Feb. 20, 2009
MT. ROSE, Nev./TRUCKEE, Calif. --- Petter Brenna moved one win closer to the University of New Mexico career record for men's Alpine wins and Polina Ermoshina earned her first collegiate win to pace the Lobos at the NCAA West Regionals/Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships on Friday. The Lobos remain in first place after six events with 428 points. Competition wraps up on Saturday, Feb. 21, with the men's 15K and women's 10K freestyle races.
"We had some racers really step up today," said Lobo head coach Fredrik Landstedt. "Polina had a great race for her first win, while Melanie (Zemp), Tor-Hakon (Hellebostad) and Martin (Kaas) pushed really hard to finish in the Top 10."
Ermoshina won the women's 5-kilometer classical race for the first time, after finishing second nine times during her collegiate career. The junior from Moscow, Russia, won the race in a time of 14:59.8. Senior Melanie Zemp earned a 10th-place finish to help the Lobo cause.
Brenna earned his second giant slalom race of the season, also the second GS race of the season that he finished, with a time of 2:00.01. It is the fifth Alpine win of the season for Brenna and puts him one win away from tying the UNM career record for wins with Tor Fodnesbergene, Lars Loseth and Stefan Lanzier. Thomas Schwab and Nikolai Herlofson Finne picked up points for the Lobos as well.
The Alpine women won the women's giant slalom event with three Top-8 finishes. Junior Malin Hemmingsson finished third with a combined time of 2:01.23, followed closely by freshman Stefanie Demetz in fourth at 2:01.29. Estelle Pecherand-Charmet finished in 8th place to round out the Lobos' 78 points in the event.
Junior Tor-Hakon Hellebostad and sophomore Martin Kaas had career days in the men's 10-kilometer classical race. Hellebostad had a career-finish in second place with a time of 27:17.1, while Kaas also recorded a career-finish in fourth place at 27:33.8.
If UNM can hold off the charging Colorado Buffaloes, who jumped from 4th to 2nd on Saturday with 396 points, it will be the first time the Lobos have won the NCAA Regionals since 1992.
Current NCAA Regional/RMISA Championships Team Standings
1. New Mexico - 428 points
2. Colorado - 396
3. Nevada - 371
Denver - 371
5. Utah - 345
6. Alaska-Anchorage - 341
7. Montana State - 251
8. Whitman - 161