March 10, 2012
BOZEMAN, Mont. - The University of New Mexico ski team wrapped up the 2012 NCAA Championships in eighth place Saturday. Vermont claimed the 2012 Championship while Utah, Colorado and Dartmouth rounded out the top four.
Although, the eighth-place finish isn't exactly what the Lobos have become accustomed to over the years, the 2012 championships weren't without their exciting moments. One of those exciting moments came on the final day today, when Lobo junior Chris Acosta flew down the mountain to claim a podium spot of third place, clinching First-Team All-American honors.
Acosta is UNM's first alpine skier to grab a podium spot in the NCAA championships since Malin Hemmingsson claimed the national title in the women's slalom in 2010.
Acosta wasn't the only Lobo skier to garner All-American honors on the day as Stefanie Demetz grabbed herself a sixth-place finish and Second-Team All-American award in the women's slalom race.
RMISA Alpine MVP Armin Triendl was on his way to possibly joining Acosta on the podium until he took a nasty spill on one of his turns in his second run. The junior was letting it all hang out and, unfortunately, came up empty in his quest for a great finish. Both he and head alpine coach Tyler Shepherd were upset because they knew Armin deserved a top finish for his efforts this season. Triendl ended up taking 32nd overall in the race. Michael Bansmer rounded out the men's scoring with a 17th-place finish, which was very respectable for the NCAA first timer.
"I really feel for Armin," Shepherd said. "He really wanted it and put it all out there." On the women's side, Kate Williams followed Demetz with a 13th-place finish and Mary Rachel Hostetter claimed 20th to round out the scoring. Hostetter was competing in her first-ever NCAA Championships and Williams was less than a second off from earning Second-Team All-America.
When all was said and done, the Lobos produced five All Americans (Acosta twice), two top-five finishers and five top 10 finishers. UNM has still never finished lower than ninth in any NCAA Championship.
"An eighth-place finish in the national championships is respectable but not what we were looking for," Landstedt said. "The athletes fought hard for every point and we had some outstanding individual performances.
"We have only one senior on the team and we will use this years' experience to come back and be a contender in 2013."
Armin Triendl - First Team - fifth in the men's giant slalom
Chris Acosta - First Team - third in the men's slalom; Second Team - 10th in the men's giant slalom
Sjur Prestseater - Second Team - 10th in the men's Classical
Stefanie Demetz - Second Team - sixth in the women's slalom