The Ute ski team has returned 13 letterwinners, while losing 12 others. The Utes have also recruited nine talented newcomers to make for an exciting future.
Jan. 6, 2003
The University of Utah ski team will host the Alaska-Utah-WinterGames Invitational. The Invite is scheduled for Saturday-Monday, Jan. 11-13. The GS (Jan. 11) and the SL (Jan. 12) events will be held in Park City, Utah, while 5/10 FS (Jan. 12) and the 15/20 CL (Jan. 13) event will be skied in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
The Utes skied exceptionally well in the Montana Invitational last weekend, finishing second overall in the competition. On the first day of the invite, Utah placed first in the giant slalom event headed by Pierre Olsson, Jernej Bukovec and Lina Johansson.
Seniors Olsson and Bukovec piloted the Ute men's alpine team by skiing consistent runs throughout the giant slalom and slalom events. Olsson placed first in both the giant slalom and slalom events. Teammate Bukovec finished the first day with a fourth-place finish followed by a third-place performance the next day.
The women's alpine team continued with strong runs in both the giant slalom and slalom. Johansson skied to a first-place spot in the giant slalom, while senior Petra Svet finished third. Svet earned a sixth-place finish the following day in the slalom.
The Ute ski team wrapped up the invite finishing fourth in the slalom event, while placing second overall at the meet. Utah was just a few points shy of the leader Colorado, but skied its way past top teams such as Denver and New Mexico.
QUOTING COACH KEVIN SWEENEY:
"We had a very successful opening campaign in Montana," remarked Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "We are looking forward to competing at home. It's good for everyone: the team, Park City and Soldier Hollow. It's always exciting to be competing on the Olympic courses and the resorts do a great job for us."
"It's a busy time with school starting and the cross country team returning from US Nationals. I'm looking for consistency and solid team performances from my veterans. We have the potential to win but we need to find the balance of not trying too hard and overdoing it and making costly mistakes. This will be the opening weekend for the cross country team. Of course I am looking for my returnees to have solid performances. Our enthusiasm is at a very high level. I'm optimistic we will be on the podium."
Utah will be back on the road as they travel to Bozeman, Mont., to continue the Montana Invitational. This campaign will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17-18 and it will be composed of the cross country team competing in the freestyle and the classical events. The 15/20 CL event will be skied Friday, Jan. 17, while the 5/10 FS will be raced Saturday, Jan. 18.