Jan. 9, 2009
ANCHORAGE, Alaska --- After getting the collegiate ski season off to a rocky start on Thursday, the Lobo women's alpine squad bounced back with a vengeance in the second day of the University of Alaska-Anchorage Invitational on Friday. UNM scored just 18 points in their first race of the season, the Seawolf Invitational slalom. In the same race today, the Lobos took three of the top four finishes, including the first collegiate win for sophomore transfer Estelle Pecherand-Charmet, for 85 points, one short of a clean sweep, toward the UNM team total of 378.
The native of Praz Sur Arly, France won the women's slalom with a combined time of 1:37.65. Freshman Jacqueline Hangl of Samnaun, Switzerland, earned the best finish of her young collegiate career in third place, edging out Lobo veteran Malin Hemmingsson in fourth. Hangl beat the 2007 NCAA national slalom champion from Ostersund, Sweden, by 0.40 seconds.
Freshman Stefanie Demetz, who joined the Lobos at semester from Italy, placed 14th, putting all of the Lobo finishers in the top 15. Lobo senior Karin Ohlin withdrew from competition for the rest of the week due to a concussion suffered during Thursday's races. She is expected to be cleared for next week's Colorado/Laura Sharpe Flood Memorial Ski Invitational.
For the second day in a row, Lobo freshman Nikolai Herlofson Finne entered the second run of the giant slalom in second place. But today the Asker, Norway, native put everything together to earn the first win of his collegiate career with a combined time of 1:53.24.
Sophomore Thomas Schwab, joining the team as semester after training with the Austrian National Team, placed fifth for the third time in his collegiate career in the giant slalom, while junior Gary Beresford of Dillon, Colo., recorded a career-best collegiate finish of 25th for the Lobos third set of points in the event. Junior Olivier Lacaille placed 41st in the race.
Freshman Petter Brenna will join the team in Alaska tonight. Brenna, from Baerum, Norway, spent the beginning of the week earning FIS points, a giant slalom win, and three top-10 finishes in four races at the Nor-Am Cup in Sunday River, Maine. Sunday River is the site of the 2009 NCAA Championships Alpine competition.
Part of the Lobos big jump from seventh place to third place through six events can be credited to a healthy Polina Ermoshina. Ermoshina placed second in the women's 5-kilometer classical race with a time of 16:40.5. It was the eighth 2nd-place finish in her career for the Lobo junior.
The men's Nordic squad made a big contribution as well. Three Lobos placed in the top 11 of the men's 10-kilometer classical race for 65 points. Freshman Christoffer Callesen placed 7th with a time of 29:12.7. Sophomores Simon Reissmann and Martin Kaas placed 10th and 11th, respectively. Tor-Hakon Hellebostad, Casey Dyck and Rick Grahn placed 19th, 33rd, and 34th.
Competition continues on Saturday, Jan. 10 with the next six events in the Seawolf Invitational - men's and women's classical, men's giant slalom, and women's slalom.
UAA Invitational Team Standings - through 6 events
1. Alaska-Anchorage - 430
2. Colorado - 410
3. New Mexico - 378
4. Denver - 358
5. Utah - 350
6. Montana State - 303
7. Nevada - 257
8. Whitman - 138
9. Wyoming - 47
Seawolf Invitational Team Standings - corrected through 2 events
1. Utah - 147
2. Alaska-Anchorage - 135
3. Denver - 132
4. Colorado - 131
5. Nevada - 124
6. Montana State - 79
7. New Mexico - 77
8. Whitman - 56
9. Wyoming - 0