Rasanen Wins DU Slalom; Lobos Finish Third at CU/Spencer Nelson Memorial Invite
Jan. 13, 2013
WINTER PARK/STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. -- The University of New Mexico ski team had another day of Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association action on Sunday as the Alpine team finished their portion of the University of Denver Invitational with the slalom and the Nordic team completed the final day of the University of Colorado/Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational with the 5/10K classical and . Sophomore Joonas Rasanen and the Alpine team turned in a solid performance at the DU Invite to move UNM up to third place, a two-spot improvement after yesterday's giant slalom event. The Nordic team secured a third-place finish for the Lobos at the CU/Spencer Nelson Invite.
Rasanen won his second RMISA event of the young season and led the Lobo Alpine team with a strong performance in the slalom. New Mexico's point total moved to 384, enough for a two-spot improvement of third place.
Rasanen, a native of Helsinki, Finland, finished the race with a total time of 1:31.29. It was a tight race as the top-five finishers in the men's race posted times within .46th of a second of each other.
"We're definitely really excited to have Joonas up on the podium," Alpine head coach Joe Downing said. "The conditions were a little bit soft today and it was kind of hard to come from the back, but Joonas had a pretty good start position and had a good first run and a little better second run and was able to capitalize on it. He had a really good slalom. He's just a good skier."
The top three Lobo men collected 120 points for New Mexico.
Sean Horner was the fourth Lobo to successfully finish both runs and placed 14th with a total time of 1:32.89.
"The other guys skied well too, both Chris and Juho-Pekka had a good day," Downing said. "Sean Horner was up in the placings too, as our fourth guy."
Senior Kate Williams, a native of Park City, Utah, clocked a total time of 1:37.74 to tied for seventh place with DU's Lindsay Cone. Williams was followed closely by Mary Rachel Hostetter and Courtney Altringer who were one-hundredth of a second apart and placed 10th and 11th, respectively. The three Lobos tallied 93 points to UNM's score.
Host Denver leads the meet with 457 points while Colorado is two points ahead of New Mexico with 386 points.
The Lobo women were without Anne Cecilie Brusletto, who is still battling some lingering issues from an injury. Armin Triendl, an All-American and the 2012 RMISA Men's Alpine Skier of the Year, has also missed the last three RMISA events as he sustained a season-ending knee injury.
"It's a huge loss," Downing said. "Not only is he a big leader on the team, he's a good skier. It's a loss, but we've got a good squad and others, I'm sure, will step up to the challenge."
The Alpine team has a much-deserved and much-needed break from competition as their next competition is a NorAm event in Vail, Colo., Jan. 31-Feb. 6. The Lobos competed six of the last seven days in RMISA events.
"We'll have two weekends of training," Downing said. "We'll start slow and get back in the gym a bit. I think everybody on the team has been hit with a little bit of a cold/bronchitis on this long trip so we're is ready to go home and rest and prepare for the next trip."
Host Colorado emerged as the winner of their home meet, the Spencer Nelson Memorial Invite. The Buffs Nordic women put up strong performances over the weekend to help secure the win as CU finished with 878 points. Denver was second with 808.5 points while UNM was third with 741.5. Utah (723 points) and Alaska Anchorage (717 points) rounded out the top five.
Mats Rudin Resaland again led the Lobo men and was the top point earner for UNM in Sunday's 10K classical race. The sophomore newcomer from Kongsberg, Norway finished ninth with a time of 28:12.3. It's his second top-10 finish in RMISA events in as many days.
Coming in behind Resaland were junior Christian Otto and sophomore Sjur Prestsaeter. Otto finished the course in 28:43.6, enough for 17th place while Prestsaeter had a time of 31:28.1 and was 27th. Eivind Odden Solberg, a senior, followed in 28th.
The top three UNM men combined for 78 points in the event.
The Lobo women tallied 76.5 points in the 5K classical with Linn Håvelsrud Klaesson again leading the way. The senior from Oslo, Norway, tied for 11th place with a time of 17:22.0. She tied with Montana State's Cambria McDermott.
Following Klaesson and counting for points were Clara Chauvet and Anita Kirvesniemi. Chauvet, a sophomore from Gervais, France, placed 16th (17:42.9) while Kirvesniemi, a junior from Simpele, Finland, came in 22nd (17:53.7).
The Nordic team travels to Minturn, Colo., Jan. 19-20 to complete their portion of the DU Invite, beginning with the 5/10K interval freestyle.