Senior Ashley McQueen
Jan. 28, 2006
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. -- After the most enduring race of the season, the University of Utah ski team remains in fifth place after the final day of cross country events at the 13th annual Colorado Invitational. Midway through the invite, Utah needs 51 points to beatout the defending NCAA champion Denver and climb to a podium finish.
"We had a few great inspirational finishes today," said head coach Eli Brown. "It was exciting to see both Ashley (McQueen) and Fabian (Figi) come in today and ski so well. This was the longest race of the season and it was good experience to race on the NCAA courses."
On the women's side, Utah finished third overall in the 15-km freestyle, placing two skiers in the top five. Junior standout Nicole Naef headlined the Utes once again, skiing to a third-place finish with a time of 50:20.4. Senior freestyle specialist McQueen raced to fifth in 50:40.5, while fellow senior Linda Pettersson notched 22nd with a time of 55:01.0. Senior Anna Sprague and freshman Sara Schweiger did not start due to illness.
"Ashley skiing fifth was a great highlight today," remarked Brown. "She is such a great member of this team and it was good to see her breakout today. Nicole led us yet a again and we really hope she can continue to ski strong."
"Fabian made a great impact on the team today and this was a real confidence booster for him," said Brown. "Jess and Erik both skied well today, but I'm hoping we can continue to improve our results in the following meets."
"We haven't given the alpine team much room for error," added Brown. "This will be a great learning experience for the alpine team. This will give them the opportunity to go through the motions on the NCAA course before the big show in March."
Next up, the Ute alpine team will take its mark in the slalom and giant slalom events in effort to improve Utah's overall team score. The meet will resume next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 3-4) at the Mount Werner and Howelsen Hill resorts. Race times will be all day.
Colorado Invitational Team Results: 1. Colorado, 321; 2. New Mexico, 265; 3. Denver, 261; 4. Alaska-Anchorage, 225; 5. Utah, 210; 6. Nevada, 195; 7. Montana State, 158; 8. Western State, 112; 9. Wyoming, 58; 10. Whitman, 54; 11. Boise State, 0.