Jeremy Elliot took second in the men's GS on Wednesday at the NCAA Championships.
March 6, 2013
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Jeremy Elliot tied for second in Wednesday's men's giant slalom race and Kristiina Rove took fourth in the women's GS event as the University of Utah ski team stands in fifth place after the first day of the NCAA Championships in the Middlebury College Snow Bowl.
The Utes totaled 164.5 points over the opening day and they find themselves in fifth place, but trail fourth-place New Hampshire by just one point. Fellow RMISA members Denver (210.5) and Colorado (175.5) are in second and third place, respectively, while Vermont paces the field with 227.0 points after one event.
In the men's giant slalom, the Utes recorded a pair of top-20 efforts as Utah finished sixth among the men's GS teams with 67.5 points.
Elliot tied for second with New Hampshire's Coley Oliver in the men's GS for his first career medal performance at the NCAA Championships. He finished just .06 seconds behind eventual national champion Jonathon Nordbotten of Vermont.
"I had an awesome first run, and came out with a healthy lead, which was great, but it put the pressure on me for the second run," Elliot said. "It's really difficult to ski a good second run when you have the lead because of that added pressure. I was definitely feeling the nerves for the second run. I skied well and really attacked the course, but unfortunately, I made a mistake on the most crucial section of the course: right before the flats. That cost me plenty more than the .06 that I lost by, so it was a little frustrating, but at the same time it feels awesome to finish second in such a competitive race, and earn myself a First-Team All-American performance. Most importantly, I racked in a lot of points for the team and hopefully set the Nordic guys up to put us in the lead tomorrow."
This was Elliot's fifth podium performance of this season. The Park City, Utah native recorded the fastest first-run time of the entire meet en route to tying for second place overall. Elliot now has eight career top-three finishes as a Ute.
Freshman Andy Trow followed in 18th during the first NCAA Championships race of his career. Trow has placed among top 20 in 10 of his 12 races during his first season with the Utes.
Utah record two top-10 efforts in the women's giant slalom race to record 97 points on the day. The Utes finished fourth among the 15 competing schools in the race.
In her first-ever appearance at the NCAA Championships, Rove led the way for the Utes in the women's GS with a fourth-place effort. The Espoo, Finland native has placed fourth or better in four of her last five competitions and has posted six top-five efforts in 2013. Rove turned in the third-fastest first-run effort of the day and was sixth in the second run to earn fourth place overall.
Also in her national meet debut, sophomore Ana Kobal turned in a sixth-place finish to join Rove in the top 10. The Ljubljana, Slovenia native has totaled nine top-10 efforts out of 11 races during her first year with the Utes. She was ninth after the first run of the day and came back with the third-fastest second-run time of the day to work her way up the standings.
"I am really happy with my both runs today," Kobal said. "Finally, I showed some good skiing in the GS, too. After a good result in GS, I am even more exited for the slalom race on Friday. It was an awesome day and I am so proud of my team."
Junior Jaime Dupratt was the third Ute scorer as she placed 21st.
The Nordic portion of the NCAA Championships begins tomorrow with the 5/10-km Classical race (with an interval start) at the Rikert Nordic Center. Start time is slated for 10 a.m. ET and the live video stream will be available at ncaa.com, while live results can be tracked at barttiming.com.