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Utah leads after day one of NCAA Skiing Championships

 Utah Ski Team
Utah Ski Team

The University of Utah ski team is seeking its third NCAA title in the last four seasons.

After Wednesday’s racing was derailed by several inches of fresh snow at Park City Mountain Resort, competition kicked off on Thursday under bluebird skies.

Alpine racing at Park City Mountain Resort got underway at 9:30 with men’s and women’s giant slalom. The race was held on the same slope as the 2002 Olympic giant slalom and provided a formidable challenge for the racers.

The University of Colorado took gold in both alpine races with Magdalena Luczak winning the women’s race and Filip Forejtek taking the top spot for the men.

Luczak was joined on the podium by the University of Denver’s Katie Hensien and Utah’s Kathryn Parker. Hensien grew up training in Park City as a member of the Rowmark ski team.

Forejtek was flanked by Utah’s Gustav Voello in second and Montana State’s Riley Seger in third.

Forejtek is a senior from the Czech Republic said postponing Wednesday’s race was the right call with how much snow had fallen.

“I think it helped all of us," he said. "We got one extra day of rest, we could do our gym workout, and get ready for this race. I’m sure it was a good decision because the snow today was perfect.” 

Cross-country racing also took place at Soldier Hollow with the men’s and women’s classic races.

Utah saw two athletes climb the podium with Novie McCabe winning the women’s race and Sophia Laukli finishing just behind in third. Vermont’s Anna Bizyukova finished in second place.

In the men’s 10k, Vermont’s Ben Ogden took the victory ahead of Denver’s Andreas Kirkeng in second and Colorado’s Magnus Boee in third. Ogden also represented Team USA at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

The top Utah athlete in men’s cross-country was Luke Jager in 12th.

Utah currently holds a 24.5 point lead over Colorado in the team standings at the competition’s half-way point, but with two days of racing left and the top four schools separated by only 51 points, it’s still anyone’s game.

Racing continues on Friday with men’s and women’s slalom at Park City Mountain Resort.