BEAVER CREEK/MINTURN, COLO. --- The University of New Mexico ski team is sitting in third place after day one of the two-day RMISA/NCAA West Regionals after getting two podium finishes by Karoline Mykelbust and Eva Severrus.
The Lobos are within striking distance of first place Colorado, which has 337 points, and second place Utah, which is right behind at 334 points. New Mexico has 297.5 points, and Denver is still in it as well with 290.5 points.
The Lobos should be able to make up ground as their best two events, the slalom and the Nordic freestyle will be competed tomorrow. UNM has had four individual wins in either the slalom or freestyle this season.
New Mexico picked up 69 points in the women’s 5K classical race, with Severrus earning a seventh podium finish on the season, clocking in at 14:55.8, good for third place. Andrea Lee had a solid race finishing 13th, but Anni Nord saw her string of eight consecutive top 10 finishes end at eight after dropping down to 18th place. Heleene Tambet finished 23rd and Anna Daudert finished 25th.
On the men’s side in the 10K, Mats Resaland was once again the top finisher, coming in sixth place, one slot ahead of teammate Aljaz Praznik, who has turned it on near the end of the season to become a consistent top-10 finisher. Aku Nikander finished 14th, and Caleb Krueger was 29th.
The Lobos fared better in the giant slalom, getting three top-10 finishes in both the men’s race and the women’s race. On the women’s side, Karoline Mykelbust had a podium finish as she finished in a tie with Denver’s Kristen Haugen for third. For Mykelbust, it was a huge get of 32.5 points as she had four straight DNF’s in the giant slalom. Mykelbust has finished in the top seven in every race she has completed this year.
The same can be said for Mateja Robnik, who finished in seventh, her fifth top 10 this year in the giant slalom and ninth overall. Courtney Altringer scored key points for UNM with her fifth top-10 finish in the last six outings, finishing ninth. Not scoring but completing the course were Taylor Grauer in 26th and Sydney Staples in 29th.
On the men’s side, it was three more top-10 finishes, led by Juho-Pekka Penttinen, who finished fifth. RMISA Alpine MVP Sean Horner was sixth, giving Penttinen three straight top-6 finishes and Horner six straight top-10s. Armin Triendl, who was the RMISA Alpine MVP in 2012, finished eighth.
Other UNM downhill racers included Joonas Rasanen, who finished 12th, Mark Miller who finished 24th, and Scott Snow, who finished 29th. The Lobos suffered a bad break when Michael Bansmer didn’t finish his second run after turning in the fastest run in the first-go.
Tomorrow’s Nordic races are 15K for the women and 20K for the men, and they will both be conducted with a mass start.