The Utah Invitational will consist of the giant slalom (Jan. 11) and the slalom (Jan. 12) events, which will be held in Park City, Utah.
Dec. 30, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah's defending national champion ski team has been picked No. 1 in the 2004 Ski Racing NCAA Coaches' Preseason Poll. Votes are tallied by all coaches that competed in the 2003 NCAA Championships, ranking the top schools in Division I alpine and nordic skiing.
Last season, Utah won its 11th national championship after beating out top teams Colorado and Denver. The Utes are hopeful to repeat this season, but with the loss of XC skier Katrin Smigun and graduating seniors, Utah will depend on the returners leadership and talented newcomers. The Utah coaching staff have brought in some of the best talent in the world to help keep Utah in contention.
"It's nice to see us ranked No. 1," says Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "Certainly we are solid and a threat to win, but we can't let that go to our heads. We have a lot of new talent on the team this year so we will experience a transition into the competition season. We really don't need to do anything special, we just need to have our heads on straight, our goals dialed in and be ready to go when it counts. I want to open up strong and get NCAA qualifying going from the start. I expect my returners to provide a lot of leadership, like they have been doing all fall, for the newcomers."
The Utes open the 2004 season by hosting the Utah Invitational. The first-half of this invitational will consist of the giant slalom (Jan. 11) and the slalom (Jan. 12) events, which will be held in Park City, Utah.
The complete poll, with school name and number of votes received is listed below. First-place votes received are listed in parenthesis.
Ski Racing 2004 Coaches' Poll 1. University of Utah (11) 176 2. University of Colorado (4) 167 3. University of Denver 140 4. University of Vermont (1) 137 5. University of New Mexico (2) 132 6. University of Nevada-Reno 75 7. Dartmouth College 72 8. University of Alaska-Anchorage (1) 60 9. Middlebury College 58 10. University of New Hampshire 13