Fabian Figi and the Nordic team head to Montana this weekend.
Jan. 17, 2007
THIS WEEK: MSU INVITATIONAL
The Nordic team will travel to Bozeman, Mont. to compete in the Montana State Invitational. The MSU Invitational is an RMISA event and will feature 10 schools including Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico.
The Alpine portion of the event was held Jan. 6th and 7th. The Alpine team will have the weekend off and will use the extra time to train and regroup.
"We'll have at least three days of dry-land training and be able to work out in the gym," says Head Alpine Coach Jaka Korencan. "It should help us to build confidence heading into the Denver Invitational."
University of Utah freshman alpine skier Tague Thorson left Monday to compete in the World University Games in Torino, Italy.
Thorson will compete in four events, including giant slalom (Jan. 18), slalom (Jan. 20), downhill (Jan. 24), and super GS (Jan. 25). The super GS and downhill races, though non-existent on the college racing circuit, are the two fastest events in ski racing, with racers reaching blistering speeds on longer, faster skis. Gates are also placed further apart, allowing skiers to assume a tuck position for most of the run.
Head Coach Jaka Korencan is confident in his young protégé, who wowed fans at the recent Utah Invitational, winning both the slalom and GS events.
"I'm expecting him to do very well," said Korencan. "He's so talented and dedicated to skiing, he put in a lot of hard work this off-season and it's definitely showing. He's proved that he's not only an extremely fast skier, but an extremely smart one."
For continuous updates and results on Thorson please see http://utahutes.cstv.com/sports/c-ski/utah-c-ski-body.html.
The Utah Nordic and Alpine teams competed on home snow last weekend in the Utah Invitational, finishing second overall.
Leading the way for Utah was Tague Thorson, whose two-run time of 1:53.93 earned him the overall victory in the giant slalom Saturday. Kyle Kung also finished in the top 25, earning 22nd place with a time of 1:57.29. On Sunday Thorson capped his amazing weekend, winning the men's slalom event with a time of 1:32.13. The Mahtomedi, Minn. native won the GS with a time of 1:53.93.
"He was pumping his fists and had a huge grin on his face as he crossed the line," said Head Ski Coach Eli Brown. "He's definitely excited."
On the women's side, Mikaela Grassl placed seventh (1:31.41) to lead the team in Saturday's slalom event. Chirine Njeim followed close behind, finishing ninth with a time of 1:32.17. The women's alpine team was also successful Sunday, boasting three top-20 finishers in the women's GS. Njeim, whose two-race time of 2:05.21 was good enough for fifth place, led the Utes. Close behind were Mikaela Grassl (2:06.20, 10th) and Kimberly Stephens (2:07.72, 19th).
The Nordic skiers especially impressed, with the women's team ending the day in first place while the men trailed close behind in third, respectively. Snorri Einarrson, who finished second with a time of 23:43.8 in the men's 10K, led the men's team. Nipping at his heels were teammates Ben Fick (29:55.3, 8th) and Steve Scott (30:28.6, 12th). The men's Nordic team raced to a fourth place finish in Sunday's 15K mass start. Leading the way was Einarsson, who finished fifth with a time of 42:49.2. Ben Fick's time of 43:42.6 earned him eighth place, and Even Sletten made the top 20 with a time of 45:00.0, finishing 18th. Fabian Figi led early in the race but suffered a nasty fall and was forced to withdraw. Figi is expected to compete in this week's Montana State Invitational.
The women finished Saturday's 5K with three skiers placing in the top 10. Sara Schweiger finished second with a time of 16:15.8, while Annalies Cook finished fifth at 16:54.1. Sarah MacCarthy also finished strong, placing 10th with a time of 17:05.4.
The women's team, who also placed sixth in the women's 10K mass start, were led by Schweiger, who placed seventh with a time of 34:38.7. Cook finished 11th with a time of 35:02.2. MacCarthy did not start Sunday's race due to fatigue but plans to compete in the Montana State Invitational.
"I think we had some pretty good results," said Coach Brown. "Getting Fabian and Sarah (MacCarthy) back will be big for us next week."