Junior Lina Johansson's first-place finish in the slalom event helped lead the Utes to victory.
March 8, 2003
HANOVER, N.H. - The University of Utah ski team was crowned with the 2003 National Championship after wrapping up the NCAA Skiing Championship at Dartmouth College today. Utah was awarded with its 11th National Title after finishing with an overall point total of 682.0.
"We really rallied today," remarked Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "We are pretty fired up right now and this is an exciting day for the program. As a team, we are ecstatic. This is a tremendous accomplishment for this team. We couldn't be happier."
Utah went into the final day of the competition with 99.5 point lead and ended the championship 131 points over second-place Vermont. Along with adding another title to the list, the Utes garnered 10 All-America individual awards in the process.
Junior Lina Johansson won the women's slalom event today with an overall time of 1:35.03. Johansson's win allowed the Utes to continue to extend their points lead and win the overall team title. Senior Petra Svet skied two great runs, while finishing with a time of 1:37.86. Svet ended the race with a ninth-place finish. Sophomore Rowena Bright skied right behind teammate Svet, clocking in at 1:38.08 to notch 11th place.
"What can I say, we have an awesome team," said Johansson. "We have so much fun together. I really wanted to win and contribute for the team today. I just went out and gave it all I had."
"The team came together at the right time," noted Head Alpine Coach Aaron Atkins. "We skied so strong making our team hard to beat. I can't believe how we came together as a team. We set out and did everything we wanted to from day one. I'm so proud of this team and they deserve to be champs."
The men's squad skied great, while racking up three good scores in the slalom. Junior Pierre Olsson led the pack, finishing seventh with a time of 1:41.94. Senior leader Jernej Bukovec skied to a time of 1:43.01 to earn a ninth-place finish. Freshman Benjamin Thornhill finished up a strong championship performance placing 17th with a time of 1:46.26. Thornhill really made a difference for the Utes, winning the GS event on Thursday, March 6.
"This team started to come together at the Western State Invitational," Sweeney said. "We skied remarkably well at Regionals and it has just snowballed from there. We ran away with it today and that feels really good. This championship was earned by the athletes, we as coaches just helped them do what we knew they could do. Our skiers this year really wanted this."
Runner-up Vermont vaulted three places on the final day of competition on the strength of its alpine racers and scored 551 points, while Colorado was third with 546.5 points. New Mexico dropped from second to fourth with a score of 541.5 and Denver wrapped up the top five with an overall score of 522.5.
For complete official NCAA results log on to: Official Results.