Skiers Head to Vermont to Defend NCAA Title
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/04/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 4, 2005

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2005 NCAA Skiing Championships • Stowe, Vermont
Hosted by the Universty of Vermont

Schedule of Events
All Times Eastern

Tuesday, March 8, 2005
• 5:30pm - Opening Ceremony/Pep Rally at the Stoweflake - Public Welcome

Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Alpine Competition Day - Giant Slalom
Stowe Mountain Resort

• 9:30am-10:00am - Women's Giant Slalom First Run
• 11:15am-11:45am - Women's Giant Slalom Second Run
• 1:00pm-1:30pm - Men's Giant Slalom First Run
• 2:45pm-3:15pm - Men's Giant Slalom Second Run
• 3:45pm - Men's and Women's Flower Ceremony at Midway Lodge

Thursday, March 10, 2005
Nordic Competition Day - Classical Races
Trapp Family Lodge

• 9:30am - Start of Men's 10K Classic Race
• 9:50am - Last Men's start
• 10:25am - Last Men's finish
• 11:30am - Start of Women's 5K Classical Race
• 11:50am - Last Women's start
• 12:10pm - Last Women's finish
• 12:15pm - Men's and Women's Flower Ceremony

Friday, March 11, 2005
Alpine Competition Day - Slalom
Stowe Mountain Resort

• 9:30am-10:00am - Men's Slalom First Run
• 10:30am-11:00am - Women's Slalom First Run
• 12:15pm-12:45pm - Men's Slalom Second Run
• 1:15pm-1:45pm - Women's Slalom Second Run
• 2:15pm - Men's and Women's Flower Ceremony at Midway Lodge

Saturday, March 12, 2005
Nordic Competition Day - Freestyle Races
Trapp Family Lodge

• 10:00am - Start of Women's 15K Freestyle Race (mass start)
• 10:50am - Last Women's finisher
• 12:00pm - Start of Men's 20K Freestyle Race (mass start)
• 12:50pm - Last Men's finisher
• 2:30pm - Awards Ceremony

The University of New Mexico ski team is gearing up to defend their national title at the 2005 NCAA Skiing Championships on March 9-12, 2005, hosted by the University of Vermont. The Stowe Mountain Resort will host the giant slalom on Wednesday and the Slalom on Friday, and the Trapp Family Lodge will be the site of the Nordic events on Thursday and Saturday.

New Mexico enters the event as the defending national champions, capturing the school's first NCAA title in any sport last year in Reno, Nevada. New Mexico finished the regular season in third place in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association standings. UNM qualified 11 of a possible 12 skiers for the NCAA Championships, including returning All-Americans Martina Stursova, Trine Lundamo, Kathrin Spendier, Lars Loeseth, Peter Roering, Dirk Grimm and Geir-Endre Rogn.

Despite not qualifying a full team, head coach George Brooks is confident in this year's squad. "Our Nordic team is outstanding and one of the best groups in the country," stated Brooks. "We also have a strong group of Alpine skiers, we just needed one more on the women's side to step up and that did not happen. However, in 1992 we skied without a full team and placed second at the NCAA's which was our best finish ever until last year."

George Brooks is in his 35th season as the head coach of the Lobo ski team, which is coming off the most successful season of any program in UNM history. The Lobos won the 2004 NCAA Skiing Championship, the first national title in any sport at the University of New Mexico. The Lobos were picked third in Ski Racing Magazine's 2005 preseason top-10.

What New Mexico lacks in quantity this season, they make up for in quality. Ten of the 11 skiers have qualified for the NCAA's at least once in their careers, nine have competed at the NCAA Championships and seven are All-Americans. The Lobos have come on strong late in the year, including a season-high second place finish at the NCAA West Regional last week in Bozeman, Mont.

Sophomore Lars Loeseth was one of the top Alpine skiers in the RMISA this season.

Alpine Notes
• The Lobo Alpine team finished the regular season ranked fourth in the RMISA

• Men's Alpine team was second only to Denver in the RMISA, while the women were ranked sixth.

• The Lobos had the top men's giant slalom squad in the RMISA.

• Competing at this year's NCAA Championships are juniors Kathrin Spendier and Gladys Weidt and sophomores Lars Loeseth, Alex Mach and Peter Roering.

• Three members of the Alpine squad are returning All-Americans, including Spendier, Loeseth and Roering. All five members have qualified for the NCAA's at least once before.

• Loeseth scored four wins this season, two each in the slalom and giant slalom. He won the slalom at the New Mexico Invite and the NCAA West Regional and the giant slalom at Denver and New Mexico. Loeseth is ranked fifth in the slalom and first in the giant slalom RMISA standings.

• Roering won the giant slalom at the NCAA West Regional and is ranked fifth in the RMISA standings.

• Mach scored four top-10's in the giant slalom and is ranked seventh in the event in the RMISA.

• Spendier ranks 22nd in the slalom and 16th in the giant slalom in the RMISA standings.

• Weidt ranks 16th in both the slalom and giant slalom events.

Senior Martina Stursova will be going fro her third All-American award.

Nordic Notes

• The Nordic squad finished the regular season ranked 2nd in the RMISA.

• UNM's women Nordic squad was the top team in the RMISA while the men ranked third.

• The Lobo women were also tops in the RMISA freestyle and classic.

• New Mexico's men were second in the classic and third in the freestyle RMISA standings.

• Competing for the Nordic squad are seniors Martina Stursova and Pirkko Pulkkanen, junior Trine Lundamo and Geir-Endre Rogn, sophomore Dirk Grimm and freshman Inge Kristofferson. Kristofferson is the only one without and NCAA Championship experience.

• Stursova is a two-time All-American who missed the first two meets of the year training with the Czech National Team. She finished no worse than second in six races this season, including four wins. She won all three classic races she entered and is the top-ranked classic skier in the RMISA. She is ranked second in the freestyle.

• Pulkkanen is returning to the NCAA's for the first time since 2002. She has four top-10's this season and is ranked 17th in the classic and 14th in the freestyle in the RMISA.

• Lundamo finished in the top-10 in all 10 of her races this season. She is ranked third in the RMISA in both the classic and freestyle events.

• Rogn was slowed at the start of the season due to illness, but is healthy now. He has three top-10's in his last four races, including a career-high third place finish in the freestyle at the NCAA West Regional. He is ranked ninth in both the classic and freestyle RMISA Standings.

• Grimm finished the season strong with five top-10's in his last six events. He recorded his first career win in the freestyle at the NCAA West Regional. Grimm is ranked 11th in the classic and fourth in the freestyle in the RMISA.

• Kristofferson had four top-10's this season and is ranked 13th in the classic and sixth in the freestyle RMISA standings.