March 10, 2005
The University of New Mexico ski team jumped three spots to fifth place at the NCAA Championships after today's Nordic Classic races. The Lobos, who started the day in eighth place, have a two-day total of 274 points and trail Denver who leads the event with 369 points.
The Lobo women got things started with a third place finish in their 5K Classic race, earning a total of 86 points. Northern Michigan won the team competition with 108 points while Alaska-Anchorage was second with 104 points. Senior Martina Stursova earned her third All-American award in the classic with a third place finish. It was her best finish in the Classic in three trips to the NCAA Championships. Her time of 17:49.3 was 30 seconds off the pace set by Alaska-Anchorage's Mandy Kaempf (17:19.3). Junior Trine Lundamo also repeated as an All-American, placing ninth in the race with a time of 18:14.5. To earn All-American honors, skiers must place in the top-10 of their event. Senior Pirkko Pulkkanen place 31st in the race with a time of 19:26.6.
On the men's side, the Lobos placed sixth in their 10K Classic race. New Mexico's men earned 77 points in the event while Denver dominated with 122 points. Leading the way for the Lobo men was sophomore Dirk Grimm who placed sixth with a time of 31:38.9. Grimm earned his second All-American award in the Classic, improving by one spot over his seventh place finish from a year ago. Denver's Rene Reisshauer won the race with a time of 30:49.1. Sophomore Geir-Endre Rogn placed 18th, with a time of 32:37.3, while freshman Inge Kristofferson placed 28th with a time of 33:26.1.
"We skied better today," stated UNM head coach George Brooks. "However, we were still was a little off from where we thought we could be. Dirk and Martina had good races for us today, be they even thought they could have done better. We are closer to the top now than we were yesterday and we have a realistic chance to move up the ladder. We are still optimistic that we can continue to move up but it is going to take a little luck and some good results."
The Pioneers now lead after two days of the 2005 NCAA Ski Championship with 369 points. Vermont is now second with 348 points, with Dartmouth in third with 296 points. Utah is fourth with 289 points and New Mexico is fifth with 274 points.
Weather did not play as much of a factor today as it did yesterday when wind chills were well below zero degrees. The temperature was in the high teens today with sunny but breezy conditions. The competition continues Friday with the slalom races at Hayride at the Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont.