Senior Jernej Bukovec's fourth-place finish in the GS event was critical to the Utes overall performance.
Jan. 11, 2003
PARK CITY, Utah -
The University of Utah ski team holds on to a third-place first day finish after enduring a tough opening day at the Alaska-Utah WinterGames Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 11. The men's alpine team placed third, while the women's team finished second in the giant slalom event.
"I'm very impressed with the women's squad today," remarked Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "Petra skied absolutely superb on a very difficult course. She was very tenacious and very deserving of a hard fought win. There is no question the women are skiing very well and I can only hope the men will get to a point of consistency.
Petra Svet claimed victory after leading Utah to a first-place finish. Sophomore Elisha Stephens races to a seventh-place finish followed by fellow sophomore Rowena Bright who took ninth in the GS event.
Bad luck plagued the men's alpine team, as some of the Utes top skiers were unable to finish the event. Junior Pierre Olsson was leading in the GS event going into the second run, but unfortunately plummeted trying to extend his lead. Freshman Benjamin Thornhill had equipment problem and wasn't able to compete.
"This was a tough day, but I'm really proud of both teams," said Alpine Coach Aaron Atkins. "We made two mistakes that we couldn't do anything about, but hopefully we will be able to catch up tomorrow with the slalom event, in fact I know we will."
Tomorrow, Jan. 12, both the alpine and cross country teams will compete in the second day of the Alaska-Utah WinterGames Invitational. The men's and women's alpine team will ski the slalom event in Park City, Utah, while the cross country team will travel to Soldier Hollow, Utah, to take on in the 5/10 freestyle events.