Olympic Sports 

March 9th 


The Colorado ski team pulled off the near impossible Saturday, coming from 51 points down on the final day to secure CU’s 21st national championship (and 30th overall).

Note … I have to admit, I gave up on the Buffs after Friday’s races. The margin appeared to be too great, and the Nordic events (cross-country) are not one prone to dramatic score swings (as can be the case with the Alpine events, where one of your three skiers can be the best in the nation, but catch a gate and not post a time). 

Press release from CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s Magnus Boee won the individual national championship in the 20K classic race Saturday and all six Buffaloes finished in the top 11, fueling a comeback for the ages and giving CU its 21st National Championship in skiing.  The Buffs came back from a 51-point deficit for the title, the program’s first championship in nine years, and successfully pulled off the second-largest final-day comeback in NCAA Ski history.

Down to the four-time defending champion Utah Utes entering the day, the CU women took to the course first and were motivated by a subpar day on Thursday and after Hanna Abrahamsson finished fourth, Anna-Maria Dietze fifth and Weronika Kaleta ninth, CU cut that 51 point lead down to 17 after a few unfortunate circumstances from the Utes.

That set up a battle of the two best men’s Nordic team’s in the nation, and they didn’t disappoint.  Boee won his third individual NCAA Championship, joining an elite list in CU history, and Will Koch took third and Johannes Flaaten 11th while Utah went sixth, seventh, and eighth, and when the math was calculated, CU outscored Utah 94-75 to win the meet with 569.5 points to 567.5.

More recap to come, NCAA Championship Notes from CU Historian David Plati below. 

IN-THE-END: Here is how the 2024 championship broke down; the Buffaloes were first overall in women’s team scoring, Nordic scoring, women’s alpine scoring and Nordic men’s scoring and were second in overall men’s scoring and third in alpine scoring:

MEN’S TEAM SCORING: Utah 317, Colorado 294, Denver 255, Dartmouth 198, Montana State 144, Vermont 115, New Hampshire 107.
WOMEN’S TEAM SCORING: Colorado 275½; Utah 250½, Denver 236, Dartmouth 201, Montana State 185, Vermont 185, Alaska-Anchorage 172.
ALPINE POINT LEADERS: Utah 286½, Denver 283, Colorado 274½, Alaska-Anchorage 172, Vermont 153, Montana State 146, Dartmouth
141, Westminster 136.  Men’s Leader: Utah 154 (2nd—Denver 140).  Women’s Leader: Colorado 170½ (2nd—Denver 143).
NORDIC POINT LEADERS: Colorado 295, Utah 281, Dartmouth 258, Denver 208, Montana State 183, Alaska-Fairbanks 175, Vermont 147.
Men’s Leader: Colorado 177 (2nd—Utah 165). Women’s Leader: Dartmouth 141 (2nd—Vermont 123)

CRACKING THE TOP: NCAA West schools have won 27 of the last 29 championships, as the skiing elite fraternity remains hard to crack; only seven different schools have claimed the title since the sport went coed in 1983: Utah (14 titles), Denver (10), Colorado (9), Vermont (5), Dartmouth (1), New Mexico (1) and Wyoming (1).  But since the ’67 title meet, Colorado (29 first or second place finishes: 18 wins, 11 runner-ups), Utah (28; 15, 13), Vermont (23; 6, 18) and Denver (20; 14, 6) have dominated college skiing over these 57 seasons.  Only three other schools, Wyoming (two wins and four seconds), Dartmouth (two wins, two seconds) and New Mexico (one title and two seconds) have been able to crack the top two in this span (notes: adds to 58 titles and 56 runner-up finishes since CU and Dartmouth shared ’76 crown; no 2020 championship due to COVID-19 pandemic).

CU ALL-TIME: The Buffaloes have won 21 national championships in skiing: 11 men’s (1959-60-72-73-74-75-76-77-78-79-82), eight coed (1991-95-98-99-2006-11-13-15-24) and one woman’s (1982, AIAW).  The 20 NCAA titles by Colorado remain the second-most, behind the University of Denver’s 24; after DU and CU (43 combined in NCAA competition), Utah has won 15, Vermont 6, Dartmouth 3, Wyoming 2 and New Mexico 1.

INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS: The Buffs had four individual champions this year (Magdalena Luczak in the GS and slalom, Magnus Boee in the classical, Filip Wahlqvist in the slalom), as the eight individual champions came from just three different schools: Colorado 4, Dartmouth 2 and Utah 2.  Colorado leads all-time with 105 individual NCAA titles, topping Denver (96), Utah (86), Vermont (71), Dartmouth (44), Wyoming (19), New Mexico (18) and Middlebury (11).  The Buffs have had two or more individual champions 34 times (three or more 16 times), and now have had six occasions when CU skiers topped the podium four times, prior to this year: 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, current CU head coach Jana Rehemaa (classical, freestyle), Kit Richmond (freestyle) and Lucie Zikova (downhill); in 2008, Maria Grevsgaard (freestyle, classical) and Lucie Zikova (giant slalom, slalom) and in 2017, Petra Hyncicova (freestyle, classical) and David Ketterer (giant slalom, slalom).  CU has had at least one individual NCAA champion in 33 of the last 42 years (note: the 2020 championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
•    Luczak, with her 2022 GS win previously, and Boee, with a sweep of the Nordic titles in 2021, become the 12th and 13th CU athletes to win at least three NCAA individual titles (seven skiers, six in cross country and track).

HEAD COACH JANA WEINBERGER: Weinberger wrapped up her second season as head coach/director of skiing for the Buffaloes, having guided CU to a second place finish in 2023 after taking over the program on an interim basis just two months earlier in January; she was named to the position full-time last May.  Her teams have won four events, including this year’s NCAA and RMISA Championships, with two runner-up finishes and three third-place efforts.  Five individuals under her guidance have won NCAA individual crowns, with 19 skiers earning a combined 28 All-America honors (14 first-team).
•    Under her maiden name, Jana Rehemaa, she was a two-time NCAA individual champion skier at CU (2003-06).  She was the assistant Nordic coach for 11 years before being named head Nordic coach in 2019, the same year she was inducted into CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
•    Tim Hinderman (1979, men) and Richard Rokos (’91, coed) won NCAA titles in their first years as head coaches, with Weinberger now doing so in her second.  She joins Hinderman as head coaches who also won NCAA titles as a CU student-athlete, and is the first female head coach to win an NCAA title at Colorado as well as in the sport of skiing.

ALL-AMERICANS: Ten of the 12 Buffaloes here earned a combined 15 All-America honors in the meet, seven netting first-team status: Magdalena Luczak (giant slalom and slalom), Hanna Abrahamsson (classical), Magnus Boee (classical), Anna-Marie Dietze (classical), Denise Dingsleder (giant slalom), Will Koch (freestyle) and Filip Wahlqvist (giant slalom).  Three others earned second-team nods: Johannes Flaaten (freestyle), Weronika Kaleta (classical) and Ryder Sarchett (slalom), while Boee (freestyle), Dietze (freestyle), Koch (classical) and Wahlqvist (giant slalom) also earning second-team honors in their other disciplines.  Top five finishes earn skiers the first-team accolade, while finishing sixth through 10th nets a second-team honor.  Overall, Colorado now has 562 All-America honors in its history (317 men, 245 women), 323 first-team accolades (181 men, 142 women).

LEARFIELD DIRECTORS’ CUP: Colorado picked up 100 points in the Learfield Director’s Cup Standings, jumping from 46th place into a tie for 17th with 224 total points; skiing as always is the first NCAA winter championship completed (indoor track finishes up Saturday night).  Utah moved from 77th to 29th (178), giving the Pac-12 seven schools in the top 30.  North Carolina led the final fall standings with 372.5 points, just ahead of Stanford (371); Texas (344), Notre Dame (343) and Tennessee (292.5) round out the top five.

LOOKING AHEAD: Seven of the 12 student-athletes who competed for the Buffaloes in the 2024 championships are scheduled to return for the 2025 season; the only exceptions being two five-time letterwinners Magnus Boee and Anna-Maria Dietze (Nordic), Weronika Kaleta (Nordic) and both Denise Dingsleder and Julia Toiviainen (alpine) who lettered as graduate transfers from Westminster in their one season at CU.  Four of the 12 who skied for CU here were freshmen.

FUTURE SITES: The 2025 meet will return to the east with Dartmouth College set to host for the first time since 2003; Montana State will host the 2026 event.

From Brian Howell at the Daily Camera …

… It’s official that Colorado has won its 21st national title in skiing. Colorado 569.5 points, Utah 567.5 points. It’s the smallest margin of victory since CU’s 2.5-point win in 1998. #cubuffs also had the 2nd-best final day comeback in NCAA history.

… Colorado’s Jana Weinberger led CU to the skiing national title in her first season as the full-time head coach. She becomes the 2nd person in CU athletics history to win team national titles as an athlete and as head coach with the #cubuffs (Tim Hinderman, skiing).





4 Replies to “Olympic Sports”

  1. Having a Utah grad as a co-worker makes this one of the better days that I have had in a long time! Congrats to the ski team returning back on top where Colorado belongs!

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