Senior Ben Thornhill
Jan. 9, 2006
Utah will wrap up the second half of the Alaska-Anchorage Invitational by skiing in the alpine events, which will be held in Park City, Utah. The downhill races will be held at the Park City Mountain Ski Resort, Eagle Arena. Race times will be all day.
The University of Utah ski team is currently perched in third place after competing in both the classical and freestyle cross country events at the UAA Invitational.
The defending champions Denver remain in first place, while host Alaska-Anchorage claimed second. Utah is in third, but is hopeful to gain ground on the Pioneers and Seawolves who are 14 and 24 points ahead respectively. Colorado held on to fourth and New Mexico is in fifth to round out the top-five team scores.
The women's nordic squad won the 10-km classical on the opening day and held on to third during the 5-km freestyle. The men's cross country team managed to take third in both the 15-km CL and 10-km FS.
ALASKA-ANCHORAGE INVITATIONAL STANDINGS:
1. Denver 282 2. Alaska-Anchorage 272 3. Utah 258 4. Colorado 252 5. New Mexico 222 6. Montana State 186 7. Nevada 119 8. Western State 118 9. Whitman 98 10. Wyoming 52 11. Boise State 1
QUOTING HEAD COACH Eli Brown
On The Alpine Team
"The team is getting dialed in. They have been competing in a local race series every day for the past week and are working out the kinks. We are confident that we will race well this coming Wednesday and Thursday in Park City, Utah."
QUOTING HEAD APINE COACH Jaka Korencan
"We are super excited about these coming races. The cross country team showed some good performance on their part of the UAA Invite, which certainly motivated our alpine team. In the past three days of FIS competition, the whole alpine team showed an excellent performance and proved that they can compete with other teams on the circuit."
"The men's team looks extremely strong and I believe they will perform on the highest level. They have already proven this season that they are one of the strongest, if not the strongest team, on the circuit and I cannot be more excited about their skiing at this moment."
"The women's team has also proven that they can ski with other girls on the circuit. They are all motivated and excited about this coming races and I know they can surprise a lot of people. The most important is that we are all healthy and having fun training and performing."
2006 SKI RACING MAGAZINE PRESEASON RANKINGS:
1. University of Denver 2. University of Colorado 3. University of New Mexico 4. University of Vermont 5. University of Utah 6. University of Alaska-Anchorage 7. Middlebury College 8. Northern Michigan University 9. University of Nevada 10. Darmouth College
Senior Thornhill is the sole returning first-team All-American after skiing sixth in the GS at the 2005 NCAA Skiing Championships. The British Columbia, Canada native is a two-time NCAA GS champion after winning the event in '03 and '04.
Junior nordic skier Casey Simons recently underwent surgery and will miss duration of the 2006 season. The Park Ciy, Utah native competed in the NCAAs as a sophomore and will rejoin the team next year.
Senior alpine racer Andi Wieser will redshirt in '06. The Nova Gorica, Slovenia native missed the entire '05 ski season due to a knee injury and is expected to return to the squad next season.
-Nordic Recruits: Erik Gjomle Fabian Figi Linda Pettersson Sara Schweiger
University of Alaska, Anchorage University of Nevada Reno Montana State University University of Utah University of Colorado Western State College University of Denver Whitman College University of New Mexico Boise State University
The Ute ski team will be back in action at the Montana State Invitation, Jan. 14-15. The nordic and alpine events will be held at Bohart Ranch and Big Sky Resort. Race times are all day.