A year after having its championship push canceled in 2020 at the halfway mark, the Utah Ski team came back strong in 2021 to win the 14th national championship in the program's history.
This is the third national title in the past four NCAA Championships completed for Utah, dating back to 2017. The Utes also had 16 All-Americans, nine podium finishes and two individual titles in 2021. Utah's 554 final point total gave them a 31.5 point victory over second place Colorado.
Utah took five of the six podium spots and scored a total of 197 points in the two women's races. Both individual wins came from Park City, Utah, native Sydney Palmer-Leger. After winning the 5-km classic the first day of Nordic competition, she came out strong again to capture the 15-km freestyle by 24 seconds. With two individual titles, Palmer-Leger lifted Utah skiing's all-time national titles to 78—including 33 by women's skiers and 11 by women's Nordic skiers. Her double victory marked the 12th time a Ute has won two races at a national championship event.
The 2021 RMISA Women's Nordic MVP Julia Richter—a 2019 NCAA Champion in the 5-km freestyle—was runner-up and freshman Novie McCabe finished third to give Utah a sweep of the top three in the 5-km. It was just the 10th podium sweep by a team at the NCAA Championships since skiing went coed in 1983.
In the women's 15K, Palmer-Leger came in first and McCabe was close behind in third to give Utah two spots on the podium. Richter finished in 19th place.
The men's Nordic team placed all three competitors in the top five of the 10-km classic, led by sophomore Luke Jager, who was runner-up. Sophomore Samuel Hendry was third and senior Bjørn Riksaasen was fifth. In the men's 20-km, Hendry paced Utah by finishing second. Riksaasen also earned All-America honors by coming in 10th while Jager finished 19th.
On the men's side, Gustav Vøllo led the way in the giant slalom by finishing in third. Right behind him were teammates Joachim Lien, who came in fifth, and Wilhelm Normannseth, who was ninth. In the men's slalom, Lien placed fourth to earn his second All-America award at this year's Championships. Vøllo and Normannseth did not finish.
On the women's side, all three of Utah's women's competitors scored points in the slalom, led by Katie Vesterstein, who earned her first All-America honor with a 10th place finish. Katie Parker finished 15th and Sona Moravcikova placed 20th. In the giant slalom, Parker was 12th while Moravcikova and Vesterstein did not finish.
Veteran college ski coach Fredrik Landstedt has completed three highly-successful seasons as the Director of Skiing at Utah after taking over the program in July 2018. Landstedt has won two NCAA Championships at Utah in 2019 and 2021. His team was in first place when the 2020 event was cancelled at the midway point due to COVID-19. He also coached New Mexico to the NCAA title in 2004 and Colorado in 1995.
In 2021, Sydney Palmer-Leger won both the women’s 5-km and 15-km events. Utah had 16 All-Americans and nine finish on the podium. Utah's 554 final point total gave them a 31.5 point victory over second place Colorado. The Utes also won every meet during the season, including the RMISA Championships.
Landstedt led Utah to the 2019 NCAA Championship in his first season at the helm. Julia Richter won the NCAA title in the 5-km freestyle and eight skiers combined for 12 All-America honors with five podium finishes at the meet.
Julie Mohagen was named to the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-America Division I At-Large first team, marking the 11th time Landstedt has had a student-athlete on the team with eight of those being first-team selections.
Landstedt spent the previous 21 seasons coaching at New Mexico, including 11 years as head coach (2008-18) after working 10 seasons as head Nordic coach.
Landstedt coached seven student-athletes to individual NCAA Championships. Under Landstedt, 34 Nordic skiers and 19 alpine skiers earned All-America honors at UNM since 2008. He has coached with the U.S. Ski Team at Junior and U-23 World Championships events.
Landstedt competed at New Mexico from 1987-89, finishing fourth in men's cross country in 1987 and helping UNM finish third in the men's cross country relay. He finished 11th in cross country in 1988 and was 12th in the 20-km freestyle in 1989. Landstedt began his collegiate coaching career as a Nordic assistant coach at New Mexico while finishing his degree from 1990-91. He also coached the West Valley High School ski team in Fairbanks, Alaska, to two state titles in three seasons (1991-94). While in Alaska, he won the Tour of Anchorage 50-km ski race twice (1993-94). Landstedt was the head Nordic ski coach at Colorado for three years (1995-97).
Landstedt was a top national skier and placed in the top 10 at the U.S. National Championships eight times from 1991-93. Originally from Sollefteå, Sweden, Landstedt and his wife, Brenda, have three sons, Gabriel, Adrian and Andreas, and a daughter, Zara.
Two-time NCAA champion skier Miles Havlick is in his third season as head Nordic coach of his alma mater. In his first season in 2019, Havlick developed Julia Richter, who was the NCAA champion in the women's freestyle.
Havlick claimed the 2013 20-km freestyle and the 2012 20-km classical titles with the Utes. He was a seven-time All-American during his four-year career, a three-time Ski Racing Magazine Nordic Collegiate Skier of the Year and the two-time RMISA Men's Nordic MVP.
Following his Utah career, Havlick raced professionally with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Gold Team. He finished in the top 10 several times at the U.S. National Championships and competed regularly on the U.S. Super Tour and Alpen Cup. Havlick won a World Loppet 42-km freestyle marathon in Australia in 2017.
Havlick recently coached with the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club and Victorian Junior cross country ski team in Australia in 2017. He worked as an assistant coach and wax technician for the Australian Junior National Team at the World Junior Championships and was a wax technician for the Australian National Team in China in 2018.
The Boulder, Colo., naive periodically volunteered with the Utah ski team, recently as an assistant coach at the 2018 NCAA Championships.
JJ Johnson, the 2019 RMISA Alpine Coach of the Year, is in his third season as Utah's head alpine coach. He previously coached with the U.S. Ski Team.
Johnson coached three skiers to All-America honors last year, led by Roni Remme, who finished second at NCAA's in both the women's giant slalom and slalom. Utah was the top scoring team in the women's giant slalom at NCAAs.
Before joining the Utes, Johnson coached with the U.S. Ski Team. He was an assistant coach with the men's development team (2014-16) before spending two years as head development coach (2016-18). He helped six athletes finish on the podium at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships with Sam Morse (2017) and Erick Arvidsson (2016) both winning world downhill titles.
He first joined the U.S. Ski Team in 2013 as the Western Region Youth Coordinator. Johnson began his coaching career with the Park City Ski Team as an assistant coach from 2010-12, coaching with its FIS and U14 skiers. He did private coaching from 2012-13.
Johnson was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 1997-99 and 2004-07. He spent three seasons competing on the World Cup circuit (2004-07) and regularly finished in the top 10 at the National Championships, including a third-place finish in the downhill in 2006. Johnson was the 1996 Ski Racing U.S. Junior Alpine Skier of the Year. He competed in ski cross from 2008-10.
Johnson, who is originally from Park City, lives in Wanship, Utah with his wife, Jana.
Mary Joyce is in her second season at Utah as assistant alpine coach.
Joyce coached the past three seasons at Rowmark Ski Academy as the women's assistant alpine U19-21 coach. Several of her athletes have moved on to the U.S. Ski Team and joined NCAA programs. Among the roles in which she has served include academic coordinator, sports psychology coordinator and assistant conditioning coach. Joyce has also assisted with accounting, marketing, fundraising, travel, social media and videography. Joyce recently spent time coaching at U.S. Ski and Snowboard development camp at Mammoth.
Joyce skied at Saint Michael's College from 2013-16, competing in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA). She was a team captain in 2015. Joyce spent three years on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including serving as chair for a 5K run to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She was also a member of the Purple Knight Leadership Academy as a senior, a program that promoted professional and personal leadership development.
|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.