Feb. 10, 2013
RED RIVER, N.M. -- Joonas Rasanen, Chris Acosta and Mark Miller placed second, third and sixth, respectively in the slalom on Sunday to give the University of New Mexico men's Alpine team a sweep on the weekend at the Lobos' home meet held at the Red River Ski Area in Red River, N.M. It was the final regular-season Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Invite of 2013.
UNM's Alpine team won its portion of the Invite, finishing with 444 points over two days.
Overall, the Lobos finished fourth. Colorado won its fourth Invite of the season with 864 points. Utah was close to catching the Buffs, tallying 851 points in the Invite to finish second while Denver was third with 808 points.
New Mexico's point total in the meet was 794, a comfortable advantage over fifth-place Montana State. Alaska Anchorage (605 points), Westminster (275 points), Wyoming (204 points) and Colorado Mountain College (98 points) rounded out the field of competitors.
Head Alpine coach Joe Downing and his Lobos thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Invite.
"It was great being at our home hill," Downing said. "We had so much support from Red River and the Red River Ski Area. George Brooks (former head coach of UNM) came in and it was awesome. Having all the parents here -- and even some UNM students who are friends of our skiers -- it was just great.
"We've been on the road since the 30th of January so everyone is really tired but this was refreshing being at home."
Rasanen recorded his fourth top-five finish of the season and led the Lobo men for the fourth time in RMISA action. Acosta's podium finish was his second top-five placement of the season while Miller's sixth-place finish was his first top-10 finish of his career.
"The guys had a lot of fun and skied fast," Downing said. "Joonas is on fire. He's hands down the best slalom skier in this region. He absolutely pushes the other guys, but then they give it back to him in the giant slalom.
"Mark Miller won a run this weekend (on Saturday), which is huge. Every one of our guys is strong right now heading into Regionals."
Courtney Altringer also competed and finished 18th.
Robnik joined the Lobos mid-January and has led the Lobos in the last two RMISA meets.
"Mateja is awesome and she has upped the game of the other girls, for sure," Downing said. "The other girls keep her honest, too. She doesn't just beat them hands down, she has to earn her spot, too."
Next up for the New Mexico ski team are the RMISA Championships/NCAA West Regionals hosted by Montana State in Bozeman, Mont., Feb. 22-24.