Fabian Figi and the Utes will ski on home snow this weekend.
Jan. 11, 2007
THIS WEEK: UTAH INVITATIONAL
The Skiin' Utes will return home from two different events this week to host the Utah Invitational this week (Jan. 13-14). The Invite is a Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Event (RMISA) and will feature regional rivals Wyoming, New Mexico and Nevada, as well as defending national champion Colorado.
"We're a little bit battered and are looking to regroup this weekend," commented Head Coach Eli Brown. "It will be nice to get our feet back under us and be able to ski on our own snow."
Head Alpine Coach Jaka Korencan is also looking forward to the event and adds that "[The team] is definitley feeling confident" heading into the weekend.
The Utah Nordic and Alpine teams competed in two different events last weekend (Jan. 6-8). The Nordic team raced at the US Cross Country Championships while the Alpine squad raced at the Montana State Invitational in Big Sky, Mont.
US CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
A contingent of Utah skiers enjoyed success Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 7-8) at the US Cross Country Skiing Championships in Houghton, Mich. The group placed eighth overall, garnering 537 points and building confidence for the upcoming season.
The men were led by junior Steve Scott, who earned an impressive sixth-place finish in the men's sprint, and by sophomore Fabian Figi and freshman Ben Fick who teamed up in the 2 x 3 team sprint, placing 11th overall with a final time of 16:11.9. Figi also had an impressive individual performance in the men's 10K classic (29:09.6, 10th) and the 10K Freestyle (44:10.3, 15th).
On the women's side, another young relay team enjoyed a solid finish. Sophomore Annalies Cook and freshman Sarah MacCarthy finished sixth in the Women's 2 x 3 team sprint with a total time of 18:07.5. Cook and MacCarthy also finished in the top 25 in the 5K Classic.
MONTANA STATE INVITATIONAL
The University of Utah Skiin' Utes finished the men's and women's slalom event Sunday in fourth place, totaling 101 points. Defending national champion Colorado leads all schools with 152.5 points.
"We were able to prove today that we can ski with the fastest racers on the circuit," said Head Alpine Coach Jaka Korencan. "Our only problem right now is consistency."
On the men's side, Kyle Kung raced to a strong finish, placing sixth with a two-run total time of 1:28.33. Teammate Kyle Darling also placed in the top 20, recording a 1:29.98 time to finish 16th. Skiers Jordan Breighner, Tague Thorson, and Gaspar Perricone crashed, and defending NCAA champion Scott Veenis was disqualified.
The women were led by Mikaela Grassl who earned a total time of 1:32.67 to end the day in 12th place. Teammates Chirine Njeim (1:32.69, 19th) and Chelsea Laswell (1:34.54, 22nd) also finished in the top 25.
The Utah Nordic team will travel to Bozeman, Mont. to compete in the Montana State Invitational. Last year, the Utes placed fourth in this event with 476 points. Utah was led by then freshman Sara Schweiger, who took 10th in 41:26.7, racing in the 10-km FS. On the men's side, junior Fabian Figi managed a top 15 finish in the 15-km FS despite falling at the beginning of the mass start and breaking a pole. The Betschwander, Switzerland native raced to 12th in 51:40.7.