Utah wins 4th straight NCAA skiing championship, Utes’ Novie McCabe sweeps Nordic races
Utah’s Novie McCabe completes sweep of the women’s Nordic events in her final competition as a Ute
At home or thousands of miles away on the East Coast, the University of Utah ski team is still the class of the country.
The Utes claimed their fourth straight national title at the NCAA Skiing Championships on Saturday in Lake Placid, New York, racing past runner-up Colorado for their fifth win in the last six championships. The Utes collected 526 team points, while the Buffs had 491.5 and third-place Denver had 416.5.
“It’s an incredible feeling to pull this one off. It was probably the hardest one in my five years at Utah. Colorado came out and they really performed at a higher level than they have all winter, and it ended up coming down to the wire. I’m very proud of our whole team.” — Utah coach Fredrik Landstedt.
“It’s an incredible feeling to pull this one off,” said Utah Director of Skiing Fredrik Landstedt in a school news release. “It was probably the hardest one in my five years at Utah. Colorado came out and they really performed at a higher level than they have all winter, and it ended up coming down to the wire. I’m very proud of our whole team.”
Utah has now won 16 national skiing championships, including 15 at the NCAA level.
Also Saturday, Utah’s Novie McCabe, an Olympian from Winthrop, Wash., completed a sweep of the Nordic races by adding the women’s 20K Classic to the 5K win she had Thursday. Her time was 1 hour, 4.3 seconds.
Utah’s Sophia Laukli placed third in the women’s 20K, while teammate Sydney Palmer-Leger was fifth. That contributed 103 points to Utah’s team total, which was the most by any one team in any race in the 2023 championships.
In the men’s 20K Classic, which was also contested Saturday, Utah’s Samuel Hendry was fourth, while Utah’s Luke Jager was 11th and Walker Hall was 17th. The 65 points the Utah Nordic men contributed to the team total sealed the win for the Utes.
Utah became the first school to win four straight NCAA Skiing Championships since the 1983 championships.
“It was a really good day out there today,” McCabe said. “It was fun to ski with both of my teammates for pretty much the whole race. I think we really wanted to really try to work together coming into this and get some good points for the team. I’m really happy with today and proud of how everyone performed.”
Landstedt said the Utah Nordic women are in a “different class” than everybody else.
“For all three of them to be up there the entire race, especially with Sydney and Sophia coming straight from Europe and definitely being a little tired coming back from the World Championships is just awesome,” he said. “This was a really tough race, and a tough course with the conditions, so they had to fight it out and it took everything they had to be able to stay up there and finish that well. With long hills and tough conditions it was a tough course to ski.”
It was the fourth NCAA Championship for Landstedt since he has been at Utah, and sixth overall in college skiing.
It is the 30th team national championship in Utah athletics history.