Rose Kemp finished seventh in Friday's 5-km Classical race in Bozeman, Mont.
Feb. 22, 2013
BOZEMAN, Mont. - Senior Miles Havlick finished as the runner-up of the men's 10-km Classical and Einar Ulsund followed immediately in third place to help the University of Utah ski team to second place after the first day of the NCAA West Region/RMISA Championships on Friday in Bozeman, Mont.
Thanks to a total of six top-10 efforts in the day's Classical races, including a pair of podium finishes in the men's 10-km race, the Utes racked up 215 points on the day to take second place in the team standings after the first discipline. Utah trails leader Colorado by 40 points and enjoys a 26-point cushion over third-place Montana State.
"We did have a very good opening day here at regionals and I am extremely happy with the efforts," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "We are struggling with a small amount of illness on the women's team, however I think we have managed this well. The courses today were in great shape and we were able to really attack. It was also really fun to have the Alpine team here cheering on the Nordic squad. We hope to catch Alpine second runs tomorrow after the skate races. Everyone is motivated. There are still some NCAA Championship slots that remain open so tomorrow will be exciting."
The Utes led the way in the men's standings on the day, compiling 125 points in the men's 10-km Classical event after posting four top-10 finishes.
"The men delivered another impressive showing today," Utah Head Nordic coach Abi Holt said. "My only regret about the men's team this year is that we have fairly consistently placed four men finish in the top 10, and we will only be able to name three to the NCAA Championship team. It will be hard to leave one of those guys behind.
"It stings a little to see Miles finish second by such a close margin, but it is pretty clear that Miles, Rune [, and Einar will carry their competition all the way through the championship event.
On the women's side, it was great to see Anna [Svendsen] finally nab that top-10 spot. That should be a great confidence boost for her right now. I am happy to report that a seventh is a semi-disappointing result for Rose this year. She said she felt a little off, but I think she should be on track for a great collegiate career finale in Vermont.
At this point, we are all looking forward to one more day of the regional championships, and then I can't wait to take this team east for Nationals to see how we perform on the national stage."
Havlick took second for his seventh top-three effort of the season and the 26th of his career. Havlick, a Boulder, Colo., native, finished a mere .03 seconds behind the event champion, Colorado's Rune Oedegaard.
"Today was a battle," Havlick said. "Rune and I were getting really tight splits throughout the race and he ended up on top this time. Einar skied a great second lap to keep his podium streak alive. Noe and Niklas were right in there too so it was a good day. With another strong day tomorrow for both Alpine and Nordic, we will be in the hunt to defend our RMISA title!"
Ulsund joined Havlick on the stand with his sixth third-place effort this season, and the third consecutive time he has finished third in a race. The Trondheim, Norway native has earned a spot on the podium in eight events in 2013.
Freshman Noe Bellet was the third and final Ute scorer as he ended up in a seventh-place tie with Gustav Nordstroem of Colorado. This was Bellet's second-best finish of the year, after a fourth-place effort in the 5-km Classical at the New Mexico Invitational on Feb. 1, and was also her seventh finish among the top 10 this season.
Freshman Niklas Persson was the fourth Ute in the top 10 as he registered a 10th-place finish, which was his sixth time among the top 10 in nine races this season.
Freshman Tucker McCrerey finished 18th to complete the Ute effort on the men's side.
Utah's women's Nordic crew grabbed 90 points on the day, led by Rose Kemp, who took seventh place overall. Kemp, a senior from Boise, Idaho, has now finished 10th or better nine times in 2013 and 17 times over her career. She has been the Utes' top finisher in all nine competitions this season.
The NCAA West Region/RMISA Championships continue tomorrow in Bozeman, Mont., with the 15/20-km Freestyle races, while the Alpine portion of the event starts with the Slalom races.