(Editor’s note: Montana State athletics release)
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – The Montana State Nordic ski team found what it was looking for on Sunday afternoon at the Colorado Invitational. Looking for redemption from its freestyle performance on Saturday, the Bobcats had three skiers post top 10 finishes in the mass start classic.
The Montana State men were paced by a pair of freshmen as Ti Donaldson and Ty Godfrey finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Donaldson, a product of Fairbanks, Alaska, covered the 10-kilometer course in 29:11.7, while Godfrey, a native of Canmore, Alberta, finished in 29:16.2.
Senior Karsten Hokanson completed MSU’s scoring placing 11th in a clocking of 29:42.1. Sophomore Eli Jensen finished 15th in 30:22.5.
“Today was really representative of what we are able to accomplish as a team on any given day,” said MSU Nordic head coach Matthew Johnson. “We were hoping for some redemption from freestyle and got it early with a really strong showing from the guys.
“It was an exciting mass start with three Bobcats in the top 10 from the beginning,” Johnson commented. “After a big move by Ty Godfrey, he and Ti Donaldson were able to break away from the pack they were skiing with to finish sixth and seventh.”
Sigurd Roenning of Alaska Anchorage won the men’s classic in 29:00.0.
The Bobcat women were paced by Kathleen O’Connell, who covered the 10K course in 34:37.0 for her first top 10 performance of the season. Also registering points for MSU were Emma Tarbath, 11th, 34:41.7, and Jordi Floyd, 22nd, 36:39.2. Kelly Koch finished 27th overall in 38:49.5.
“On the women’s side, Kat O’Connell stepped-up and found her true form for the first time this season, Johnson said.
Utah’s Guro Jordheim won the women’s classic title in 33:36.1.
With one event remaining in the Colorado Invitational, Utah sits atop the team standings with 602 points, followed by Denver 517, Colorado 457.5, UAA 432, MSU 421, New Mexico 358.5, Alaska Fairbanks 200, Westminster 138, Wyoming 105, and Colorado Mountain 38.
The final event, the men’s slalom, was postponed on Friday due to poor racing conditions. It will be made up on Saturday afternoon during the MSU Invitational at Bridger Bowl.
Montana State will host the second NCAA Qualifier in giant slalom on Wednesday, before hosting the MSU Invitational beginning on Thursday with giant slalom. Nordic races will be held at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center beginning on Friday.
“Going into the MSU invite next weekend, we are expecting more groups of Bobcats to work together to ski into the top 10,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we’ll see our first podium finishes of the season.”