Junior Lauren Lattimer
Feb. 10, 2006
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. -- The University of Utah ski team rallied to fourth place in the opening day of the Western State Invitational. The Utes (229) are currently 30-points behind the Lobos of New Mexico (259) for the third place podium finish.
The Colorado Buffs continue to ski strong taking the top spot to hold off second place Denver. New Mexico edged Utah for the third-place finish, but the Utes are hopeful to make their mark in tomorrow's action. Montana State made a strong finish to grab fifth to round out the top five team scores.
The men's alpine team had a breakout day in the slalom, finishing with three skiers in the top 10. Freshman sensation Scott Veenis racked up another second-place performance in 1:13.18, finishing a few tenths of a second behind Nevada's Cameron Barnes. Junior Gaspar Perricone is coming on strong late in the season, notching fifth with a time of 1:13.96. Senior slalom specialist Will McDonald skied to a season best ninth-place finish with a time of 1:14.18. Senior Ben Thornhill also contributed with a 24th-place mark in 1:16.99.
The women's alpine team had a bit of a difficult day in the giant slalom, an event dominated by Colorado. Utah was unable to place any skiers into the top 10 and were without the support of sophomore Kim Stephens. Utah was led by junior Lauren Lattimer and her 17th-place performance with a two-run time of 2:41.66, marking a season best. Senior All-American Erika Hogan skied 21st in 2:42.68, followed by teammate Chelsea Laswell in 24th with a time of 2:44.32. Freshman Mikaela Grassl raced to 26th.
The men's nordic squad continues to have a tough time with its three skier lineup, finishing with only two racers in the 10-km skate. Junior Fabian Figi and Erik Gjomle headlined the way for the Utes, finishing eighth and 13th respectively. Junior Jess Kiesel did not compete in today's event.
Tomorrow, the Utes will try to make a valiant comeback in the second and final day of the Western State Invitational. This will be the last meet before the NCAA West Regionals. Race times for the alpine and nordic events will be all day.
Western State Invitational Team Results: 1. Colorado, 309; 2. Denver, 285; 3. New Mexico, 259; 4. Utah, 229; 5. Montana State, 198; 6. Nevada, 181; 7. Western State, 148; 8. Whitman, 93; 9. Alaska-Anchorage, 88; 10. Boise State, 23.