Athletics & Recreation / News

All-American skier to remain with Norway through spring

Junior skier Leif Kristian Haugen of Lommedalen, Norway, will continue racing on the World Cup circuit in Europe and will not compete for DU this season.

Haugen helped lead the University of Denver ski team to its third-straight NCAA championship in 2010.

“This is a bittersweet situation for us,” DU head coach Andy LeRoy says. “It is unfortunate that Leif won’t be skiing for us this year, but it speaks to the caliber of Denver’s student-athletes and the success they have been having.”

This season, Haugen finished 16th in giant slalom at the World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Feb. 18 — an improvement on his 28th place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Haugen also has scored World Cup points after finishing 11th in the giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, and 14th at Hinterstoder, Austria.

“I had to choose between the World Championships or coming back to qualify for the NCAA Championships,” Haugen says. “This was a difficult decision, but you never know how many chances you will get to represent your country in an event like the World Championships. I thank everyone at the University of Denver — especially the ski team — for their support, and I look forward to following their charge toward a fourth-straight NCAA title.”

Despite being limited to just six college races because of the Olympics, Haugen won the 2010 NCAA individual championship in giant slalom, helping the Pioneers to their 21st national title. Haugen also finished second in giant slalom and third in slalom at the 2009 NCAA Championships, earning All-America honors for both events and leading DU to the team title.

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