BOULDER, Colo. --- The University of New Mexico ski team picked up plenty of honors as nine skiers were named All-Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, including three first team selections in Eva Severrus, Karoline Mykelbust and Joonas Rasanen.
The Lobos had nine in all, and trailed Denver and Utah, who had 10 student-athletes honored each. The Lobos are coming off a very close third-place finish in the RMISA/NCAA West Region championships last weekend.
Severrus as a first-team pick was a basic no brainer. The freshman from Logatec, Slovnia has been nothing short of amazing all season after coming to the team at the semester break. Severrus has a pair of titles to her credit including the 15K mass start free style title at the RMISA Championships. In all she finished the season with nine straight finishes of fourth place or better, including eight podium finishes. She was the RMISA Women’s Nordic Skier of the Week after winning at freestyle and finishing second in the classical at the Colorado Invitational.
Last year’s NCAA slalom champion Joonas Rasanen of Helsinki, Finland was named first team in alpine. Rasanen, who missed a portion of the season with an injury, has been on track since returning, winning the Jade Enterprises Lobo Invitational slalom and then finishing second in the slalom at the RMISA Championships.
UNM’s other alpine first team pick was Karoline Mykelbust, another freshman. Mykelbust, from Nordfjordeid, Norway, has finished no lower than seventh in any completed race this season, and she has three straight podium finishes, including two at the RMISA Championships. Mykelbust was the RMISA Women’s Alpine Skier of the Week for the Jade Enterprises/UNM Invitational after finishing second and third in the slaloms.
Six Lobos were selected to the second team squads. In Nordic, Anni Nord from Tammela, Finland was rewarded for a superb junior campaign that saw her consistently score as UNM’s No. 2 skier in both cross country disciplines. Nord, who had a string of eight top 10 finishes snapped when she suffered a slight injury at the RMISA Championships, had her first podium finish of the season at the Jade Enterprises/UNM Invitational.
On the men’s side, Mats Resaland and Aku Nikander were both named to the second team. Resaland, a junior from Kongsberg, Norway had nine top-10 finishes in 10 events (with the lone outlier being an 11th place finish), proving to be UNM’s most consistent cross country skier on the men’s side. For Nikander, a sophomore from Lohja, Finland, the honor solidifies a break-out season for him. Nikander had eight top 10 finishes, highlighted by a win at the 30K Pat Miller Invitational. Nikander was deadly in the freestyle races, finishing in the top-10 in all five races.
In alpine, Mateja Robnik earned second team honors. Robnik, a junior from Slovenia, had 10 top-10 finishes on the season, highlighted by a win in the RMISA Giant Slalom qualifier in Colorado. In all she had three podium and seven top-five finishes. Robnik was the RMISA Female Alpine Skier of the Week after winning the RMISA Giant Slalom qualifier and then finishing third in the second qualifier.
For the men, Sean Horner and Juho-Pekka Penttinen earned second team honors. Horner, a junior from Boulder, Colorado who last week was named the RMISA Alpine MVP, had a solid season with eight top-10 finishes including a second-place finish in the slalom at the Jade Enterprises/UNM Invitational. Horner was the RMISA Men’s Apline Skier of the Week after finishing second in the Slalom and third in the Giant Slalom at the Colorado Invitational.
Penttinen, a junior from Kuopio, Finland had five top fives including a win at the Jade Enterprises/UNM Invitational. Penttinen was the RMISA Apline Skier of the Week after his win at the Jade Enterprises/UNM Invitational.
The Lobos will compete at the NCAA Championships at Midway (Nordic) and Park City (Alpine), Utah March 5-8.