Ashley McQueen qualified for the 2003 NCAA Championships as a freshman
Jan. 24, 2004
SOLDIER HOLLOW, Utah -- The No. 1 ranked University of Utah ski team edged themselves past conference rival Denver to place second in the final day of the Utah Invitational in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
The final tally marks New Mexico finishing first, followed by the Utes in second. Denver slid to third, while Colorado skied to a fourth-place finish. Alaska-Anchorage ended the invite in fifth.
"This was a superb day of racing for the Utes," said Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "Our results today show we are title contenders. I am completely satisfied on all fronts as we had tremendous individual results as well as a great focus on team scoring. We staged a very strong comeback and came close to taking the team title."
"I really did not expect to see both teams come together so well so early in the season," added Sweeney. "I'm a proud coach right now and I think the other teams are a bit nervous. This is a good position to be in. We will now focus on some details and NCAA qualifying positions. It's nice we have this next week off for some training on 'the best snow on earth'."
Utah's men's nordic squad rallied to a first-place finish in the 10-km freestyle with a overall 80.0 point total. The Utes were able to place four skiers in the top 10, led by freshman Daniel Sonntag who skied to a first-place finish with a time of 40:55.1. Junior Henning Dybendal finished with a third-place showing in 41:17.2. Benjamin Sonntag skied to ninth with a two-run time of 42:28.6 and teammate Casey Simons scored a 10th-place finish with a time of 42:30.2.
The women's cross country team ended the invite placing third in the 5-km freestyle event, with a combine point total of 71.0. Freshman Sandra Gredig skied to fourth, with a time of 34:45.0, while junior Barbro Hatlevik came away finishing 11th with a two-run time of 33:04.8. Jenny Hansson finalized the Utes scoring participation with a 12th-place finish in 33:14.4. Sophomores Linda Pettersson and Ashley McQueen skied to 26th and 27th.
"The women responded as ferociously as the men," remarked Sweeney. "Sandra, Barbro and Jenny worked well as a team. It was an amazing race with all three leading at various kilometers. That was impressive to see, because they were attacking 100-percent of the time. Linda and Ashley also skied well getting in two solid races this weekend after a bout of illness. We had a very strong team presence."
Utah will have some time off before heading out to Taos and Red River, N.M., to ski in the New Mexico Invitational. This event will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6-7.
"A special note goes out with a huge thanks to all the race officials and volunteers who helped us out in hosting the Utah Invitational," said Sweeney. "Great racing and rave revues for our fantastic race venues and events."
Utah Invitational Final Results:
1. New Mexico 570.0 2. Utah 563.0 3. Denver 523.0 4. Colorado 457.5 5. Alaska Anchorage 411.5 6. Nevada 317.0 7. Montana State 292.5 8. Western State 222.5 9. Whitman 177.0 10. Boise State 106.5