Sept. 22, 2008
Hi Lobo ski fans!
We are getting ready for another spectacular ski season at New Mexico. The team is working hard to have its top year since winning the NCAA Championship in 2004. Martin and I will try to keep you updated throughout the year with a monthly blog update, hopefully once a week when we get into our RMISA competition season.
We are returning most of our top performing skiers from last year and are adding some very strong recruits. This winter we should be able to compete with any team in the country and with a little bit of luck we can finish on top at the 2009 NCAA Championships in Maine.
The strength of the team will be the women's Alpine squad where we have added four more recruits and kept our top two athletes from the past two years, Malin Hemmingsson and Karin Ohlin. The men's Alpine team is also very strong with two very good recruits from Norway. See Martin's blog further down the page for more information.
The Nordic men have added two more athletes and we are returning all five from last year. Returning are last year's NCAA All-American Tor-Hakon Hellebostad and All-RMISA skier Simon Reissmann. Casey Dyck, who had his best year in 2008, is back for his senior year. Rick Grahn and Martin Kaas also return from last season. Newcomer Christoffer Callesen from Norway is a very talented skier who was a top junior in his country. He has the potential to win races. Peter Landl from Austria is also a very talented skier and should challenge for a top-3 position on the team. With seven Nordic men, we have more competition on the team and we have seen that they are fighting hard in training.
The women's Nordic team is returning Polina Ermoshina who was national runner-up at last years NCAA championship in the 15K classical and has been top-10 in three out of her four career NCAA races. Polina will be a top racer this year, again, and is also racing on the Lobos' cross country team this fall. Melanie Zemp, who has qualified for the NCAA Championship two out of her three years at UNM, is also returning and is working hard to finish her collegiate career with a top placing at NCAAs. We have two new recruits, Svenja Niemeier, a biathlete from Germany and Ingrid Leask from Minnesota. Both girls will challenge for a spot at the NCAA championships.
Right now we are training hard with long hikes, hard double-poling workouts, sand hill runs, long distance runs, and strength and conditioning. Soon we will start to do more interval training and increase intensity overall to be ready to race fast in early January when we are traveling to Alaska for our first two collegiate meets.
Here's Martin to fill you in on the Alpine team.
The alpine team has been training hard the first weeks of this fall semester. Since there are a lot of new athletes, both men and women are very motivated and push each other at every practice. For the next six weeks we will work on strength and conditioning before we will get on snow in early November.
The women's team for this year is definitely the best team the Lobos ever had. The squad consists of six skiers who are capable of winning races this year. So we expect to be among the top teams in the country. Junior Malin Hemmingsson is back to defend her RMISA overall Giant Slalom title. Karin Ohlin, who had top results in the past season, will compete for her last year on the Lobo squad.
Additionally, there are four strong new-comers who will compete for the Lobos this year. Estelle Pecherand-Charmet, from France, has been racing on the Europa-Cup circuit and is expected to be one of the strongest collegiate skiers in the country. Jaqueline Hangl, from Switzerland, also showed her potential in Europa-Cup and FIS races and will compete for the tops spots in this year's collegiate races. Sofie Hjorth, a slalom specialist from Norway, will compete among the best college racers in the country. Last but not least, Erica Jacobson, a walk-on from Fairfield, Calif., joins the Lobo squad and is eager to ski with some of the best collegiate racers.
On the men's side, juniors Olivier Lacaille from Montreal, Canada, and Gary Beresford from Dillon, Colo., who made significant progress over the last two years, will be competing to be among the top 10 collegiate athletes in the region. Sophomore Thomas Schwab is back for the Lobos after an All-America performance in the slalom.
Additions to this year's men's team are Petter Brenna and Nikolai Finne who are both from Norway. Petter is probably the best recruit UNM has ever had. He has been racing at the top level of alpine ski racing and his goal is to make it to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Nikolai is a very promising recruit who has been skiing successfully on the European FIS circuit.
As of now, we are still trying to get one more female and one more male skier in for January who will make the team even stronger.
Thanks to everyone for your support and Go Lobos!