March 11 2010, 10:10 AM
University of Denver skiers are already claiming victories, as the school attempts to capture its third consecutive overall NCAA skiing championship. The event, which started yesterday, couldn't have gone any better for Leif Kristian Haugen, who won the men's giant slalom with a two-run combined time of 1:48.84, reports the Steamboat Today. Lindsay Cone placed second in the women's giant slalom, and the University of Colorado's Katie Hartman took third. Two other DU men made the top 10, with A.J. Avrin placing fifth and Andreas Kilde coming in eighth. Gabriel Rivas was CU's highest-placing man in the event with a 16th-place finish. On the women's side, Colorado was represented well in the top 10 of the giant slalom standings, with DU's Ida Dillingoen and Jennie VanWagner placing fifth and ninth, respectively, and CU's Erika Ghent coming in 12th. CU has a lot of motivation to do well overall in the championships, after one of their most famous skiing alums passed away February 8. Jimmy Heuga---best known as one of the first two American men to win an Olympic medal in Nordic racing---died after a 40-year battle with multiple sclerosis. Heuga's historic medaling partner, Billy Kidd, will be rooting for CU, notes The Denver Post. DU has finished one place better than CU over the last two years, so the competition is hot. Meanwhile, Olympic gold medalist and Vail resident Lindsey Vonn is on track toward her third-straight overall World Cup title after she finished second to Germany's Maria Riesch in the season's last downhill event yesterday in Germany (via The Associated Press).