March 9, 2005
The University of New Mexico ski team got off to a slow start today at the 2005 NCAA Skiing Championships in Stowe, Vermont. The Lobos finished in eighth place following the giant slalom event in the first day of the championships. New Mexico captured 111 points on the day and trail first place Vermont (216) by a sizable margin.
The Lobo men's Alpine team came into the race as the top-ranked GS squad in the west but did not live up to their potential today. Sophomore Lars Loeseth earned his second All-American award with a fifth place finish, but the Lobo men place eighth overall. Loeseth's two-run time of 1:46.09 was less than a second off the pace set by Vermont's Greg Hardy (1:45.49). Sophomore Alex Mach placed 27th in the race with his two-run time of 1:52.63. Sophomore Peter Roering fell during his first run, costing him valuable spots in the race. The 2004 All-American placed 30th overall.
The Lobo women, competing with only two qualifying skiers, placed ninth overall. Gladys Weidt had one of her better races with an 18th place finish. The junior from Duluth, Minn., is making her first trip to the NCAA's. 2004 All-American Kathrin Spendier placed 24th in the event. It was her best showing in the NCAA giant slalom in three races.
"We skied very poorly," stated UNM head coach George Brooks. "The men had their worst giant slalom race of the season, which obviously came at a bad time. The women didn't ski that bad, but when you only have two qualify, it is tough to have a good finish."
The Lobos are trying to defend their NCAA Skiing Championship from last season, the first NCAA Title in any sport at the University of New Mexico. "We dug ourselves a deep hole, but there is a lot of skiing yet to happen," continued Brooks. "Last year, were barely in the top four, but we were still able to win. We will keep plugging and see what happens. We have one of the best Nordic teams in the country, so hopefully we can make up some ground tomorrow."
The 2005 NCAA Ski Championship continues on Thursday, March 10 with the men's 10K classical and the women's 5K classical at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.