Matt Gelso named co-athlete of the week at Colorado
March 8, 2010
Far West Nordic skier Matt Gelso of Truckee was named University of Colorado co-male athlete of the week along with basketball standout Cory Higgins.
Itand#8217;s the second time Gelso has earned the award this season and the sixth of his career.
Gelso, a senior, pulled off the double when he captured both the 10-kilometer classic and 20-kilometer freestyle wins at the RMISA Championships/NCAA West Regional on Feb. 26-27.
It was Gelsoand#8217;s fourth straight victory, second straight sweep and#8212; he did the same at the Nevada Invitational hosted by Auburn Ski Club the previous week and#8212; and the sixth win of his career, four coming in freestyle competitions and all 20K in length.
The recent string of top finishes couldnand#8217;t come at a better time for Gelso, whose highly ranked Buffaloes are set to compete in the NCAA Championships this week at Steamboat Springs, Colo. The classic discipline is scheduled for Thursday, with the freestyle Saturday.
Before the start of his senior season Gelso said his goal was to win at least one of the two races at the NCAA Championships, particularly the 20K freestyle race.
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Bruce Cranmer, Gelsoand#8217;s head coach at Colorado, said before the season that he was confident his No. 1 skier had the potential to win a national title.
and#8220;That would be a great achievement for him, and he certainly has the ability to do it,and#8221; Cranmer said in a Sierra Sun interview. and#8220;And it will be his last chance, so it would be great if he could pull it off this year.and#8221;
Gelso recorded his best finish at the NCAA Championships as a freshman, when he finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the classic and freestyle disciplines. He also notched 10 top-five finishes in a dozen races that season, and was named the Buffaloesand#8217; Male Freshman Athlete of the Year.
As a sophomore, despite an untimely illness that forced him to sit out consecutive races, Gelso bounced back to record a 17th-place finish in the freestyle and a ninth place in the classic at the NCAA Championships. And as a junior last year he won a race and recorded a number of top-three finishes before struggling through fatigue near the end of the season.
Gelso is currently tied for the top Nordic skier in the West with New Mexicoand#8217;s Martin Kaas, although Kaas holds the tiebreaker. Gelsoand#8217;s four consecutive wins are the most by a CU male, Alpine or Nordic, since Ove Erik Tronvoll opened the 1999 season with five straight wins in cross country to set the school record for the four current disciplines.