STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) — The University of Denver extended its lead over the University of Colorado on Saturday and won its 24th national championship in men’s and women’s skiing.

DU led CU by 26 points heading into the fourth and final day of the 2018 NCAA Skiing Championships, and pulled away with third place finishes from Eivind Kvaale in the Men’s Nordic 20K and Linn Eriksen in the Women’s Nordic 15K.

 DU Skiers Win National Title; CU Runner Up

Eivind Kvaale of the University of Denver leads the field during the final men’s event Saturday in the 65th NCAA National Championships in Steamboat Springs. (credit: denverpioneer.com)

CU’s Alvar Alev placed second in the men’s race.

 DU Skiers Win National Title; CU Runner Up

Linn Eriksen of the University of Denver skis toward a third-place finish in the women’s nordic race Saturday in Steamboat Springs. (credit: denverpioneers.com)

The Pioneers have claimed three of the last five national championships.

“It feels incredible,” said DU head coach Andy LeRoy. “I am so happy for all of our athletes. They’ve been training all week and all season and to do it in Steamboat, in front of our crowd, is special.”

 DU Skiers Win National Title; CU Runner Up

University of Denver skier Linn Eriksen talks with an unidentified University of Colorado competitor Saturday at the end of the women’s 15-kilometer nordic race. (credit: denverpioneer.com)

The Buffaloes, last victorious in 2015, have now finished runner-up eight times under head coach Richard Rokos. That matches the eight titles his teams have won in his 28 years at the helm.

“It’s honorable, but someone scored a little more,” Rokos said.  “DU, they deserve it. They definitely have the strongest team, very well balanced.  Not to diminish out effort, we were there, we have a good team and did pretty much even in all disciplines, but not as much as DU.”

 DU Skiers Win National Title; CU Runner Up

(credit: denverpioneer.com)

The student-athletes and workers involved enjoyed a complementary barbecue during the awards ceremony.

The historic Howelsen Hill Ski Area, which has operated since 1915, hosted the event. It closes for the season at the end of Sunday.

 

 

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