Senior Anna Sprague
Feb. 6, 2006
The University of Utah ski team will set its sights on the Western State Invitational, Feb. 10-11. This will be the final invite before the NCAA West Regionals. These events will be skied at Crested Butte, Colo. Race times are all day.
After two competitive days of alpine action, the Ute skiers finished fifth overall at the 2006 Colorado Invitational. Utah had one of its best races in the final day of downhill competition, but it wasn't enough to overcome both Alaska-Anchorage and Denver for a podium finish. The Buffs of Colorado celebrated their first win of the season, beating out top-ranked New Mexico and defending NCAA champion Denver.
Utah's men's team was headlined by freshman Scott Veenis' runner-up finish in the giant slalom. The newcomer was just tenths of a second behind Denver's Todd Ligare for the top spot. Junior Gaspar Perricone also led the downhill team with his fifth-place performance in the SL and eighth-place finish in the GS.
The women alpine racers were led by Park City, Utah natives sophomore Kim Stephens and freshman Chelsea Laswell. Stephens and Laswell guided the Utes to one of their best races of the season, finishing fourth and eighth respectively in the GS. Senior All-American Erika Hogan also contributed with a ninth-place performance in the SL.
COLORADO INVITATIONAL STANDINGS:
1. Colorado 592 2. New Mexico 544 3. Denver 531 4. Alaska-Anchorage 458.5 5. Utah 452 6. Montana State 341.5 7. Nevada 301 8. Western State 222 9. Whitman 135 10. Wyoming 58 11. Boise State 37
QUOTING HEAD COACH Eli Brown:
Commenting On The WSU Invite:
"The nordic team has just started our peaking process, which means we are cutting back the hours and training more for speed in preparation for the last month of races. I expect the team to arrive in Crested Butte, Colo. more rested and ready to race this weekend. I'm still hoping for some top 10 individual performances from the men's team and top five results from the women. It's exciting to be entering the last weekend of regular season invitationals with a fully rested and healthy team, we'll see what can happen."
Commenting On The CU Invite:
"The Colorado invite was a good meet for us. It was a learning experience, but we learned there isn't much room for error in these competitions. We had some solid performances and some learning experiences as well. The main lesson we learned, is that everyone needs to finish. At the Colorado invite we had only two finishers in the men's classic and giant slalom. With a full squad finishing, we would have easily moved up in the results."
SCHOOL VICTORIES IN NCAA WEST SKI INVITATIONAL:
*Utah 52.5 Colorado 36 Denver 19 New Mexico 9 *Wyoming 7.5
(*--Wyoming and Utah tied for the 1985 title at the Wyoming Invite)
The NCAA team scoring system for skiing will be implemented: each school can designate up to six potential scorers, with the three top finishes counting toward the overall team score. First place receives 30 points, second 29, third 28, etc. If a fourth or fifth individual from one team finishes in a scoring position, the points to be awarded to that place are awarded to the next skier who is not a fourth or fifth skier from a team. In case of a tie, the tying skiers are awarded the average of the points designated for the tied position plus the points for the next place of finish.
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. Dartmouth College 11. University of Wyoming
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.
Freshman alpine skier Kyle Kung will be out for the season after crashing during the slalom event at the Montana State Invite and re-injuring his left shoulder. The Girdwood, Alaska native is hopeful to rejoin the team next season.
Junior nordic skier Casey Simons recently underwent surgery and will miss duration of the 2006 season. The Park City, 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.
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 University of Wyoming
Utah will have some time off before competing in the 2006 NCAA West Regionals in Auburn, Calif. on Feb. 23-24. The University of Nevada will be hosting this year's events and race times are scheduled all day.