Sophomore Sandra Gredig receives advice from coach Sweeney.
Jan. 6, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY -- Host and No. 1 (SkiRacing Magazine) seeded University of Utah ski team drops a spot to finish third overall at the Utah Invitational. The final day of events featured the men's slalom, women's giant slalom and both freestyle events.
Denver (568.0) never looked back as they largely increased their margin of victory in the second day of events. Colorado (488.0) slipped past Utah (486.0) to snag the second-place finish, while the Utes claimed third. Alaska-Anchorage (452.0) surged ahead to place fourth, while the Logos of New Mexico (421.0) dropped a spot to finish fifth.
"We are a little disappointed with our finish, but I feel really good about this group," said Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "This was a tough weekend, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives."
Although the Utes had a tough weekend of skiing, that didn't stop the women's nordic squad from taking home a first-place finish in the 5-km freestyle. Sophomore Sandra Gredig began where she left off yesterday by skating third with a time of 16:14.4. Junior Ashley McQueen also headlined the Utes placing fifth in 16:28.6, while senior Barbro Hatlevik skied seventh in 16:35.6. Sophomore newcomer Nicole Naef garnered 12th and senior Anna Sprague notched 17th.
"The women's cross country team looked great this weekend," said Sweeney. "Sandra skied very solid overall and it was exciting to see Ashley performing well. We have a strong team and I'm happy with the team's performance."
"I think the team was a little disappointed with our results this weekend," added Gredig. "The women's cross country team was happy with our results. I was very tired today, but our training all Fall has really helped."
Utah's Daniel Sonntag led the way for the men's nordic team, winning the 10-km freestyle race with a time of 27:11.5. Junior Jess Kiesel managed to finish 15th in 29:04.5, while junior Tony Bozzio grabbed 36th in 31:47.8. Junior Olympic Champion Casey Simons didn't start.
"Daniel winning the freestyle was fantastic," remarked Sweeney. "It was great to see him win the skate race knowing he is still recovering from illness. This was a good season opener for the men's team."
The seasoned women's alpine squad fared well in the GS, placing all three scores in the top-ten. Leading the way was senior All-American April Mancuso. The Lake Tahoe, Calif., native continues to ski well, placing third overall with a time of 2:11.15. Fellow All-American Lina Johansson torched the slopes to place fifth in 2:12.51, while freshman Kim Stephens rounded out the scores by finishing 10th in 2:14.34. Senior Rowena Hyldahl skied 22nd and sophomore Lauren Lattimer finished 44th.
"This was a long tough weekend, but I'm pleased with our results," said Head Alpine Coach Aaron Atkins. "We are not disappointed with our performances, everyone gave their best effort and that is all anyone can ask. We looked solid and I'm looking forward to the next invitational."
"The women's alpine team had a great day," added Atkins. "April had a stellar invite. and it was great to see Kim perform so well."
"I didn't feel very well this weekend, but overall the team skied well," added Johansson. "We are going to have a great team this season and we are excited about the next meet."
The men's alpine team had some trouble, finishing with only one score in the SL. Sophomore Gaspar Perricone skied tenth in 1:42.44. Ute skiers Ben Thornhill and Mark Heinrich-Wallace did not start the second run after falling and having to hike during the first run of the day.
"It was good to see Gaspar ski well," added Atkins. "We have a small men's team, but they are great skiers and we know they can produce great results."
Next up, Utah will travel to Jackson Hole, Wyo, to ski at the Alaska-Anchorage Invitational. Alpine events will be held at the Snow King Resort, while the nordic races will be skied at the Trail Creek Ranch. Events will be held Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 13-15. Races begin at 10:00 a.m. (AKST).