Sloan Storey tied for her best finish of the season with a second-place run in the women's classic.
Feb. 21, 2014
BEAVER CREEK and MINTURN, Colo. - Led by a victory in the women's giant slalom by Chloe Fausa, the Utah ski team earned five podium finishes (top three) to stand in second place after the first day of the RMISA Championships and NCAA West Regional.
Utah is just three points behind leader Colorado (337 points to 334 points). New Mexico is third with 298.5 points with Denver fourth (291.5). Montana State rounds out the top five with 210 points. Utah has scored the most points of any team in the alpine events (192 points) and the Ute women also lead the scoring in the women's races (171 points).
"It was a strong opening for us today and I am proud of these results," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "We made a few mistakes, however, it is really nice to see everyone charging. There is still more upside in this team. I think today gives us confidence. We are definitely in a good place with the NCAA's on the doorstep."
Fausa led a 1-2 finish in the women's GS, with Kristiina Rove finishing second in the event. It was Fausa's second win this season, and Rove's fourth podium finish of the year. Ana Kobal finished eighth (her sixth top-10 of the year) to make the Utes the highest scoring team in the race. Lauren Samuels crossed the finish 13th followed by Teagan Palmer in 23rd and Jaime Dupratt in 28th.
In the men's giant slalom, the Utes were led by Mark Engel, who had his second-straight second-place finish this season. After running the 13th-best run on his first run, he ripped off the fastest second run of the afternoon. Andy Trow earned his second career podium finish with a third-place run, his best finish this season. Eian Sandvick picked up his first top 10 of the season with a 10th-place finish and Joergen Brath finished 13th.
In the nordic events, Sloan Storey tied for her best finish of the season with a second-place run in the 5-km classical. Anna-Lena Heynen finished 10th for her fourth top-10 finish of the season and Josefin Nilsson was Utah's third scorer in 21st. Madeleine Thorn finished 22nd with Anna Svendsen in 24th.
Niklas Persson finished fifth in the men's 10-km classical for his third top-five of the year. Noe Bellet crossed the line for his seventh top-10 of the year with Kevin Bolger tying for 11th. Tucker McCrerey was 19th and Oscar Ivars finished 21st.
"We are always aiming to land all of our scorers in the top ten, and we came close to pulling that off today," Utah head nordic coach Abi Holt said. "Sloan's second place is a great result any day, and it's a nice indication that she's on track to keep building momentum through the end of the season. Niklas has been the team's most steady scorer this season, and he delivered another great result. Noé and Anna-Lena also landed in the top ten, showing that they are both doing a good job of rebuilding from a period of mid-season illness. Kevin just barely missed the top ten mark by a few seconds. Overall, I think today indicates that we are in a good place, and still building toward a strong finish to the season."
The RMISA Championships and NCAA West Regional continue on Saturday, Feb. 22, with the alpine slalom events and the nordic women's 15-km and men's 20-km freestyle races.