All-American Magnus Carlsson
March 10, 2005
STOWE, Vt. -- The University of Utah ski team held down its fourth-place finish midway through the NCAAs. Utah currently trails third-place Dartmouth by seven points after skiing in the 10/5-km classical.
"We did not score as well as we had hoped in the classic event today," said Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "Conditions were great, a little cold, but it was a well ran event. I don't think we had our best performance today for a few reasons. A lot of it was due to the fact that this was the first race for several of those who were sick and did not race at Regionals. We did not have the tempo or frequency. This was increased by the fact that when you drop in elevation, it is hard to make this change so quickly."
The western schools made an immediate impact on day two. Three schools from the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Skiing Association (RMISA) jumped three spots with five western schools now dominating the top-seven. Utah held steady in fourth with 289 points. Denver's men's nordic squad gave the Pioneers the boost to overcome its 43-point gap and take over the top-spot, while Vermont dropped to second. Dartmouth leapfrogged into third, just ahead of the Utes. Fellow RMISA schools New Mexico, Colorado and Alaska-Anchorage made their way into the top-seven team scores, finishing fifth, sixth and seventh.
"Our efforts and preparation was 120-percent today," remarks Sweeney. "There is no question about that. We charged hard and posted good early split times, but we could not keep up that pace for the entire race. A long difficult hill before the finish was a great challenge today. The overall points are interesting. I had hoped to be in better striking distance after today. We are regrouping and will be ready to give it our best in the distance races on Saturday."
The men's cross country team fared well in the 10-km CL, finishing eighth with a 61-point total. Headlining the team was first-year competitor Magnus Carlsson's seventh-place performance with a time of 31:43.0. Carlsson becomes the third All-American honoree at this year's NCAAs. Sophomore Daniel Sonntag is coming off a bout of sickness, but managed to skate to 26th with a overall time of 33:20.7. After two-seasons of college racing, sophomore Casey Simons finally made the three-men cut this season. The local Utah native posted 35th in 34:53.7.
Utah's women's squad finished all three skiers in the top-25, which was good for a sixth-place finish in the 5-km CL. Sandra Gredig skated to the exact finish from a year previous ago. When she finished three-places out of contention for All-American honors. The sophomore led the women with her 13th-place performance in 18:22.8. Senior Barbro Hatlevik skated to 18th in 18:49.9 and newcomer Nicole Naef raced to 24th with a time of 19:09.7.
"The women's team posted a very respectable team score and I was very happy with that," claimed Sweeney. "Magnus wasn't in a podium spot until very close to the end. It was great for him to go All-American today."
"The alpine team had great training today getting ready for tomorrow's slalom event," said Sweeney. "It will be wild as the snow is extremely hard and fast. Teams will be gunning, others will try to be cautious to defend their positions. A lot can happen as it is such a technical event. We are going to charge as it is better to be aggressive and attack. I think the group is really excited. Overall we are in a great mood and fighting hard. I'm proud of that 100-percent."
Tomorrow, March 11, the Utes will ski in the final day of the alpine events as the team tackles the men's and women's slalom. This is one of Utah's premier events and are hopeful to gain ground for the title. Events will be held all day.
For complete individual and team results log on to: Link.
NCAA Team Scores: 1. Denver 369; 2. Vermont 348; 3. Dartmouth 296; 4. Utah 289; 5. New Mexico 274; 6. Colorado 231; 7. Alaska-Anchorage 231; 8. Colby 186; 9. Northern Michigan 186;10. Nevada 170; 11. Middlebury 163; 12. Williams 142; 13. Montana State 125; 14. New Hampshire 110; 15. Alaska-Fairbanks 84; 16. Boise State 44; 17. Whitman 44; 18. Michigan Tech 36; 19. Western State 29; 20. Wisconsin-Green Bay 28; 21. Bates 24; 22. St. Lawrence 22.