Feb. 11, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - After two long weeks in Alaska the University of New Mexico ski team finished out competition at the Seawolf Invitational with a solid performance from the Alpine team. The Alpine skiers helped the Lobos move up from fifth place to fourth place on the final day, thanks in part to the men having, quite possibly, their best slalom performance of the season. Utah, Denver and Colorado were the three teams to finish ahead of the Lobos at the Invitational.
The Lobo men had three skiers place in the top 10, which was particularly important because these slalom races counted for double points in order to account for no score being tallied in the men's giant slalom that was supposed to take place on Thursday. The slalom race did not happen on Thursday due to poor racing conditions.
Joonas Rasanen, who had a great weekend between the Alaska Anchorage Invitational and Seawolf Invitational, had the highest finish of any Lobo, claiming third place for a spot on the podium. The freshman from Helsinki, Finland, came to UNM, lauded with high expectations, and it looks as if he is beginning to meet those expectations. Rasanen was followed by Chris Acosta, who recorded his highest finish of the season in sixth place. Acosta has had a slow start to the season, but like his fellow teammate Rasanen, it looks like he is starting to figure it out at the right time. And, the third UNM skier to place in the top 10 was Mr. Consistent himself, Armin Triendl, in eighth place. Triendl now has six top 10 finishes on the season, which is the most of any male Lobo Alpine skier.
"This was definitely a good day for the men," head Alpine coach Tyler Shepherd said. "They skied very well in tough conditions."
On the women's side, Stefanie Demetz had another fantastic finish for the Lobos after crossing the finish line in fourth place. Kate Williams, who had a fantastic giant slalom race yesterday with a second-place finish, slipped back a little today, placing 15th. The third and final Lobo for the women, Mary Rachel Hostetter, placed 30th. Demetz now has six top-10 finishes on the season, which is tops for the women Alpine skiers.
"I am happy with the effort the team gave over the past four days," Shepherd said. "These were not easy conditions to race in and they performed well. I do still believe we can do better, and I hope we really begin to show that when it will ultimately count - the NCAA Championships."
Up Next, the Lobos come back to Albuquerque to train in preparation for the RMISA Regional Championship that takes place Feb. 23-25. The Lobos will be looking to improve off their third-place finish at the RMISA championship last season.
3. Joonas Rasanen, UNM, 1:25.38; 6. Chris Acosta, UNM, 1:25.84; 8. Armin Triendl, UNM, 1:26.35; 16. Sean Horner, UNM, 1:28.78: 21. Mark Miller, UNM, 1:37.94; DSQ. Michael Bansmer, UNM; DSQ. Chriss Salbu, UNM
Nordic Classical Men's 20K
7. Sjur Prestseater, UNM, 56.03.3; 22. Eivind Solberg, UNM, 1:00.07.5
Nordic Freestyle Men's 10K
12. Sjur Prestseater, UNM, 28.36.6; DNS. Pierre Niess, UNM