Sophomore Gaspar Perricone
Feb. 12, 2005
RED RIVER/TAOS RIVER, N.M. -- The University of Utah ski team held on to fourth-place after the second day of skiing competition at the New Mexico Invitational. The Utes claimed a 387.5 point total while skiing in the slalom and 10/5-km freestyle events.
Unfortunately, for the second day in a row, severe weather conditions prevented the alpine team from competing. This time it was the women's SL that was canceled. The UNM invite will be finalized after the men's giant slalom and women's SL are skied. The GS will be held next week in Bozeman, Mont. and the SL is still TBA.
Due to weather conditions, the men's alpine team was unable to compete on the giant slalom yesterday, but made up for it by dominating the slalom event with an 80-point total. With harsh rain and snow conditions, Utah was able to place all three scores into the top eight. Senior Mark Heinrich-Wallace piloted the Utes' attack with his second-place performance in 1:38.68, which marks his season best finish. All-American Ben Thornhill raced to third with a time of 1:40.16. Sophomore Gaspar Perricone skied to eighth-place with a two-run time of 1:41.29. Junior Will McDonald rallied to 28th in 1:50.02.
"The men skied awesome and it was really great to watch," said Head Alpine Coach Aaron Atkins. "They skied a great race in some tough conditions. They came out with the best attitude to win and were really fired up. This was a long trip for only two races, but we are looking forward to shining in Montana."
Utah's cross country squad had an amazing day, scoring all three skiers in the top-16 . Sophomore Daniel Sonntag didn't compete in the classical yesterday due to illness, but found the strength and endurance to win the 10-km FS skate race with an overall time of 28:34.1. Teammate Casey Simons skated into the top-10, finishing with a time of 30:42.1 to notch ninth. Junior Jess Kiesel rounded out the Utes' scoring, tying for 16th with Nevada's Thomas Kjerstad with a time of 31:42.2. Junior Magnus Carlsson didn't compete because of sickness.
Sophomore Sandra Gredig continues to tear up the college racing scene, finishing the 5-km FS in seventh-place with a time of 18:15.0. Senior Anna Sprague skated into the top-15 with her 13th-place performance in 19:09.3. Junior Ashley McQueen didn't ski in yesterday's CL race, but managed to place 18th overall in the FS with a time of 19:42.8. Senior Barbro Hatlevik was unable to compete.
"We had a better day today," said Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "We decided to start Daniel and he really came through winning the FS. Sandra had a really good weekend. Magnus is still sick so we didn't start, which really hurt our team score. Everyone gave their best efforts and that is all I can ask for as a coach."
Next up, Utah will rest up before the annual Regional Championships, Feb. 25-26. This year's events will be held in Bozeman, Mont. Races will be held all day.
Team Scores (FINAL)
Denver 435.0 Colorado 409.0 New Mexico 405.0 Utah 387.5 Montana State 299.0 Nevada 286.5 Western State 178.0 Whitman 165.0 Alaska-Anchorage 83.0 Boise State 73.0