Feb. 9, 2013
Sunday: Slalom races, 9:15 a.m. - Live Results
Red River, N.M. -- Sophomore Joonas Rasanen cruised to his third slalom victory of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association season on Saturday at the University of New Mexico Invitational held at the Red River Ski Area in Red River, N.M.
The Helinski, Finland, native also skied his way into program history as tied for fourth (Stefan Lanzier 1997, Jonas Ryttberg 1992) for most Alpine wins by a Lobo men's skier in a single season. Three victories in the slalom is also a tie for most individual wins in the event in a single season. Petter Brenna also had three slalom victories in 2010.
Rasanen's top podium finish propelled the men's Alpine team to a 124-point victory and moved UNM from tied for fifth, to a comfortable hold on fourth place in the Invite standings.
On the women's side, Colorado won the event with 115 points. The Buffs' men's team placed second in the event and CU took over first place in the Invite with 663 points through three days of competition. Utah dropped to second place (646 points) and Denver (603 points) rounds out the top three.
The Lobo men placed four guys in the top 10: Rasanen in first (1:35.03), Chris Acosta in fifth (1:36.58), Juho-Pekka Penttinen in seventh (1:36.77) and Sean Horner in ninth (1:37.23). Mark Miller made it five Lobos in the top 15 as he finished a career-best 12th (1:37.58).
Rasanen posted the fastest time in the field for the first run, completing the course in 45.09 while Miller recorded the fastest time for the second run - 46.68.
Acosta noted that it was especially nice for the men to earn the event win on the team's home hill.
"A lot of parents and family members of the athletes on the team made it out here today so it was really special to do well in front of everyone," Acosta said. "Just to come together for our home meet was really nice, too."
UNM women finished third in the event claiming sixth, ninth and 10th. Mateja Robnik led the Lobos for the third-consecutive race, recording a total time of 1:39.71. Senior Kate Williams posted a 1:40.89 and was followed closely by senior Mary Rachel Hostetter whose total time was 1:40.94.
Freshman Courtney Altringer also competed and finished 28th.
The weather in Red River started out beautiful - the temperature peaked at 25 degrees around 10:45 a.m. and the skies were mostly clear through the first run for both men and women.
Then things changed - and fast - about halfway through the second run for the men.
"It was an extreme change in conditions," Acosta recounted. "It was perfect blue sky and sunny and it turned into a blizzard. It was mostly a change in visibility and we had to make that adjustment.
"With limited visibility to just have to trust yourself and send it."
The women's second run was delayed about 15 minutes, and after about two inches or so of snow was dumped, the weather cleared.
Slalom races are scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. MT, weather permitting. There's a 30 percent chance of snow, with windy conditions predicted.
UNM Invitational - Alpine
OVERALL: 1. Colorado (663) 2. Utah (646) 3. Denver (603) 4. New Mexico (572) 5. Montana State (519) 6. Alaska Anchorage (444) 7. Wyoming (204) 8. Westminster (138) 9. Colorado Mountain College (41)
ALPINE: CU 233, UNM 222, DU 200, UU 189, MSU 147, WMC 138, UAA 94, CMC 41
NORDIC: UU 457, CU 430, DU 403, MSU 372, UAA 350, UNM 350, WYO 204
MEN: UU 344, CU 320, UNM 296, DU 295, MSU 258, UAA 192, WYO 120, WMC 88, CMC 21
WOMEN: CU 343, DU 308, UU 302, UNM 276, MSU 261, UAA 252, WYO 84, WMC 50, CMC 20