Nov. 23, 2012
WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. -- The University of New Mexico Nordic ski team got its first taste of competition this afternoon at the West Yellowstone Super Tour at South Plateau in West Yellowstone, Mont.
Student-athletes from nine college teams as well as many other competitive skiers made up the field of 264 racers for the 9K freestyle event. The Lobo Nordic team had nine competitors in the event and entered Friday's competition having only trained on snow once so far this season.
Newcomer Mats Rudin Resaland was the first Lobo skier to cross the finish line and unofficial results have him placing sixth among college racers with a time of 22:12.1.
"Mats had a very good race today," head coach Fredrik Landstedt said. "He was sixth among college skiers and very close to the top, time wise."
Sjur Prestsaeter finished next for UNM, coming in 15th among collegiate racers with a 22:56.9 clock. He was followed by Christian Otto (36th in his class, 23:43.3), Eivind Solberg (32nd in his class, 24:26.8), and Pierre Niess (38th in his class, 24:35.3).
"Sjur also had a good first skate race while Christian, Eivind, and Pierre were a little bit back," Landstedt said. "We will use this competition to learn what we need to improve on for the rest of the season."
On the women's side, sophomore Clara Chauvet had a good first competition and finished first for UNM.
Landstedt recognized this event was the first of many for the 2012-13 campaign.
"Clara had an excellent first race finishing as the fourth-best college women," Landstedt said. Chauvet clocked a time of 26:25.9.
Linn Klaesson followed with a time of 27:06.9, finishing 13th in her class.
"For us, this is a stepping stone towards the NCAA Championships in March and we are here to learn from this race and then get some good ski practice in before next week's competitions in Bozeman," Landstedt said. "For many others this is a very important competition and a world cup qualifier for the best Americans."
Other college teams competing included: Colorado, Denver, Utah, Montana, Alaska Fairbanks, Middlebury, Dartmouth and Williams.
The Nordic ski team's next competition is another FIS/Super Tour in Bozeman, Mont., Dec. 1-2.
New Mexico begins its RMISA schedule in January.