Utah won its 11th NCAA crown and its 12th national title all-time by overcoming a 34.5-point deficit the final day of the 2017 NCAA Skiing Championships. The Utes finished with 541.5 points, racing past Denver (525) and Colorado (524).
The Utes' Nordic teams put them over the top. Martin Bergström won his second NCAA title of the meet on the final day in the 20-km freestyle, leading the Ute men to a race-high 84 points. Martin Mikkelson and Kevin Bolger came in eighth and 10th, respectively. Bergström, who was named the 2017 RMISA Athlete of the Year, also won the 10-km classic two days earlier with Mikkelson taking the bronze.
In the women's 15-km freestyle race, Utah was the only team with all three racers in the top 14. Leading the way were Merete Myrseth, who crossed the finish line fifth, and Guro Jordheim, who was sixth. Both skiers claimed two All-America citations at championships as Myrseth won the silver and Jordheim came in fifth in the women's 5-km classic race.
In the alpine events, Roni Remme earned All-America status twice by placing third in the women's giant slalom and eighth in the slalom. Chole Fausa finished eighth in the GS to become a four-time All-American in the event.
Sam Dupratt was the runner-up in the men's GS while Joergen Brath placed eighth for his second career All-America honor. Endre Bjertness was an All-American in the slalom by coming in fifth.
The Ute ski program experienced a banner year in all facets under Kevin Sweeney in 2017. Utah claimed its 11th NCAA title and its 12th national championship all-time in March, then held the grand opening for its state-of-the-art Spence Eccles Ski Team Building in April.
Utah has claimed two NCAA titles in 13 seasons under Sweeney's direction, the first coming in 2003. The Utes have also finished second at the NCAA meet four times under his leadership. Utah athletes have won 19 national titles and 62 have earned All-America honors under Sweeney's guidance.
Utah won the NCAA West Regional/RMISA Championship in 2012, '14, '16 and '17, and finished as the runner-up in 2011, '13 and '15. The Utes were awarded the RMISA regular-season title in 2011, '12 and '16.
Sweeney has completed seven seasons in his second stint leading the program. His first stretch as the Director of Skiing ran from 2000-05. Sweeney first became an assistant coach with the Utah ski program in 1991 and served in that role before being elevated to Director of Skiing in 2000. Sweeney served as the National Director of Competition for Swix Sport USA from 2005 until returning to the U. in 2010.
Sweeney skied collegiately at New Hampshire and represented the U.S. Ski Team in World Cup competition at Mountain Dell, Utah, and Biwabik, Minn. He graduated from UNH cum laude in 1985. Sweeney is married to Barbro Hatlevik and they have two daughters, Selma Simone and Leona Lee.
Jaka Korencan has spent 12 seasons as the head alpine coach at Utah. He is in his 17th year overall with the Utes after beginning as an assistant in 2001. His athletes have won 10 individual NCAA titles and 32 skiers have earned All-America honors. Most recently, Julie Mohagen won the women's slalom and Endre Bjertness claimed the men's giant slalom in 2016.
Korencan was the RMISA's Alpine Coach of the Year in 2012. He helped lead Utah to the 2003 NCAA title. A native of Slovenia, Korencan earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Utah in 2004, and in 2007 he completed a master's degree in sport psychology.
In seven seasons at Utah, Abi Holt has coached 18 athletes to All-America honors. Four skiers have combined for seven national titles under her direction: Miles Havlick (2012 20-km classical and 2013 20-km freestyle), Maria Graefnings (2011 and 2012 5-km freestyle), Veronika Mayerhofer (2015 5-km freestyle), Martin Bergström (2017 10-km classic and 20-km freestyle). Holt was honored as the 2017 RMISA Nordic Coach of the Year.
Holt previously coached at the Hollyburn Ski Club in Vancouver, B.C., and spent five years as the Assistant Nordic Program Director and Ski Coach at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. She coached four winters in Europe with the U.S. Ski Team.
Holt was a three-time national junior champion for the Sun Valley Nordic ski team. She was on the U.S. National Junior Development ski team for five years and spent four years racing at Dartmouth, earning All-America honors in addition to being a two-time team captain.
Former Utah All-American Jeremy Elliot has spent two seasons as assistant alpine coach at his alma mater. He helped coach Julie Mohagen (women's slalom) and Endre Bjertness (men's giant slalom) to NCAA titles in 2016. Four others have earned All-America honors.
Elliot skied two years at Utah (2011, '13) and earned All-America honors in the giant slalom with a second-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships. After overcoming three injuries during his college career, Elliot earned Utah's David Allen Novelle Outstanding Skier Award as a senior.
Elliot raced on the Nor-Am Cup series in 2014 for Team Geronimo. He spent 2015 as an assistant coach at Westminster College. Elliot graduated from Utah in 2014 with a degree in communication.
|1979||Svein Arne Osen|
|John Aalberg||1992, '94|
|Luke Bodensteiner||1992, '94|
|Jon Steven Engen||1988, '92, '94|
|Peter Karns||1972, '76 (Coach)|
|Torin Koos||2002, '06, '10, '14|
|Margo Walters McDonald||1964|
|Marvin Melville||1956, '60, '64 (Asst. Coach)|
|Marcus Nash||1994, '98|
|William Allen Spencer||1964, '68; '72 and '84 (Team Leader)|
|Kip G. Sundgaard||1976|
|Sandra Van Ert||1998, 2002|
|Scott Veenis||2014 (Asst. Coach)|
|Justin Wadsworth||1994, '98, '02|
|Anne Jeanette Winn||1948|
|Rowena Bright (Australia)||2002|
|Dominic Demschar (Australia)||2014|
|Toril Forland (Norway)||1972|
|Eva Huckova (Slovakia)||2006|
|Kathy Kreiner (Canada)||1972, '76 (Gold in GS), '80|
|Veronika Mayerhofer (Austria)||2014|
|Chirine Njeim (Lebanon)||2002, '06, '10|
|Fritjof Prydz (Norway)||1972|
* The NCAA began sponsoring a combined championship in 1983 following the discontinuation of the AIAW.