Jaime DuPratt won her first career race on Thursday, the GS at the Seawolf Invitational.
Feb. 9, 2012
Jaime Dupratt posted her first career victory in the women's giant slalom race and junior Miles Havlick took third in the men's 10km freestyle race Thursday during the first day of the Seawolf Invitational.
Utah put up a total of 356 on the board and leads reigning national champion Colorado by 43 points. The Utes led the way in the Alpine standings with 135 points in the women's giant slalom at the Alyeska Resort. The men's giant slalom event was cancelled due to poor course conditions. Utah wound up second in the day's Nordic races at Kincaid Park with 221 points.
"The Utes put up extremely solid results in all disciplines today," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "It is unfortunate that the Alpine events were cut short due to conditions, but we support the decision as safety is paramount. We are skiing exceptionally well as a team. The Nordic team has had a lot of racing and the legs are a bit heavy, but we are excited for tomorrow's mass start Classic events. Our Alpine team hopes for a break in the weather. We need to stay focused right now, rest well and enjoy our team camaraderie."
DuPratt picked up her first career victory by .44 seconds over UAA's Anais Urbain. DuPratt, a sophomore from Park City, Utah, has now finished on the podium twice this season and owns three career top-five finishes.
"I was really happy that I was able to ski well in these conditions," DuPratt said. "It was a tough day, but we still had a good team performance."
Two other Utes joined DuPratt in the top five as Julie Bordeau turned in her third straight podium finish and her fourth this season. Bordeau has finished among the top five in all seven of her races this season. Tii-Maria Romar followed Bordeau immediately with a fourth-place effort. Romar has finished fourth or better in all seven of her races this season and has placed in the top five 13 times over her Utah career.
Junior Anna Kocken rounded out Utah's presence in the top 10 with an eighth-place performance. She has placed in the top 10 four times this year and 13 times during her career as a Ute.
"It was a challenging day in Alaska today," Head Alpine coach Jaka Korencan said. "Heavy rain started to freeze this morning and created an uneven surface for the race. Despite the conditions, our team performed exceptionally well in the first run and proved they are up to any challenge. Congratulations to the whole team. I am relieved that the officials made a decision to cancel the second run, preventing potential injuries. Today's women's race will still count as an NCAA qualifier, putting us in an even better overall position. I am proud of the whole team's stellar performance, especially Jaime [DuPratt] for fearlessly attacking the dangerous conditions resulting in her first college victory."
On the Nordic track, all six of Utah's scoring skiers finished among the top for the first time in 2012.
Junior Miles Havlick led the way with a third-place effort for her seventh straight podium finish. The Boulder, Colo., native has been on the podium 15 times over his career.
"It was a tough day today," Havlick said. "I think the travel and races are beginning to take their toll on the team, at least I am feeling it. We didn't have the results we have been getting used to seeing, but we had three in the top 10 in both the men's and women's races today, which is something to be proud of. We are focusing on recovering well for the long classic races tomorrow, which will be a blast."
Senior Didrik Smith came back into the fold for the Utes with a sixth-place effort, his fifth top-10 result of the year and the 20th of his career. Classmate Rolf Figi followed immediately in the seventh position for a season-high seventh-place effort and the sixth top-10 performance of his career.
"Today is the first time this season that we have placed all of our scoring skiers in the top 10 on the results list," Utah Head Nordic coach Abi Holt said. "This makes today an important team result, because it shows that we are still making small improvements, and it shows that we have solid depth as a team. A lot of teams are skiing fast right now, so we will need everyone skiing well in order to stay competitive through the end of the season."
Maria Graefnings led the Ute women's Nordic skiers with a fifth-place performance. She has now placed fifth or better in 15 of her 15 career races.
Senior Rose Kemp was the second Utah skier to cross the finish as she earned seventh overall. After entering this season with one career top-eight effort, Kemp has placed eighth or better in all seven events this season.
"With such competitive skiing in the RMISA circuit right now, I am really looking forward to tomorrow's mass start race," Holt said. "Head-to-head competition is always exciting and I look forward to seeing how the Utes fair in the mix."
The Seawolf Invitational continues tomorrow with the 15/20km Classical at Kincaid Park, while the UAA Invitational concludes with the slalom at the Alyeska Resort.