The Utes open the 2006 season Jan. 7 at the Alaska-Anchorage Invitational.
Sept. 9, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah ski team wrapped up this year's recruiting season by signing eight well-accomplished student-athletes for the upcoming 2006 skiing campaign. The newcomers will team up with Utah's well established returning letterwinners to make another run for the NCAA title this season.
"We are extremely excited about our upcoming season," said Head Alpine Coach Jaka Korencan. "We have five new athletes on the team and all of them are extremely talented and motivated skiers."
Utah lost 10 skiers from its NCAA bronze-medalist team last season from, five alpine and five nordic. The Utes will welcome four American skiers and four international racers to the U.
The alpine squad will gain added depth in Mikaela Grassl (Sunne, Sweden), Erika Hogan (Holmes, New York), Kyle Kung (Girdwood, Alaska), Chelsea Laswell (Park City, Utah) and Scott Veenis (Massachusetts, Virginia), while the nordic team will look upon Fabian Figi (Betschwanden, Switzerland), Erik Gjomle (Stathelle, Norway), and Sara Schweiger (Schwangau, Germany) to fuel the Utes' competitive edge in the cross country events.
QUOTING HEAD ALPINE COACH Jaka Korencan
"Newcomers Kyle Kung and Scott Veenis are joining the men's squad after extremely successful junior careers," remarked Korencan. "They are both extremely talented, with a lot of potential and they will both make an immediate impact on our team."
"Erika Hogan is joining our team as a senior," added Korencan. "With her three years of successful collegiate racing at Colorado University, she will be a great addition to our team. She can certainly win and she has proven herself over and over. Chelsea Laswell from the Park City ski team and Mikaela Grassl from Sweden are going to help us fill the gaps after losing several All-American skiers last year. Chelsea and Mikaela are both an awesome talent and they will certainly add the depth to the women's roster."
"Norwegian Erik Gjoemle and Swiss Fabian Figi are joining the men's roster," said Korencan. "They both bring a great international FIS racing experience to the team. Both are young and talented and we expect them to ski to their potential."
"After losing a couple of All-American last season, Sara Schwieger from Germany is joining the women's roster," remarked Korencan. "Sara is an extremely talented and motivated young skier. With her European experience she should be able to immediately contribute to the team's success."
Grassl: Finished 12th in the super-G at the 2005 Sweden National Championships ... skied fifth in the super-G at the junior championships in '05 ... raced third in the parallel slalom at the junior championships in '04.
Hogan: Finished second in the giant slalom at the 2004 NCAA Championships ... racked up first-team All-American honors at the NCAAs ... skied in the slalom at the World University Games in '03. Kung: Skied 22nd in the slalom at the 2004 U.S. Nationals ... finished 16th in giant slalom at the Nor Am in '05 ... competed on the World Junior Championship team in '05.
Laswell: Skied 12th in the slalom at the 2005 U.S. Nationals ... recipient of the Most Improved Athlete award on the Park City ski team in '04 ... placed 13th in the giant slalom at the U.S. Nationals in '04.
Veenis: Skied 11th in the giant slalom and 12th in the slalom at the 2005 U.S. Nationals ... earned two third-place podium finishes in Europe in '05 ... recipient of the Skier of the Year award from the Park City ski team in '05.
Figi: Won the bronze medal in the sprint, double pursuit and 10-km classical at the 2004-05 Swiss Championships ... won the 15-km CL at the junior world championships in '03.
Gjomle: Won the 10-km classical and 15-km skate at the 2005 telemark regional championships ... skated to a 25th-place finish in the 15-km CL at the Norwegian Junior Championships in '03 ... finished 36th in the 50-km CL at the Norwegian Championship in '05.
Schweiger: Won the sprint rely and pursuit race at the 2001 Junior German Championships ... skated to a third-place finish in the 5-km classical at the O.P.A Spiele in '01 ... finished fourth in the 5-km classical at the Alpen Cup Furtwangen in '02.