March 6, 2009
Juniors Polina Ermoshina and Malin Hemmingsson give you an update on the 2009 NCAA West Regional/RMISA Champions before the Lobo ski team heads to Maine for the NCAA National Championships on March 11-14. This will be the third NCAA nationals races for both Polina and Malin. In 2007 Malin won the women's slalom national title, while Polina was the national runner-up in 2008 in the women's classical race.
The Nordic Report
My name is Polina Ermoshina and I am a Nordic skier. Our team just got back from the NCAA regional championships, which was in Reno, Nev. The most exciting part about it was our great performance and the top position among all other teams in the West Region as the result of it. The energy and physical condition of every single person on the team showed that there was no stronger and more confident team at that time. I am going to talk a little bit more about the Nordic part of the team and I will leave it to Malin to give us more information about Alpine side.
The performance of all our men in Reno was great and I hope it gave them a good image of what they can really do. Tor-Hakon Hellebostad was second on the first classic race and that was his best result during his skiing career for UNM. The next guy was Martin Kaas who placed fourth and also had his best finish in classic. Simon did not have his best performance that day, but he scored 15 points and finished 19th.
On the women's side we had Melanie Zemp who placed 10th and Ingrid Leask who placed 37th. Ingrid just came back from World Junior Championship which was in Europe and I think she had some bad luck with time zone change and she was still a little bit tired. For me that race was the best race in my career and I finished on the top.
Next day it was a skating mass start and the squad of our guys finished top five with Simon on the top, Tor-Hakon in third and Martin in fifth place.
For the women, I had my best result and finished third. Melanie finished 18th and Ingrid was 20th with a great recovery after the first day.
The spirit of the great performance on the Alpine squad after their first race day pulled our team together. It was a great weekend and the weather was not as bad as we expected. We showed that we can be on the top in our region and there is only NCAA's left. I think that everyone is looking forward for it and we will do out best even though only 10 people are qualified for NCAA.
Here's Malin with the Alpine Report ...
The Alpine Report
Today is the day before we leave for NCAA's, the last day in Albuquerque before we are getting ready to rock in Maine.
This year we go into nationals with a really good season behind us. I am excited to go there with nine teammates who are just as hungry as me on winning that title.
We won the regional championships this year which shows that we are definitely capable of bringing home the golden trophy at NCAA's too. Everything is possible. I know coach Fredrik is talking about top 4 as the goal, which is realistic, but I think all of us athletes agree that we want to get to the top of that podium, even if it will be hard with only 10 qualified racers. That is what we will aim for.
The season has been really good for us Alpiners. We have been pushing, fighting, losing, winning and then we have been pushing a little more and fighting a little harder. We all support each other in a way that I have never experienced on a team before.
The women as individuals have all been capable of being top three at every race, which is both stressful, since there are only three people that get to go to NCAA's, but it has also been challenging and it has forced us to work harder this year to keep up with each other.
The guys have been in the same situation, all of them can win if they have a good day and have luck on their side.
By now we all know what we need to do to perform, and we are ready to fly out to Sunday River and get ready to race.
With a hint of luck, a good mindset and a good breakfast anything can happen and I am confident that all of us will do our absolute best once we open the start gate next week.
So, please keep your fingers crossed for us and we will try as hard as we can to win this thing!