The three-time defending NCAA Champion University of Denver ski team will be traveling to Washington, D.C., to visit the White House for a ceremony today.
“Every member of the team is excited to be visiting the White House on NCAA Champions Day,” Nordic head coach Dave Stewart said. “It is a true honor to be recognized by the President for the team’s accomplishments and to represent the University of Denver at our nation’s capitol.”
President Obama will continue a tradition started by President George W. Bush by honoring championship teams and student-athletes from across the NCAA with a reception at the White House. The President will welcome student-athletes from dozens of schools and various sports to congratulate them on their accomplishments in the classroom as well as on and off the playing field.
In association with this event, various championship teams and players will be recognized for their efforts to give back to their communities, continuing an effort begun by President Obama of sports champions being commended for service as part of a White House visit.
The Pioneers captured their third-straight national title at the 2010 NCAA Championships, their 21st overall and their seventh since 2000. The Pioneers also visited the White House in 2008 at the invitation of President George W. Bush.
Led by four-time NCAA individual champion Antje Maempel (Stützerbach, Germany) and NCAA men’s giant slalom champion Leif Kristian Haugen (Lommendalen, Norway), the Pioneers claimed their third-straight and 21st overall NCAA championship this year in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
All six alpine skiers earned All-American honors on the first of the four-day championship, including sophomore Lindsay Cone (Killington, Vt.), who came in second in both women’s alpine races, to give the Pioneers a lead that proved insurmountable. Overall, Denver claimed 13 All-American honors.
Denver’s 21 team championships in skiing are the most in NCAA history, ahead of Colorado’s 16 and Utah’s 10. Those 21 titles also rank DU skiing in a tie for fourth among the most NCAA championships by any team in any sport. Only Oklahoma State wrestling (34), USC outdoor track (26) and Iowa wrestling (22) have won more championships.
Denver’s ski team is the only one in the NCAA with multiple national titles since 2000, and DU has captured seven (2000, ’01, ’02, ’05, ’08 and ’09). Utah (2003), New Mexico (2004), Colorado (2006) and Dartmouth (2007) won the other national titles.
With high academic standards and solid athletics, including the ski team’s 100 percent graduation rate and a grade point average over 3.5, the University of Denver has established itself as the premier University in the Front Range. Combined with DU hockey’s seven national titles, the Pioneers have 28 team national championships, the eighth most in NCAA history behind Southern California (76), UCLA (71), Stanford (60), Oklahoma State (48), Arkansas (43), Michigan (31), and Penn State (30).