Skiing action will continue, tomorrow, as the Utes battle to remain on top with the men's and women's slalom and freestyle races.
Jan. 13, 2005
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. -- The University of Utah ski team made a strong statement in the opening day of the Alaska-Anchorage Invitational, skiing to a first-place team finish. The Utes concluded the first-day events by skiing in the men's and women's giant slalom.
Through day one, Utah (133.0) holds on to the top-spot with a slim lead over second-place Denver (130.0). Colorado (124.0) finished third, while New Mexico (122.5) skied fourth. Host Alaska-Anchorage (107.5) claimed fifth, posting the top-five team scores.
"This was a tough day, but at the end we were very happy with our standings," said Head Alpine Coach Aaron Atkins. "The team fought really hard today. We had some slow skiing at first, but rebounded well to end the day."
The men's alpine team finished third overall in the event, headed by GS specialist Ben Thornhill. The senior downhill skier finished fourth with a blazing time of 99.76. Newcomer and senior Mark Heinrich-Wallace skied into the top-10, finishing seventh in 1:00.22. Junior Will McDonald earned the Utes' third score of the day, skiing to a 29th-place finish in 1:02.92. Sophomore Gaspar Perricone raced to 37th with an overall time of 1:03.91.
"Ben skied an awesome second run to place fourth, which I was pleased with," remarked Atkins. "I also thought Mark finished well, placing in the top-10. Will saved a crash and finished strong."
The women's alpine squad placed third as well in the race, fueled by the performance of none other than senior April Mancuso. The All-American's aggressive skiing led her to a fifth-place finish in 1:06.92. Fellow All-American Lina Johansson slid into the top-10, finishing with a ninth-place performance in 1:07.42. Freshman Kim Stephens skied to 23rd with a time of 1:09.12.
"The women skied great," added Atkins. "April and Lina continue to ski well and it's great to see Kim coming in as a freshman and performing."
Teammate Rowena Hyldahl contributed with a 27th-place finish in 1:08.98. Senior Elisha Stephens notched 30th (1:11.04) and sophomore Lauren Lattimer (1:14.86) claimed 45th to round out the women's skiing performance in the GS.
"We were a little disappointed with our performance, until we saw the results," said Atkins. "It was good to have a small lead and we are excited about where we stand. We are going to make some adjustments and gear up for the slalom tomorrow."
Tomorrow, Jan. 14, the Utes are hopeful to improve their lead, while skiing in the men's and women's slalom and 10/5-km freestyle races. The alpine events will be held at the Snow King Resort and the cross country races will be skied at the Trail Creek Ranch.
Overall Team Scores (Day One)
Utah 133.0 Denver 130.0 Colorado 124.0 New Mexico 122.5 Alaska-Anchorage 107.5 Nevada 92.0 Montana State 84.0 Western State 63.0 Boise State 39.0 Whitman 20.0