Utes in third after Day 1 at NCAA Championships; Utah’s Madison Hoffman wins GS title
Colorado leads the competition near Lake Placid, New York, while Denver is in second place
It is difficult to break records or do something historic for the University of Utah skiing team, given the program’s excellence the past 50 years, but Madison Hoffman did just that Wednesday as the NCAA Championships began at Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, New York.
“It felt pretty special grabbing my first college GS win today, especially with it being the championship. The snow was firm and the course was fun. I definitely was nervous, but glad I could keep it together for second run after giving myself the lead.” — Utah giant slalom skier Madison Hoffman
In her first start in an NCAA championship event, Hoffman won the women’s giant slalom title, becoming the first woman to win the event for the Utes since 2010.
Defending champion Utah finished the first day in third place in the team standings with 115 points. Colorado (139.5) leads the competition, followed by Denver (117.5).
Thursday’s competition in the championships will be at Mount Van Hoevenberg as the men’s and women’s 10K freestyle races begin at 8 a.m. MST.
According to a Utah news release, Hoffman’s individual championship was the 14th women’s giant slalom individual title all time at Utah, and first in either gender since Endre Bjertness won the men’s giant slalom in 2016. It is the 81st individual NCAA title won by a Utah skier in program history.
Also Wednesday, Utah’s Katie Parker was 10th in the women’s giant slalom to earn second-team All-America honors.
In the men’s giant slalom, Utah’s Gustav Vollo placed seventh, good enough to earn second-team All-America honors. It is the fourth All-America citation in his career at Utah.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position with Nordic and slalom coming up,” said head alpine coach JJ Johnson in a school news release. “We could’ve put a lot of points up if the guys had a couple more, but we also didn’t ski ourselves out of it, so we’re right where we need to be.
“In the big picture, it was good. Madi found a nice spot on her skis and a lot of confidence. She’s doing a great job. For Katie to get All-American was sweet. It was some of the best GS from Michelle, especially with GS not being her No. 1 event. She skied great.”
Michelle Kerven was 19th for the Utes in the giant slalom, while Wilhelm Normannseth finished 21st on the men’s side; Bjorn Brudevoll was 24th.
“It felt pretty special grabbing my first college GS win today, especially with it being the championship,” Hoffman said. “The snow was firm and the course was fun. I definitely was nervous, but glad I could keep it together for second run after giving myself the lead.”