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Colorado relishes true team victory

2015 National Collegiate Skiing

For the first time since 2007, the University of Colorado finished the NCAA Skiing Championships without an individual champion. However, that didn’t stop the Buffaloes from producing a supreme group effort as the team captured its 20th national championship overall and eighth NCAA title since the sport went coed in 1983.

The Buffaloes’ slalom performance was integral to the win. All seven skiers who tackled the course made it through unscathed, helping accumulate 505 team points to surpass defending champion University of Denver by 27.

“It’s absolutely great,” said Richard Rokos, who won his eighth NCAA team championship in 25 years as Colorado’s head coach. “It’s always a great feeling and this one was even more because it was very dramatic until the very end. There was no room for error. … They made 12 mistake-free runs. That’s so unique in slalom; it’s almost unprecedented.”

Colorado remains the all-time leader with 88 individual NCAA titles. Their top finishers this year were Thea Grosvold (sixth), Jessica Honkonen (seventh) and Brooke Wales Granstrom (15th) in the women’s slalom. In the men’s slalom, the Buffaloes were led by Henrik Gunnarsson (12th), Adam Zika (13th) and Kasper Hietanen (19th).

“There’s nothing better than a team victory,” Wales Granstrom said.