Preseason Events Wind Down and Lobos Look Ahead to RMISA Competition
Jan. 6, 2013
The Alpine portion of the University of Utah Invitational has been relocated to Loveland, Colo., and will take place on Feb. 6 (GS) and 7 (SL).
The Alpine portion of the University of New Mexico Invitational in Red River, N.M., will be held Feb. 9-10.
The University of New Mexico ski team had a busy weekend of preseason events as a few members of the Nordic team competed at the U.S. National Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah, while a number of Lobo Alpine skiers were in Aspen, Colo., participating in giant slalom events as part of an FIS event. This was the last weekend of preseason events as Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association competition begins tomorrow in Eldora, Colo., with day one of two of the Alpine Qualifier (giant slalom). The second day of the event is slated for Friday, Jan. 11 in Winter Park, Colo., but in between, the Alpine team will also be competing in the University of Colorado/Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational in Eldora, Colo. The Nordic team begins RMISA competition with the CU Invite, racing on Jan. 12 and 13.
Alpine team - FIS Races (giant slalom) in Aspen, Colo. (Jan. 3 & 5)
The Lobo Alpine team claimed six podium spots over two days of competition at the FIS Races in Aspen, Colo. The success is a good boost of confidence heading into RMISA competition.
The Lobos were paced by Chris Acosta who won the event. Acosta finished the first run in 46.33 and completed the second in 45.73. His total time of 1:32.06 was over a second faster than the runner-up, Jared Goldberg, who clocked a 1:33.70.
Finishing second for UNM was Michael Bansmer who claimed sixth place (1:33.94). Joonas Rasanen (1:34.31) and Chriss Salbu (1:34.56) placed 10th and 12th, respectively, while Juho-Pekka Penttinen came in 18th (1:35.04). Rounding out the men's team was Sean Horner, who took 23rd (1:35.34).
A Lobo also claimed the women's giant slalom race. Senior Kate Williams topped the field of roughly 60 competitors, clocking a 46.99 in her first run and a 49.84 for her second for a total time of 1:36.83.
Day two of the competition was held Jan. 5, and again, Acosta earned a podium spot as he claimed third (1:33.26). Rasanen and Bansmer were next for UNM, finishing 6th and 7th, respectively and Horner placed 19th.
On the women's side, the podium was painted Cherry and Silver as Williams, Altringer and Hostetter claimed the first three spots. Williams recorded a total time of 1:37.70, finishing a second faster than Altringer who clocked a 1:38.71. Hostetter recorded a time of 1:39.51.
"Obviously we had big successes with Chris Acosta and Kate Williams," Alpine head coach Joe Downing said. "Everybody across the board had a good run or was at least skiing fast. They might not have put two runs together for a race, but they all had some success there. It's very encouraging going into our first college events."
Senior Armin Triendl did not compete as he was still traveling for Holiday break. The 2012 RMISA Men's Alpine Skier of the Year will be back with the Lobos for the start of RMISA competition.
Nordic team -- U.S. National Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah
The Lobos have finished three of four days of competition at the U.S. Championships which began with a 1.3K classic sprint qualifier on Wednesday, Jan. 2 and will conclude with a sprint freestyle race on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Only two student-athletes competed on in the first event as members of the team were returning from their Holiday break over the weekend.
Head coach Fredrik Landstedt says that even though these races do not count toward RMISA, they still hold value as the competition field features several collegiate skiers and the top skiers in the country.
"We are using these competitions as preparation for our college season," Landstedt said.
UNM was represented by two student-athletes in Pierre Niess and Ingrid Leask in the 1.3K classic sprint qualifier. Niess finished the short course is 3:08.89 seconds, placing 93rd in a field of 213 competitors and finishing 31st in his class. Leask clocked a time of 4:01.27, placing 126th among 152 contenders and coming in 46th in her class.
Racing continued on Jan. 4 with a 10K freestyle for the women and a 15k freestyle for the men. Clara Chauvet finished first for the Lobos, coming in 22nd overall and 12th in her class (31:31.0). Leask was 95th overall and 33rd in her class (34:43.4). Christian Otto was the first Lobo to finish for the men's team, placing 41st overall and 17th in his class (40:03.0). Niess finished 142nd overall and 34th in his class (43:44.7).
Sunday was a true endurance test as the women completed a 20K mass start classical and the men's race was 30K, also a mass start classical Chauvet again led the women's team, placing 26th in a field of nearly 80 competitors. Her time of 1:12:13.9 was enough for a 10th-place finish in her class. Leask finished 33rd overall and was 20th in her class (1:13:44.0).
On the men's side, Otto led UNM with a 38th-place finish overall. He was 17th in his class and finished the course in 1:31:00.8. Sjur Prestsaeter finished 55th and was 41st in his class (1:36:07.3 while Niess was 72nd overall and 24th in his class (1:39:22.6). The men's field featured 87 competitors.
Landstedt liked what he saw from his Lobos on Sunday.
"Clara had a good classic race. She is normally a better skater, so this is where she can make the biggest improvement," he said. "Ingrid probably had her best race as a Lobo, beating 20 other college competitors.
"Christian had a good classic race today and it is a good start of the season for him."