June 30, 2005
Coming off a fourth place finish at the 2005 NCAA Championships, University of New Mexico head ski coach George Brooks has spent the offseason earning commitments from eight student-athletes for the 2005-06 season. The Lobos will welcome three Alpine and five Nordic skiers to next year's squad.
Head Nordic coach Fredrik Landstedt has signed four new members to the women's cross country team, including Marit Rognmo, Crystin Jaques, Melanie Zemp and Kathrin Alseen. Casey Dyck has also signed a national letter of intent to join the men's Nordic squad in the fall.
Jaques and Zemp are two talented freshmen who could make an immediate impact on the team. Jaques hails from Canmore, Canada, where she spent last season racing for the Banff Ski Runners club team. She posted eight top-10 finishes in 20 FIS races last season. Zemp comes to UNM from Entlebush, Switzerland, where she scored some good results in the European Cup last season. She post 11 top-20s and one top-10 finish in European FIS competition last winter.
Rognmo and Alseen are both sophomore transfers from Tromso, Norway. Rognmo was one of the top junior racers in Norway and should contribute to the team in her first season. Alseen has been training in Norway for the last few years could have success in NCAA competition.
Dyck also comes from Canmore, Canada, and was a member of the 2004 Canadian Junior National Team. Dyck posted 10 top-10 finishes last season in U.S. and Canadian competition, racing for the Foothills Nordic Ski Club. He should challenge for one of the top-3 spots on the Lobo men's team.
"The women's team looks solid, but we are lacking a `top gun' for next winter," said Landstedt. "Tiffany Callahan and the incoming class should compete for the three NCAA spots. Junior Dirk Grimm should provide leadership on the men's side, along with Jedd Young. Casey should have no problem qualifying for the NCAA's."
On the Alpine side, Brooks has signed a pair of talented women and one male skier for the upcoming season. Karin Ohlin and Amy Beresford join the women's Alpine team, while Tor Fodnesbergene will ski for the Lobo men.
Ohlin is a highly-touted freshman from Sweden who was a member of the Swedish Junior National Team. She placed fifth in the slalom at the Swedish National Championship and was fifth in the slalom and seventh in the giant slalom at the World University Games. She is ranked No. 219 in the slalom and 396th in the giant slalom in the world rankings, which are very high for a collegiate skier.
Beresford is a transfer from Colorado where she last skied in the 2003 season. She was an NCAA qualifier and Academic All-American for the Buffs, ranking 10th in the RMISA slalom in 2003. Brooks actually coached her at the 2003 World University Games. She has spent the last two years training in Colorado and was a member of the 2004-05 U.S. NorAm Team. She is 25th in the slalom and 76th in the giant slalom in the U.S. rankings. Her world rankings are 238th in the slalom and 459th in the giant slalom.
Fodnesbergene was one of the top recruiting targets in the world by most of the men's Alpine teams in the NCAA. He is a member of the Norwegian National team and competed in the European and World Cup last year for Norway. He is ranked 69th in the world in the slalom, by far the highest ranking of any collegiate skier. He is also ranked 386th in the world giant slalom standings.
"The Alpine women's team has needed a little bit of help, both in strength and numbers," stated Brooks. "Both Ohlin and Beresford will give us that. Tor makes our men's Alpine team one of the best in the country on paper."