utilize them as well.”
But there is more to the Hawkeyes than Gustafson. As a team Iowa averages nearly six 3-pointers a game and shoots 31 percent from beyond the arc. Makenzie Meyer (36 percent) and Ally Disterholt (34 percent) are the sharpshooters, with Disterholt becoming Iowa’s career scoring leader in the first-round WNIT win against Missouri State.
Payne says the Hawkeyes “could be in the Pac-12 easily . . . they have that type of versatility on the perimeter.”
That Smith and the Buffs (17-15) are still playing might be a surprise to everyone but them. After their 10-0 start and No. 15 national ranking, they expected more of themselves in the Pac-12.
“I know we had a little higher hopes for the Pac-12 season as far as record goes,” Smith said. “But I think we’re all super excited and happy to be in the postseason again.”
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU Lacrosse rise – in just four years – has been “nothing short of astounding”
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado lacrosse coach Ann Elliott remembers quite well the trials and travails of compiling her first recruiting class in Boulder.
Elliott, a first-time college head coach, was starting a program from scratch at CU. Hired in March 2012, she had less than two years to put together a team that would begin competing in the spring of 2014.
“Obviously recruiting in the beginning was a challenge,” Elliott said with a laugh Tuesday morning. “We had to recruit based on my staff at the time and trying to get people to come out to see how great the University of Colorado really was. There was no field, no locker room — I didn’t even have an office. Anne Kelley (CU women’s golf coach) was nice enough to let me use her office for recruits; otherwise I’m not sure what we would have done.”
But somehow, Elliott’s sales pitch worked. She convinced quality players from lacrosse hotbeds around the nation that the potential and promise of a program that didn’t even have a field yet was worth the gamble. She sold it, they bought it — and today, the result is nothing short of astounding.
Those first CU recruits are now seniors for a program that is 9-0, ranked as high as fourth in the nation in two major polls (sixth in the coaches poll) and owns four wins over top-20 teams thus far this season.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU Lacrosse ranked fourth, fourth and sixth in national polls
From CUBuffs.com … The Colorado women’s lacrosse team has earned top-five rankings in a pair of polls that were released on Monday.
CU stayed at fourth in the Cascade/Inside Lacrosse media poll and moved up from sixth to fourth this week in the Nike/U.S. Lacrosse Magazine poll. In the IWLCA Coaches’ poll, the Buffs moved up from seventh to sixth.
Colorado is currently 9-0 and is one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the NCAA Division I. The other two teams are Maryland (7-0) and Princeton (5-0). Maryland is first in all three polls, while Princeton is fifth in the U.S. Lacrosse Magazine poll and is sixth in the coaches and media polls.
The Buffs extended their school record win streak to nine with wins last week against Winthrop and Oregon. CU took down the Eagles 18-6 on March 15, and on March 19, the Buffs earned a 16-11 decision against MPSF rival Oregon.
Colorado, which is 2-0 in league play, will host Fresno State (6-2, 0-1 MPSF) on Saturday, March 25. Opening draw is set for 12 p.m.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
Big Sunday – CU women’s basketball wins in overtime; No. 4 CU lacrosse takes care of Oregon
CU women take down South Dakota State on the road, 81-75, to advance in WNIT
From CUBuffs.com … Down a key starter and playing in one of the most difficult environments of the season, the Colorado women’s basketball team didn’t blink.
The resilient Buffaloes squandered a 13-point fourth-quarter lead but settled themselves sufficiently enough to dominate overtime and extend their season with an 81-75 second-round WNIT win against South Dakota State.
CU (17-15) advances to play at Iowa on Thursday night in the WNIT third round.
“Oh my goodness . . . I’m so unbelievably proud of my team,” said first-year CU coach JR Smith. “When the buzzer sounded, I kept saying, ‘No one wins here, no one wins here.’ . . . . (But) our poise, our discipline, and everything we’ve talked about to this young team, they did it down the stretch.”
Playing without starting guard Alexis Robinson, who suffered a knee injury in Friday’s practice, CU dealt SDSU its first loss in 11 games in tumultuous Frost Arena. The Jackrabbits were 13-1 at home this season and had won seven of eight previous WNIT games on their home court.
Kennedy Leonard led the Buffs with 29 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds and helped keep the Jackrabbits at bay by hitting four consecutive free throws in the final 28 seconds.
WHAT IT MEANS: CU keeps on playing, and with a 17-15 record assures Payne of finishing above .500 in her first season in Boulder. The Buffs showed they could stare down the adversity of a hostile environment and also withstand the loss of a starter.
NOTEWORTHY: Entering the game tied with Ann Troyan, Leonard’s 8 assists pushed her past Troyan’s record of 177 set in 1979-80 …. Leonard had her 17th career 20-point game and 13th this season …. CU shot a combined 18-for-27 (.667) in the second and third quarters after shooting 3-of-14 (.214) in the first …. SDSU went on a 13-0 run late in the first quarter and into the second quarter and led by as many as 13, but CU closed the first half on a 12-2 run to pull within one and that run continued 22-4 into the second half as CU led 38-31 with 6:55 remaining …. CU improved to 14-5 (.737) all-time in the WNIT and advanced to the third round for the fifth time in its sixth appearance …. It was CU’s first overtime game since Jan. 14, 2015 (77-72 win over Utah).
NEXT UP: The Buffs play a third-round WNIT game on Thursday night (6 p.m. MDT) at Iowa.
No. 4 CU lacrosse team builds an 8-3 first half lead, takes down Oregon, 16-11
From CUBuffs.com … Just hours before the Colorado women’s lacrosse team was about to take Kittredge Field, a wildfire and poor air conditions forced administration to move the game inside to the C.R. “Dick” Stevenson Family Indoor Practice Facility.
But the moved paid off and the Buffaloes improved to 9-0 this season with a 16-11 victory over the Oregon Ducks (6-3, 3-1 MPSF) on Sunday afternoon.
Colorado, which is ranked fourth in the Inside Lacrosse media poll and seventh in the IWLCA Coaches Poll, recorded its second conference win and handed the Ducks their first conference loss of the season.
Junior Carly Cox recorded a career-best five goals in the win and senior Paige Soenksen picked up another win to improve to 8-0 this season in goal with eight saves on the day.
KEY STATISTICS: Colorado out-shot the Ducks 33-24, which included a 16-9 edge in the first half. CU also had the edge in draw controls (19-10). Kiernan recorded seven of those, while senior Marie Moore came up with five.
- This is the first time the Buffs have played a home contest inside the C.R. “Dick” Stevenson Family Indoor Practice Facility.
- Darby Kiernan and Katie Macleay have scored at least one point in every game this season.
- The 9-0 start to the season is the best in CU history, as well as the longest win streak in school history.
- CU has also won nine straight home games dating back to last season.
- This is the sixth time this season CU has posted 15 or more goals.
UP NEXT: Colorado will finish its home stand with a game against Fresno State on Saturday, March 25, at 12 p.m.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
Undefeated CU Lacrosse to take on Oregon (Sunday, noon, Pac-12 Networks)
From CUBuffs.com …
ABOUT THE DUCKS: Oregon is 5-2 overall and is 3-0 in league play. They face Vermont on Friday prior to Sunday’s match-up against Colorado.
Shannon Williams leads the team in points (30) and goals (20). She has 33 shots on goal this season for a .717%. Bella Pyne is second on the team with 41 points (18g, 7a), while Mariah Gatti is third with 23 points (20g, 3a). Jojo Hesketh had earned 29 draw controls this season for the Ducks and Jill Zubillaga is second on the team with 16.
The Ducks have 83 caused turnovers this season; Jill Zubillaga and Pyne have forced 13 apiece. In net, Becca Katzen has started in all seven games. She has a 10.15 goals against average and a .357 save percentage. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 94-72 and have out-shot them 198-169. They also have the edge in draw controls (99-78) and caused turnovers (83-67).
THE SERIES: Colorado leads the all-times series against Oregon at 4-0. This meeting is just the second time the two teams have met in Boulder. CU played Oregon twice last season, once in the regular season and again in the first round of the MPSF Tournament on April 28, 2016. CU recorded an 11-3 decision in that game.
HOME GAME INFORMATION: All of Colorado’s home games will be played at Kittredge Field. Admission is free, as is parking in Lot 416 one hour prior to each game.
CU women to take on South Dakota State Sunday afternoon in WNIT second round
From CUBuffs.com … South Dakota State may be a new foe for Colorado women’s basketball, but head coach JR Payne is no stranger to the Jackrabbits. The two teams will square off on Sunday in the second round of the WNIT in Brookings, South Dakota (1 p.m. MT tip-off | TV: Midco Sports Network | Radio: AM 1190 KVCU).
Payne and her staff are familiar with SDSU (23-8 overall, 12-4 Summit), having been a conference rival when she was head coach of Southern Utah. SUU was a member of The Summit League in Payne’s first three seasons there, before moving to the Big Sky Conference in 2012-13.
“The first time we played them, we said, ‘that’s the team we want to be,'” Payne said after Thursday’s 66-52 win over UNLV in the first round. “I admire [head coach Aaron Johnston]. I love his program. I love his teams.
“They’re really tough, they’re big, they’re disciplined, they do their job. They defend, they rebound. They’re just a really good, disciplined team. Not flashy, not fancy–they just all do their job.”
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU women advance to second round of WNIT with a 66-52 win over UNLV
… Related … “CU women overcome slow start to beat UNLV in first round of WNIT” … From the Daily Camera
From CUBuffs.com … The Colorado women’s basketball team needed a quarter on Thursday night to shed the cobwebs of a two-week layoff. With that done, the Buffaloes rolled to a 66-52 first-round WNIT win against UNLV at the Coors Events Center.
“We just were rusty,” CU coach JR Payne said of her team’s unattractive start. “You want to be able to come out and be clicking on all cylinders, but the reality is that is not super easy to do when you haven’t played in two weeks. It wasn’t the prettiest early.”
But in the final three quarters, the picture changed for the Buffs – especially sophomore guards Kennedy Leonard and Alexis Robinson.
Leonard scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the second half and added five assists, enabling her to tie Ann Troyan’s school single-season record (177, 1979-80).
Leonard, a first-team All-Pac-12 Conference selection, hit consecutive 3-pointers mid-way through the fourth quarter and was 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 1:35.
“At tip its like, ‘Oh gosh, it’s a game again,'” Leonard said. “I think just getting back into the flow of it and getting that first quarter over with helps.”
Robinson, who added 16 points, hit a key 3-pointer late in the third quarter before assisting Leonard on a layup that enabled the Buffs to take a 12-point lead into the final quarter.
WHAT IT MEANS: Payne’s first season as the Buffs coach is extended, offering her and her players at least one more game. If they win on Sunday they could return to the Coors Events Center for another WNIT game.
NOTEWORTHY: CU is 6-0 all-time in the first round of the WNIT . . . . CU has won its past five WNIT games in the Coors Events Center . . . . Leonard had her 16th career 20-point game and 12th this season . . . . The last time these two teams met was the first round of the 1989 NCAA Tournament, the first-ever NCAA Tournament game played at the Coors Events Center and still the all-time single game attendance record (11,199) . . . . The last WNIT game played at the Coors Events Center also featured JR Payne, but as the visiting coach of Southern Utah in 2014.
NEXT UP: The Buffs travel to South Dakota State for a second-round WNIT game on Sunday at 1 p.m. MDT.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU women taking on UNLV in first round of WNIT
From CUBuffs.com … On Monday night the Buffs received (and accepted) a bid to play in the WNIT. They face UNLV on Thursday night (7 p.m.) in the Coors Events Center.
After the Buffs learned their first-round opponent, Leonard and her roommate – backcourt mate Alexis Robinson – got busy.
“It’s March Madness,” Leonard said, laughing. “(Monday) night we were all waiting around our phones waiting for that text from ‘Coach J.’ When we got it we were looking up UNLV, scouting film . . . me and ‘Lex’ watched their game film of Fresno State and Utah State (in the Mountain West Tournament) and took notes. We scouted them a little in our own minds. It’s exciting.”
UNLV finished the season at 22-10, CU at 15-15. Like the Buffs, the Lady Rebels favor an up-tempo pace, with four of their players averaging in double figures, topped by Dakota Gonzalez at 13.3 points a game. UNLV is bigger than Payne’s bunch and rebounds more effectively (about six more per game) than the Buffs.
Payne is very familiar with veteran UNLV coach Kathy Olivier and most of her staff, and says they always were “welcoming” is discussing their trade with Payne: “They took time to talk to us when we were young assistants.”
She also says the Lady Rebels’ style mirrors Olivier’s “tough-minded” approach. “They’re aggressive, feisty . . . it should be two similar teams on Thursday night.”
But here’s one big difference: the Lady Rebels’ bench is short. “They don’t play a lot of people; they rely heavily on those four players, particularly their guards,” Payne said. “Some of them play Kennedy Leonard-type minutes. It’s important that we’re aggressive and try to take advantage of that.”
… Continue reading story here …
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU Lacrosse runs record to 8-0 after dominating win over Winthrop
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado extended its season opening win streak to eight games with an 18-6 victory against Winthrop (2-4) on Wednesday afternoon.
The Buffs (8-0), who are ranked fourth in the Inside Lacrosse media poll and are seventh in the IWLCA Coaches Poll, had four individuals with three goals or more for the third time this season. Darby Kiernan, Cali Castagnola, Blair Sisk and Katie Macleay each had a hat-trick and Kiernan led the Buffs with five points, adding two assists in the win.
WHAT HAPPENED: Colorado got on the board quickly (27:56) with Amanda Salvadore‘s first goal of the season off a pass from Miranda Stinson. Winthrop answered quickly, less than 90 seconds later (26:32) with a goal of its own, but then it was all Buffs the rest of the half as CU recorded 13 unanswered goals to give them a commanding 14-1 halftime lead.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU Lacrosse breaks into top five nationally
… Related … Miranda Stinson Selected Alpha Lacrosse Player Of The Week … From CUBuffs.com
… Related … Soenksen, Stinson Repeat as MPSF Players Of The Week … From CUBuffs.com
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado continues to impress the collegiate lacrosse world and now, for the first time in school history, the Buffaloes are ranked fourth in the Cascade/Inside Lacrosse media poll.
CU upset Penn State (16-11) on March 12, rallying back from a 7-3 deficit to hand the Nittany Lions their first loss of the season. (PSU had been ranked fifth in the media poll, sixth in the coaches’ poll, at the time.) The win extended CU’s program record season start to 7-0, which is also the longest win streak in school history.
That win moved the Buffs up from eighth in last week’s poll, to fourth overall this week. They are one of just three unbeaten programs left in the NCAA Division I.
Colorado also moved up in the other two polls. The Buffs improved from ninth to sixth in the Nike/US Lacrosse Magazine poll and went from 10th in last week’s coaches’ poll, to seventh this week.
All three polls have the same two programs in the top two positions. Maryland (6-0) remained first for the third straight week, while North Carolina (6-1) stayed at second.
Colorado won’t have much down time this week with a pair of games in Boulder. The Buffs will host Winthrop on Wednesday, March 15, at 3 p.m. and on Sunday, March 19, they will face MPSF rival Oregon at 12 p.m.
Free tickets and food for first 100 students at CU’s home WNIT game Thursday
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado women’s basketball head coach JR Payne has offered to pay for the first 100 students attending Thursday’s WNIT first-round game against UNLV. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. Students will need to show their Buff One Card at the entrance to take advantage of the deal.
In addition to the first 100 students receiving free admission, Half Fast Subs will provide free food before the game for students.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU Lacrosse does it again! Buffs take down No. 6 Penn State, 16-11
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado used an 11-1 scoring run to stun No. 6 Penn State 16-11, here today, in the Buffs first ever top-10 match-up.
The Buffs, who are ranked 10th in the coaches’ poll and ninth in the media poll, and Nittany Lions both entered the game unbeaten. CU improved to 7-0, extending its best ever start to the season, while PSU dropped to 7-1.
Sophomore Miranda Stinson led the way for CU with five goals and four assists, both career-highs, while junior Darby Kiernan added four goals. Senior Paige Soenksen, who leads the NCAA in save percentage, did an outstanding job for the Buffs in goal, allowing 11 goals on 27 shots faced.
WHAT HAPPENED: Colorado had a slow start to the game despite getting on the board first at 26:07 with senior Katie Macleay‘s first of two goals. Penn State responded with four straight goals to take a 4-1 lead. The Buffs answered with their second goal at 17:21, but the Nittany Lions answered with another two markers to increase the score to 6-2.
Colorado did not get discouraged and closed the first half strong with three of the next four goals, which cut PSU’s lead to just two (7-5) at halftime.
The Buffs kept the momentum going into the second half, tallying the first two goals to even the game at 7-7. PSU recorded its first marker of the half at 25:25 to again take a lead (8-7), but Colorado answered with seven straight goals for a 14-8 advantage.
The Nittany Lions finally responded, scoring two quick goals to bring the score within four (14-10), but the Buffs answered with another two goals of their own to go back up 16-10. PSU scored the final goal of the game with under two minutes to play (1:32) and CU took the win.
UP NEXT: Colorado returns home to Kittredge Field for its next three games. The Buffs host Winthrop on Wednesday, March 15, at 3 p.m. before hosting Oregon (March 19) and Fresno State (March 25).
Just how good is the Colorado ski program? Some notes …
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado has now finished as the runner-up seven times, with eight titles, in 27 seasons under head coach Richard Rokos. All-time overall, CU has 20 championships and 12 runner-up finishes in the sport.
Western schools continued their dominance, now placing at least three in the top four 32 times in the 35 meets since the sport went coed in 1983 … The NCAA Skiing Championship is the first of the winter sports; Utah’s win gives the Pac-12 its sixth title this year and 494 overall … Hyncicova’s win was CU’s 94th individual title, as the Buffs extended their all-time lead over DU (88), which was shut out this year; the other four titles were claimed by Utah (two, third all-time with 74), Vermont (one, 64 total for fourth) and Montana State … Colorado took a 31-30 lead over Denver for seasons with multiple NCAA champions … The 16½-point margin out of first was the seventh smallest in CU history; you have to go back to 1970 to find a smaller margin of defeat (9.3 points, and CU was actually third behind Denver and Dartmouth) … Colorado had ruled the east this decade, winning all three NCAA crowns held in New England in 2011, 2013 and 2015; western schools have won the last five back east … This was just the fourth time in the last 22 championships that the school leading after six events did not go on to win the title.
CU ALL-TIME: The Buffaloes have won 20 national championships in skiing: 11 men’s (1959-60-72-73-74-75-76-77-78-79-82), eight coed (1991-95-98-99-2006-11-13-15) and one women’s (1982, AIAW). The 19 NCAA titles by Colorado trail Denver by four, as the Pioneers (23) caught and passed CU by winning three straight to open the 21st century and extended their lead with three more from 2008-10 and one in 2014 and 2016. After DU and CU (43 combined), Utah has won 11, Vermont 6, Dartmouth 3, Wyoming 2 and New Mexico 1 (CU and Dartmouth tied for the ’76 crown).
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS: The Buffs had four individual champions this year; the eight individual champions came from four different schools. Colorado leads all-time with 94 individual NCAA titles, topping Denver (88), Utah (74), Vermont (64), Dartmouth (36), Wyoming (19), New Mexico (17) and Middlebury (11); individual winners in 2017 came from Colorado (four), Utah (two), Montana State and Vermont. The Buffs have had two or more individual champions 31 times (three or more 14 times), now including five occasions when CU skiers topped the podium four times: 1960, John Dendahl (skimeister, Nordic, cross country) and Dave Butts (downhill); in 1963, Buddy Werner (alpine combined, downhill), Bill Marolt (downhill) and Jimmie Heuga (slalom); in 2006, Jana Rehemaa (classical, freestyle), Kit Richmond (freestyle) and Lucie Zikova (downhill); in 2008, Maria Grevsgaard (freestyle, classical) and Lucie Zikova (giant slalom, slalom) and this year Petra Hyncicova (freestyle, classical) and David Ketterer (giant slalom, slalom). CU has had at least one individual NCAA champion in 28 of the last 36 years.
LEARFIELD DIRECTORS’ CUP: Colorado picked up 90 points in the Learfield Director’s Cup Standings, jumping from 10th place into second in the standings with 358.5 total points; skiing was the first NCAA winter championship completed (Utah also made a significant jump, from 20th into seventh with 296, earning 100 points for its win, and Denver jumped from 66th to 22nd). Stanford leads with 504.5 points, with UCLA third (348); there are seven Pac-12 schools in the top 20 overall. The indoor track, and rifle championships will be included in the next official release of the standings on March 23.
HEAD COACH RICHARD ROKOS: Rokos wrapped up his 27th season as head coach of the Buffaloes (he is just the fifth person to coach a quarter century or longer in any sport at Colorado). He has guided CU to national championships in 1991 (his first season), 1995, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2015, to seven second place finishes and five third place efforts. Under Rokos, Colorado has won 69 of 165 ski meets, including 61 of 138 in the west (with 14 RMISA Championships/NCAA West Regionals titles). In his tenure, CU has had 136 first-team All-Americans and 214 first- or second-team selections (Alpine and Nordic), all adding to exactly 314 top 10 finishes in NCAA championship competition.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
Sophomore Dani Jones picks up national title No. 2 at NCAA championships
Dani Jones took home her second National Championship title on the weekend as she clocked a 9:09.20 in the 3,000 meters. Jones started off steady settling into her pace while also staying within the middle of the pack for most of the race. But, with about 400 meters left Dani Jones started making moves pushing her way into third. As shown from Friday’s final leg of the DMR, Jones has a lethal kick to the end of her races and Saturday’s 3,000 was no different. With about 200 meters left coming around the final turn, Jones kicked it into gear passing up Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer (who won the 5,000 the day before) to win the title.
- Jenny (Barringer) Simpson was the last Buff to win the 3,000 meter indoor National title in 2009 when she clocked an 8:42.03 which is also the NCAA meet record.
- This is the first time a Colorado track athlete has won two National titles in the same year at the Indoor National Championships.
Teammate Erin Clark also put together a strong 3,000 meter performance coming in eighth place to not only earn All-American honors but gather points towards the team score. This is Clark’s second first-team All-America honor in the 3,000 meters as she placed fifth last year.
On the men’s side Joe Klecker paced the trio of Buffs competing in the 3,000 meters as he finished in fourth place with a time of 7:58.90. Klecker earned his first All-American honor and earned five points for the team. John Dressel in his second event of the weekend also added his second All-America accolade finishing in eighth place overall with a time of 8:01.93. Ben Saarel rounded out the Buffs competing in the 3,000 meters finishing in 15h place with a time of 8:21.01 to earn second-team All-America honors.
CU ski team rally falls just short, Buffs finish second at NCAA championships
From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado ski team gave it their best shot, but in the end there was just too much to overcome as the Buffaloes finished second in the 64th annual NCAA Skiing Championships which concluded here Saturday.
Utah won its first title since 2003 and its 11th overall, overtaking defending national champion and third-day leader Denver with 541½ total points. Colorado, which went into Saturday’s two Nordic freestyle races 42 points behind the Pioneers, pulled past them down the stretch in finishing with 525 points; DU took third with 524. Dartmouth claimed fourth (400) and Vermont rounded out the top five (355).
Colorado has now finished as the runner-up seven times, with eight titles, in 27 seasons under head coachRichard Rokos. All-time overall, CU has 20 championships and 12 runner-up finishes in the sport.
“Well it was a little surprise (to finish second) because we were sort of hanging on in third place,” head coach Richard Rokos said. “It was actually excellent work on ladies and men’s side here today (in Nordic). They did earn a lot of points and got us back into the hunt. Just looking back these four days, we lost it all on day one in relatively our strongest event, but it is the sadness of alpine skiing.”
It was the closest margin between first and second since 1999, when Colorado outpointed Denver, 650-636, as well as the second-closest among the top three finishers since the sport went coed in 1983 (17.5 points; in 1998, 16 points separated the same top three: CU 654, UU 651.5, DU 638).
The competitors had to overcome single digit temperatures and gusting winds up to 20 miles per hour; the temperature for the men’s race hovered around zero and minus-25 wind chill, “warming” to 2 degrees for the start of the women’s race, with minus 18 degree wind chill.
CU women win national championship in DMR relay – “Watch out for Colorado! Holy crap!”
From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado women’s DMR relay won their first National Championship title in dramatic fashion here Friday night at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Dani Jones was on fire in the final 1600 meter leg of the DMR relay as she started off her final leg of the race around 10th place and grinded and pushed her way into third. In the last 200 meters, Jones sprinted from third place past both Pac-12 foes Oregon and Stanford to cross the finish line .02 seconds ahead of the Stanford team to finish with a time of 11:00.34.
The relay kicked off with with Tabor Scholl running 1,200 meters. Scholl stayed in the middle of the field but got pushed back a little bit by other teams right before she passed the baton to Elissa Mann for her 400 meter run. Sage Hurta ran a strong 800 meters holding steady before handing off the final leg to Dani Jones who closed it out the relay with an incredible finish.
–This is the first DMR relay to advance to the NCAA Championships in head coach Mark Wetmore‘s time at CU. More than 25 years
– The team of Scholl, Mann, Hurta and Jones broke the CU DMR relay school record previously set in 2011.
Here is a link to the video … enjoy! … NCAA women’s relay – “It’s Colorado! Out of Nowhere!”
No. 10 CU lacrosse team to take on No. 6 Penn State
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado hits the road this weekend for a tough top-10 match-up against No. 6 Penn State in State College, Pa. on Sunday, March 12. Opening draw is set for 10 a.m. MT/12 p.m. ET inside Holuba Hall due to weather concerns.
HOW TO WATCH: Live stats for the game will be available at gopsusports.com. Due to the change in venue, there will not be a live stream.
ABOUT THE BUFFS: Colorado is off to its best start this season at 6-0, which is also the programs’ longest win streak. The Buffs are ranked in the top 10 of all three women’s lacrosse polls this week. They are 10th in the IWLCA Coaches Poll and ninth in the Cascade/Inside Lacrosse and Nike/U.S. Lacrosse Magazine polls.
Johnna Fusco, the reigning MPSF Offensive Player of the Week, leads CU with 25 points (19 goals and six assists). She was named the Alpha Lacrosse National Player of the Week after tallying five goals and two assists in CU’s 14-3 victory against then-No. 14 Denver. Fusco ranks fourth nationally in free-position goals per game (1.50), is 46th in goals per game (3.17) and is 48th in points per game (4.17). Darby Kiernan is second on the team in points (24) with 16 goals and eight assists. She has a team-best 46 draw controls and ranks fourth in the NCAA with 7.67 per game. Kiernan is also 16th in the NCAA in free-position goals per game (1.17) and is 54th in points per game (4.00).
Defensively, Paige Soenksen has been one of CU’s best players. She leads the NCAA with a .605 save percentage and is second in goals against average (5.81). As a team, CU has 36 caused turnovers this season. Sarah Brown has tallied 10 to lead the team, while Molly Rovzar and Marie Moore are second with four.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU ski team still in third, but closer to the top after three of four days
From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado freshman David Ketterer made history here Friday and in the process helped catapult the Buffaloes back into the hunt for the title as the third day of competition of the 64th annual Skiing Championships came to a close.
Defending national champion Denver became the third different leader in as many days, as he Pioneers have scored 419 points, with Utah, the top team at the midway point, now second (384½) while Colorado remained in third (377). The Buffaloes pulled 19½ points closer to the lead and trail by 42.
While a significant margin to make up, in 2013, CU trailed by 54 points heading into the final two events and would go on to win by 43, the largest comeback and reversal in NCAA history.
Ketterer became just the fifth skier in NCAA history to sweep the giant slalom and slalom titles in the same year, as he won the slalom in convincing fashion in a two-run time of 1:49.23. He merged the third fastest morning run and the second quickest in the afternoon to defeat Vermont’s St. Germain (1:49.63) by four-tenths of a second. The giant slalom debuted as an NCAA event in 1976, thus just the five double victories in 42 years of racing; the last sweep was nine years ago.
He also joined two other Buffaloes as the only two to win their first two NCAA races, though he is the first alpine skier to accomplish the rarity: Per Kare Jakobsen won a pair as a sophomore in 1988 (men’s cross country and relay) and Line Selnes swept her events in 1998 (women’s classic and freestyle). Ketterer is also just the eighth CU skier to have a pair of podium finishes (top three) in his first two NCAA races.
The Colorado men won the slalom with 80 points, besting Denver (71) and Utah (39) and in the process tightened up the standings after the midway point among the top three from 61½ points to 20½. But the DU women scored 83 points in their slalom, topping the Buffs (57) and Utah (44) and in the process wrestled the lead away but it’s much tighter heading into Saturday’s Nordic action.
“Well it is not done yet, but we definitely moved up,” head coach Richard Rokos said. “David did a great job and I think the whole team did. We didn’t have too much room for error and it was either we could go for it and kill it and take the chances that we would lose it all, or stay in the game and hope that even if there is a little slack that Nordic’s will be able to gap it tomorrow. So I think right now we are still in good position to look for a good day tomorrow.”
LINER NOTES: Ketterer finished his freshman year with seven victories; that ties for the fifth-most overall in school history for as single year, and tied the most by a male alpine skier (John Skajem won seven in 1986 and Toni Standteiner the same in 1991) … Ketterer’s two wins combined with Petra Hyncicova’s victory in the women’s 5K classic gives CU three individual champions this winter; that’s the 14th time Buffalo skiers have won three or more titles in the same championship, and the most since four captured titles in 2008 … In Thursday’s cross country action, Utah scored 165½ points, CU 149 and DU 132; the Colorado women scored the most points (94), the DU men the least (45). The monkey wrench is often the strong Northern Michigan team from the Central Region as its skiers usually infiltrate the top 10 and play a role in the scoring … Montana State was the first round leader (by 13 points over Utah) … The Buffs have had 10 All-American efforts here (six first-team, two second-team), upping the total under Rokos to 216 in 27 seasons (including 136 first-team, 38 of whom earned the nod in both their disciplines) … CU senior Mads Stroem is looking for his fourth individual NCAA title in Saturday’s freestyle race; he’s looking to tie four others in school history who have four: Bill Marolt, Mike Porcarelli and Buddy Werner (all skiing) and Jennifer Barringer (track) … Ketterer’s win was CU’s 93rd individual title, as the Buffs now lead DU (88) by five … Dating back to 1995, the school leading after six events has gone on to win 18 of the 21 titles.
NCAA Skiing Championship Team Scores (6 of 8 events)— 1. Denver 421; 2. Utah 386½; 3. Colorado 380; 4. Dartmouth 313; 5. Vermont 279; 6. Montana State 264; 7. New Mexico 155½. 8. Northern Michigan 120; 9. Alaska-Anchorage 110; 10. New Hampshire 108; 11. Middlebury 89; 12. Colby 86½; 13. Williams 62½; 14. St. Michael’s 56; 15. Plymouth State 49; 16. Alaska-Fairbanks 39; 17. Bates 29; 18. Colby-Sawyer 15; 19. St. Scholastica 12; 20. Michigan Tech 11; 21. Bowdoin 0.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU ski team moves up to third at midway point of NCAA ski championships
From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado ski team, buoyed by a strong performance from its women’s cross country performers that also produced an individual national champion, moved up two spots into third place here Thursday at the midway point of the 64th annual Skiing Championships.
Utah took over the team lead with 301.5 points, comfortably ahead – for now – of defending national champion Denver (265) and Colorado (240). Montana State is a distant fourth (177) with Dartmouth (170) rounding out the top five. The leader at the midway point has won 11 of the last 16 titles; this is just the second time the Utes have led after four events since their last title in 2002; the other was two years ago when the Buffs overtook them for the crown, though Utah held just a 4-point edge then.
The next event – the slalom – is considered “moving day” in the sport, whereas the events of the third day as in a golf tournament often dictate the final result. The most treacherous of the four disciplines here, the slalom often makes or breaks the leaderboard and is something in the past CU has been able to utilize to take over the lead heading into the final day, doing so in 1999, 2006 and 2015 on its way to the title.
Junior Petra Hyncicova claimed her first NCAA title in cruising to an easy win in the women’s 5-kilometer classical race. She was timed in 14:55.5 in her one loop around the track, besting Utah’s Merete Myrseth by almost 19 seconds in the event which featured an interval start. She was one of three Buffaloes in the top eight, as sophomore Christina Rolandsen claimed fourth in 15:23.5 and senior Jesse Knorri placing eighth in 15:42.9.
Friday’s slalom races will commence with the women’s first run at 7 a.m. MST, followed by the men’s first run at 8 a.m.; the second runs will follow at 10:30 a.m. for the women and 11:15 a.m. for the men. The Nordic freestyle races will finish off the NCAA meet on Saturday; the men are first with their 20-kilometer run at 8 a.m., with the women’s 15k to follow at 10 a.m.
LINER NOTES: Colorado skiers are seeded fairly high in the slalom; Ketterer is first, with Max Luukko sixth and Ola Johansen seventh; on the women’s side, Nora Christensen is seventh and Tonje Trulsrud 10th … Ketterer can make some history with a top finish in the slalom Friday: seven skiers in CU history have earned podium (top three) finishes in their first career NCAA races (four alpine, three Nordic), with two winning the titles (Per Kare Jakobsen in 1988 and Line Selnes in 1998, both in Nordic) … Stroem is looking for his fourth individual NCAA title in Saturday’s freestyle race; he’s looking to tie four others in school history who have four: Bill Marolt, Mike Porcarelli and Biddy Werner (all skiing) and Jennifer Barringer (track) … Denver was the next best in the women’s 5k, placing its three performers in the top 19; Utah had the second-most points behind CU’s 94 with 76 thanks to having the second and fifth finishers, but it’s third skier was 21st.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU skiers falter (literally) in first day at NCAA championships
From CUBuffs.com … Usually the slalom has wreaked havoc at virtually every one of the first 63 NCAA Skiing Championships, but in this 64th edition that kicked off Wednesday, a dozen skiers fell victim and posted DNF’s (did not finish) in the less risker giant slalom.
Unfortunately, two of those DNFs were posted by University of Colorado skiers, the reason the Buffaloes sit in fifth place through two of the eight events to be held here. For the second straight year, Montana State owns the first day lead with 149 points, followed by Utah (136), defending champion Denver (133), Dartmouth ( 107) and then the Buffs (92).
Colorado did have some good news Wednesday, as freshman sensation David Ketterer claimed the men’s giant slalom title, the first Buff to win in five years and the 10th overall to be an NCAA champion in the event. He also became the ninth Buffalo to earn a title in his first-ever NCAA Championship race (the sixth in an Alpine race, all giant slaloms). Adam Zika was the last to do both in the 2012 event when he opened with a GS victory. It also was CU’s NCAA-best 91st individual title.
The NCAA Championships continue on Thursday when the Nordic teams race for the first time with the running of the women’s and men’s 5/10K classic events. The women race at 8 a.m. MST, with the men’s start set for 9:30 a.m.
LINER NOTES: Another big surprise is Vermont in seventh place, as the dominant eastern power has just 49 points, as the Catamounts had just one finisher in the top 20 while enduring one DNF and a disqualification … Montana State led by 10 points after the GS a year ago (13 this year), and actually extended their lead to 19 points at the halfway mark before Denver used a strong slalom to move into the lead … The host school last won in 2006 (CU at Steamboat Springs); the University of New Hampshire is this year’s host but is anchored in 11th place after scoring just 36 points in the slalom.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU ski team looking for national championship No. 21 this week; fourth consecutive back east
… Related … NCAA championship notes for CU ski team … From CUBuffs.com
From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado ski program is set to compete in the 64th NCAA Ski Championships, which open Wednesday, March 8 in Franconia, N.H. at Cannon Mountain with the running of the giant slalom events.
The Buffaloes arrived in New Hampshire on Saturday and will have three days of training on site before the racing begins Wednesday.
For the Buffaloes, there is only one goal, and that is to bring home a 21st national championship.
“Winner takes it all, and that’s why we are going there,” head coach Richard Rokos said. “Our goal never changes, regardless of the makeup of the team, experienced or not at NCAA’s. The only way to justify the effort, sacrifices and injuries is to have the ultimate goal on your mind all the time. And that goal without question is to win the NCAA title.”
The Buffs are an experienced unit this year, as nine of the 12 members competing this week have skied in the NCAA Championships before.
CU has been led this season by the men’s alpine and women’s Nordic teams, which both scored the most points of any squads in the west region. Colorado also has the top individual seed on the men’s alpine side with freshman David Ketterer and for women’s Nordic with junior Petra Hyncicova.
Senior Mads Stroem will no doubt anchor the Buffs, as this will be his fourth NCAA Championship. The six-time All-American has won three Nordic NCAA individual titles and can tie the program record for the most in a career with one more victory this week.
The Buffaloes are looking to win a fourth consecutive title back east. CU won the national championship in 2011, 2013 and 2015 when NCAA’s were hosted back east. Overall in program history, of CU’s 20 ski titles, 10 have been won in the west (last in 2006 at Steamboat Springs) and 10 in the east.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
CU Lacrosse into top ten in all three national polls … No. 5 Penn State up next
From CUBuffs.com … In a season of firsts, Colorado has another to add to the list as the Buffaloes are now ranked in the top-10 of all three women’s lacrosse polls.
The Buffs moved up from 13th to 10th in this week’s IWLCA Coaches Poll, marking the first time CU has been ranked in the top-10 in that poll. Colorado also moved up one spot in the Nike/US Lacrosse Magazine Poll from 10th to ninth. There was no moment for the Buffs in the Cascade/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll as they stayed at ninth for the third straight week.
Maryland (4-0) remained in the top spot, while North Carolina (5-1) stayed at second in all three polls.
The Buffs went 2-0 last weekend, which included their third win over a ranked team this season. CU recorded an impressive 14-3 win over the then-No. 14 Denver Pioneers on March 3 and on March 5, the Buffs earned a 20-6 victory against Marquette, holding both teams to a season-low in goals scored.
The Buffs are now 6-0 to start the season, which is a school record. They will face one of their toughest tests this season on Sunday, March 12, as they travel to State College, Pa., to face Penn State, which is ranked fifth in the media poll and sixth in the other two polls.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
No. 13 CU lacrosse 6-0 after 20-6 win over Marquette
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado extended its record setting season start to 6-0 after a commanding 20-6 win against Marquette on Sunday afternoon at Kittredge Field.
CU’s offense was on fire with seniors Cali Castagnola and Johnna Fusco each recording four goals, which was more than the Golden Eagles totaled as a team.
WHAT HAPPENED: The Buffs, who are ranked 13th in the IWLCA Coaches Poll and ninth in the media poll, did not waste time at the start of the game. Sophomore Miranda Stinson scored the first of seven straight CU goals with 26:38 remaining in the first half.
Colorado scored its first four goals within 90 seconds of each other, which forced Marquette (2-4) to take a timeout with 25:18 left in the first. The Buffs kept finding the back of the net and tallied three more before the Golden Eagles recorded their first of the day with 14:15 remaining in the first half.
The Buffs led 12-3 at the half. MU tallied the first goal in the second half (28:15) to cut CU’s lead to eight, but Fusco recorded a pair of goals to put CU up by 10 (14-4).
The Golden Eagles were unable to stop CU’s offense and the Buffs stampeded to a commanding win, posting 20 goals for the second time this season.
UP NEXT: The Buffs will face No. 6 Penn State (6-0) at State College, Penn. next Sunday, March 12. Opening draw is set for 10 a.m. MT.
No. 13 CU lacrosse dominates No. 14 Denver University
From CUBuffs.com … Colorado remained undefeated as the Buffaloes handed No. 14 Denver its first loss of the season on Friday afternoon at Kittredge Field.
The Buffs, who are ranked 13th in the IWLCA Coaches Poll and ninth in the Cascade/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, improved to 5-0 for the first time in school history, while DU fell to 5-1.
WHAT HAPPENED: Colorado scored the first two goals of the game, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first three minutes. Senior Katie Macleay tallied the first goal of the game off a pass by senior Marie Moore at 28:36 and just over a minute later (27:47), senior Johnna Fusco earned her first of a game-high five goals.
Denver answered with 22:51 left in the first half, but CU responded at 22:04, recording the first of 10 straight goals to put the game out of reach for the Pioneers.
Fusco, Macleay and junior Darby Kiernan each recorded a hat-trick in the first half as the Buffs had a 10-1 at the half. CU opened the scoring in the second half quickly as Fusco tallied her fourth goal of the game just 12 seconds into the half. The goal put the Buffs up by 10, which caused the clock to run for the remainder of the game as DU was not able to cut the lead under 10.
UP NEXT: Colorado will host Marquette (2-3) on Sunday, March 5. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m. at Kittredge Field.
… Citius, Altius, Fortius …
U.S. Olympic Committee to honor the Pac-12 Conference at men’s basketball tournament
From CUBuffs.com … The United States Olympic Committee today announced plans to honor the Pac-12 Conference and its member institutions during the 2017 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas. The special event – set for Friday, March 10 – will recognize Pac-12 institutions’ long-standing commitment to Olympic sport programs and honor the success of its athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The conference tribute is the first of its kind and part of a key organizational initiative to enhance broad-based Olympic sport programs at the collegiate level.
“Collegiate athletics are critical to Team USA’s success and nowhere was that more evident than in Rio, where nearly 80 percent of U.S. athletes – and an even higher percentage of American medalists – had collegiate ties,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “The Pac-12 was the most represented and decorated conference for Team USA, which is a testament to the extensive sport offerings and strength of Olympic programs at the university level.”
“Pac-12 universities have a proud legacy of success at the collegiate and Olympic level,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Olympic-level athletes come to our schools to receive outstanding educations while competing at the highest level of college athletics, and we are excited to join the USOC in celebrating the myriad opportunities Pac-12 schools provide Olympic sport athletes.”
As part of the celebration, an Olympian from each Pac-12 university will be in attendance to highlight the importance of collegiate sport opportunities. Representing eight sports and spanning nearly five decades of Olympic experience, the 12 athlete representatives own a combined 24 Olympic medals and 38 NCAA titles:
- University of Arizona: Leah O’Brien-Amico, softball (1996, 2000, 2004)
- Arizona State University: Townsend Saunders, wrestling (1996)
- University of California, Berkley: Dana Vollmer, swimming (2004, 2012, 2016)
- University of Colorado: Jenny Simpson, track and field (2008, 2012, 2016)
- University of Oregon: Devon Allen, track and field (2016)
- Oregon State University: Dick Fosbury, track and field (1968)
- Stanford University: Kerri Walsh Jennings, beach volleyball (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)
- University of California, Los Angeles: Samantha Peszek, gymnastics (2008)
- University of Southern California: Bryshon Nellum, track and field (2012)
- University of Utah: Torin Koos, cross-country skiing (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)
- University of Washington: Mary Whipple, rowing (2004, 2008, 2012)
- Washington State University: Bernard Lagat, track and field (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)