Sophomore Ana Kobal and the Utes are preparing for the NCAA Championships this week in Middlebury, Vt.
March 4, 2013
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The Utah ski team will compete for its 12th national title in school history at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Middlebury, Vt., Wednesday through Saturday.
The meet starts on Wednesday with the giant slalom races starting at 9:30 a.m. ET in the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, while the 5/10-km Classical races will be held at the Rikert Nordic Center on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. ET.
The Alpine competition concludes with the slalom races on Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET and the final Nordic event of the meet will be the 15/20-km Freestyle races on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.
Eighteen Utes were announced as participants as each school can qualify a maximum of three student-athletes per event per discipline in addition to six alternates.
Utah recorded back-to-back second-place finishes in the New Mexico and Utah Invitationals before a third-place showing at the NCAA West Region/Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Skiing Association Championships in Bozeman, Mont. The Utes' last national championship came in 2003.
Utah is one of seven schools to qualify a full team of 12 skiers, including six RMISA schools: regional champion Colorado, Denver, Alaska Anchorage, Montana State and New Mexico as well as defending national champion Vermont.
Men's Nordic Notes
Leading Utah's powerful men's Nordic crew is senior Miles Havlick, who is the nation's top seed overall, in the Classical and the Freestyle races. He is the defending NCAA 20-km Freestyle champion, a five-time All-American and the two-time reigning Ski Racing Magazine's Men's Nordic Collegiate Skier of the Year.
Einar Ulsund is fitting placed third overall as he has finished third in each of his last four races. He has been consistent all season with placement on the podium in nine of 10 races.
Freshman Niklas Persson was among the top 10 in seven races during his first season with the Utes. He is rated No. 7 overall with a No. 10 ranking in the Classical and No. 7 in the Freestyle. Noe Bellet and Tucker McCrerey will serve as alternates.
Women's Nordic Notes
Senior Rose Kemp has led Utah in each race this season and begins the national meet fifth overall, ranked fourth in the Classical and fifth in the Freestyle. Kemp placed on the podium three times in 2013, all third-place finishes.
Freshman Sloan Storey will make her NCAA Championships debut in the 11th spot and has the ninth seed in the Classical. She placed sixth in the 5-km Classical at the Utah Invite.
After finishing in the top 10 twice this season, Anna Svendsen is seeded 17th overall after taking 10th place in the 5-km Classical at the RMISA Championships.
Men's Alpine Notes
Jeremy Elliot comes in fourth overall, including the No. 2 spot in the giant slalom. Elliot took runner-up honors in the GS at the RMISA Championships. Elliot has been on the podium four times this season. He placed 11th in the slalom at the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Making his NCAA Championships debut, freshman Andy Trow enters the meet 10th overall, including a No. 6 seed in the GS. He has posted two top-five finishes during debut season with Utes, including wins in the RMISA Slalom Qualifier on Jan. 11.
Senior Ryan Wilson will begin his final appearance at the NCAA Championships as the No. 12 overall seed. Wilson has been on the podium at the NCAA Championships three times over his career: second in the GS in 2012 and in both 2011 and 2010.
Women's Alpine Notes
Sophomore Ana Kobal is second overall in the women's Alpine rankings. Kobal has placed in the top five in each of the last five races. She was the runner-up finish during the GS race of the RMISA Championships and also placed second in three other races.
Sophomore Kristiina Rove is listed fifth overall after finishing second in the giant slalom at the regional. She owns five top-five finishes this season and took fourth in three other races.
Jaime Dupratt is eighth overall as she tied for seventh in the slalom at the RMISA Championships and has been among the top 10 in seven races this season. DuPratt placed fifth in the slalom on Jan. 13 at the Denver Invite.