Jan. 17, 2013
The University of New Mexico Nordic ski team travels to Minturn, Colo., to compete in its portion of the University of Denver Invitational as part of Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association competition. The skiers are faced with a 5/10K freestyle race on Saturday, Jan. 19 and a 10/15K classical course on Sunday, Jan. 20.
New Mexico sits in third place with 384 points following the Alpine portion of the meet, which took place in Winter Park, Colo., last weekend. Host Devner holds a healthy lead with 457 points and Colorado is in second place,just two points ahead of UNM with 386.
Head coach Fredrik Landstedt and his Lobos are hoping to use this meet to build tenacity
"I'm looking for us to keep moving up and keep getting stronger and stronger towards NCAAs," Landstedt said. "I'd really like for every skier to get better and earn better results as we go along, at each meet. As far as this weekend, we'll try to stay in third place. We'll have to improve quite a bit from last weekend to stay in third."
Last weekend, the Nordic team entered the University of Colorado/Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational in third place and was able to maintain the Lobos' spot. Denver led in that meet as well following the Alpine portion, but was edged out of a meet victory by Colorado. The Buffaloes' Nordic women was the difference maker as they turned in a strong performance at their home meet, placing first, third and seventh in the women's 15K freestyle, and taking first, second and sixth in the women's 5K classical.
The Lobos were led by senior Linn Håvelsrud Klaesson and sophomore Mats Rudin Resaland last weekend. Klaesson finished fourth in the 15K freestyle and tied for 11th in the 5K classical. Resaland had a pair of top-10 finishes in his first RMISA competitions, as he was fifth in the men's 20K freestyle and placed 9th in the 10K classical. UNM will depend on those two and others at the DU Invite.
"I think both Linn and Clara Chauvet should be top 10 in both of the races this weekend," Landstedt said. "I'm expecting Anni Nord to get closer to a top 10 and for Mats to continue being a top skier and hopefully challenge for a podium position this weekend. Also for Christian Otto to move up and become closer to finishing in the top 10."
The Lobos will be a bit short-handed on the men's side, bringing just three (Resaland, Otto and Eivind Odden Solberg).
"We're leaving Sjur Prestsaeter home to get healthy. He should be one of our top guys so we'll be a little short on the men's side," Landstedt said.
Pierre Niess will not travel either. The Lobos senior did not compete in last weekend's meet.
"It should be a good meet and I'm looking forward to getting some good training and also for the student-athletes to ski a little bit better," Landstedt said.
The Alpine team will be training in Red River, N.M., for the weekend. The Lobos do not have an RMISA competition again until Feb. 6-7 (Utah Invitational held in Loveland, Colo.).