Jaime DuPratt and the Ute Alpine skiers begin their 2013 season on Monday.
Jan. 3, 2013
The University of Utah ski team's 2013 season starts next Monday, Jan. 7 with an RMISA Giant Slalom Qualifier in Eldora, Colo. Here is a brief outlook of what to expect from the Utah Alpine team this season.
The Ute men's Alpine competitors welcome back two athletes who have competed in the national meet, including senior Ryan Wilson, who finished second in the men's giant slalom race for his best finish ever at the NCAA Championships in 2012. Jeremy Elliot was an All-RMISA selection in 2011 and went on to place 11th in the slalom and 34th in the GS that season at nationals.
Tim Hribar comes back for his sophomore season after finishing in the top 10 three times and serving as the alternate for the NCAA Championships during his freshman season. Redshirt freshman Eian Sandvik and incoming freshman Andy Trow, who is a member of the Canadian National team, will also join the Utes for the 2013 campaign.
"This is a group that we have the most returning student-athletes with experience in collegiate competition," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "They're a tight-knit squad. This is a dynamic group of student-athletes. What's going to go on with this group is some spirited inter-squad competition to determine who's going to end up making the NCAA three. I'm really looking forward to it. Each one of these student-athletes has the potential to be on the NCAA podium. I like the mix that this group has. They are balanced in technique, slalom and GS, and there's good NCAA experience with Ryan and Jeremy."
Junior Jaime Dupratt emerged last season as one of the RMISA's top performers after earning All-RMISA Second Team honors and posting her first career victory in the slalom at the Alaska Anchorage Invitational. A pair of accomplished competitors will join DuPratt, including Ana Kobal (a member of the Slovenian National Team for the last six years who also won the 2012 Slovenian giant slalom national championship) and Kristiina Rove (member of the Finnish National Team in the European Cup from 2010 through 2012).
"The highlight of this group is the level of experience that they have," Sweeney said. "Jaime, who will now be competing in her third year after having a breakout season last year, and was winning runs and has developed into an excellent collegiate racer. Now you bring in Ana and Kristiina, who have not raced in college, however they have skied at an extremely high level on the international scene so they bring experience, intensity, confidence and credibility."
Utah's Nordic team competes for the first time this season on Jan. 12 in the 15/20-km freestyle of the CU/Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Check back at utahutes.com tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 4) for a preview of the Utes' Nordic team.