courtesy Federico Modica
courtesy Federico Modica
Rasanen Wins Gold at World University Games
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/19/2013

Complete World University Games Slalom Results

Trentino, Italy --- Let’s face it…winning an NCAA individual title is pretty cool.  Joonas Rasanen of the UNM Ski team did just that on March 8, 2013 when he became the 26th individual national champion in New Mexico history, winning the NCAA Slalom at the Championships in Middlebury, Vermont.  A feat like that is hard to top.

Winning gold at the World University Games probably tops it.  That’s exactly what Rasanen, a junior on the UNM men’s ski team did earlier this evening as his 46:52 run in his second go down the hill pushed him into the lead he would never relinquish, giving Finland a gold medal in the Slalom at Pozza di Fassa in Trentino Italy at the Winter World University Games.

Rasanen, a native of Helsinki, defeated Adam Zampa of Slovakia by 0.16 seconds.  Rasanen trailed Zampa, Russia’s Sergei Mayakov and Slovenia’s Miha Kuerner after the first run.  Rasanen’s first pass clocked in at a brisk 45.57, but 0.54 behind Zampa’s pace.  However, in his second run, he blitzed past everyone, posting the best second run time of the evening (46.52), one of just six sub 47-second runs on the second go (out of 44).

Rasanen gets the hardware, becoming the second Lobo to medal at the World University Games.  Cameron Bairstow led Australia to a silver medal in basketball this summer, the first ever basketball medal of any kind for the Aussies in international competition.  However, Rasanen wasn’t the only Lobo with a solid showing on the course.

Juho-Pekka Penttinen finished 21st overall after finishing second behind Rasanen in the second run with a time of 46.73, and Armin Triendl was 28th overall.  Triendl, a senior from Austria was a First Team All-America selection last year in the giant slalom, as was as a Third Team Academic All-American, while Penttinen, a senior from Finland finished 14th last year in RMISA MVP points with 299.

“This is a huge accomplishment for Joonas and will give him great confidence for the rest of the year,” said head UNM ski coach Fredrik Landstedt.  “It also was a great showing for Juho-Pekka and Armin, and this type of experience should really help us this upcoming season.”

The New Mexico ski team next competes as a full squad at the U.S. Nationals/Utah Invitational at Midway, Utah on January 4.