Feb. 9, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Lobo ski team finds itself in fifth place after day one of competition at the Seawolf Invitational. Rain all day yesterday and throughout the night made conditions unsafe for the Alpine skiers to continue their races, but New Mexico was able to complete both men’s and women’s 10K and 5K freestyle Nordic races, as well as one run of the Alpine women’s giant slalom race. The Men’s giant slalom was cancelled due to poor conditions on the course.
The Alpine women were able to complete one run down the course before the rest of the giant slalom runs were cancelled. The women’s first and only run will count towards total team scoring, while the men's slalom race (on Feb. 11) will be doubled for the men's giant slalom team points.
On the Nordic side, head coach Fredrik Landstedt saw his women Lobos perform very well once again. His Nordic men, however, are still struggling to overcome injuries and illness.
Linn Klaesson did what she has become accustomed to this season, and that is place in the top 10, finishing in sixth place. The big story on the women’s side in the 5K race was the constant improvement of freshman Clara Chauvet. Chauvet had the top finish on the day for the Lobos, placing fourth. The finish ties the highest finish in her career and on the season for the young skier. Anni Nord placed 16th and Anita Kirvesniemi finished in 18th to round out the women’s results.
“It was such a great race by Clara and Linn today,” Landstedt said. “They are both right behind the podium consistently in skate races. I also thought Anni and Anita skied well.”
Eivind Solberg finished 22nd and Sjur Prestseater battled through his illness to place 25th. Pierre Neiss had to sit out the race due to a very bad virus. Otto’s finish is hopefully a sign of good things to come, as the junior tied for his best finish on the season.
“Overall it was a much better day had by the Nordic team,” Landstedt said.
Even though the women’s Alpine results were decided off one run thanks to the weather deeming the course unsafe to continue on with racing, the Lobos still did very well. All three UNM women skiers placed in the top 15. Stefanie Demetz and Kate Williams skied virtually at the same pace, as Demetz finished 10th and Williams finished 11th, just two-tenths of a second off Demetz’ time. Mary Rachel Hostetter wasn’t too far behind, either, placing 13th, just a second off the other two Lobo skiers.
“It was not raining today, but all the rain through the night made the snow rotten, which is not good or safe for racing” Head Alpine coach Tyler Shepherd said.
Up next, the Lobos Alpine team will conclude the Alaska Anchorage Invitational tomorrow with slalom races at Alyeska Ski Resort beginning at 12:30 p.m. MT with the men’s first run and 1:30 p.m MT with the women’s first run. Also tomorrow, the Nordic squad will continue on from today’s Seawolf invite, as the Lobo men and women will race in the 20K and 15K freestyle races beginning at noon MT and 1:30 MT, respectively.
Nordic Classical Men’s 10K
12. Eivind Solberg, UNM, 27:29.7; 25. Sjur Prestseater, UNM, 28.36.6; DNS. Pierre Niess, UNM