ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Do you believe in miracles? The University of New Mexico ski team at least will believe in long flights, neck pillows, and lots of school work on airplanes as a pair of long trips highlight the Lobo ski schedule. One of those trips is for the NCAA Championships in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Those Olympics were the site of Eric Heiden’s five gold medals in speed skating, and more famously, the Miracle on Ice as the U.S. Olympic hockey team won the goal medal over the supposedly invincible Soviet Union. While it’s doubtful the Lobos will do much sightseeing at Lake Placid, they surely will have time to read up on the place as the Lobos will end the season with two long trips.
The schedule opens up with RMISA giant slalom qualifiers prior to the opening meet the University of Utah Invitational. The squad then heads to the University of Colorado Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational before the second RMISA giant slalom qualifier, which will be after the meet.
The two qualifiers are necessary because the Jade Enterprises New Mexico Invitational will not host a giant slalom, instead hosting a slalom, giving RMISA skiers five slalom races in meets, but just three giant slaloms.
The Jade Enterprises New Mexico Invitational will once again comprise two days of events on January 30 and 31 in Red River, New Mexico with the slalom races at the Red River Ski Area and the Nordic races at the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area.
That means UNM’s three meets in January total 1,251 miles of travel. February means just one trip for a pair of meets, but it’s 3,665 miles to Anchorage, Alaska. First is the University of Alaska Anchorage Invitational Feb. 23-26, and then UNM will stay right there and compete in the RMISA Championships/NCAA West Regional February 27-28.
This year’s NCAA Championships will take place in the eastern corridor at Lake Placid, N.Y. The alpine events will be contested at the Olympic Sports Complex while the Nordic events will take place at Whiteface Mountain. Last year the Lobos finished third at the NCAA Championships, which were hosted by the University of Utah.