Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Persson Finishes Third for Utah in Men's 10K Classic at NCAA Skiing Championships

Anna Svendsen finished eighth in the women's 5-km classic race.

Anna Svendsen finished eighth in the women's 5-km classic race.

March 6, 2014

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MIDWAY, Utah - Niklas Persson finished third in the men's 10-km classical race as three skiers earned All-America honors on the second day of the NCAA skiing championships, held at Soldier Hollow Resort.

Persson's third-place finish was his third podium finish of the season. It was his second career All-America honor after earning honors in last year's freestyle race.

Also earning All-America honors in the women's race was Anna Svendsen and Sloan Storey, who finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the women's 5-km classical race. Svendsen also earned All-America honors in this race last year, improving on her 10th-place finish from 2013. It was her fourth top-five finish of the year. Storey is also a two-time All-American in this event. It was her sixth top-10 finish of the year.

Utah is second after day two with 248 points, 51 points behind Denver's 299 points. Colorado stands third (240.5) followed by New Mexico (231) and Vermont (186.5) in the top five.

"We had some great results and some excellent All-American performances, but we're also looking for some answers," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "I think we were charging and hoping for a bit more of a day, but the effort was there. I'm proud and happy with our effort. It could have been the wax. It's ski racing. Looking at the leaderboard, we're not the only team that had mixed results, with skiers who are usually scoring in the top 10 - from all regions - who fell back a little bit.

"We'll have to charge tomorrow, no doubt about it. It's an exciting championships. I anticipated it would be a nail biter, and it's proven to be that. I hope the alpine squad is fired up for tomorrow."

Also scoring for the Utes in the men's race was Noé Bellet in 27th. Kevin Bolger finished 37th. For the women, Anna-Lena Heynen was 35th. All three are making their first career NCAA appearances.

"We roll into competitions with high expectations, and I can't say that we completely lived up to them today," Utah head nordic coach Abi Holt said. "However, I do not want Niklas, Anna, and Sloan to miss their moment in the sun! If anything, I think that the range in our results today highlights how hard it is to get everything right at a championship event. The All-American finishes by Niklas, Anna, and Sloan are exceptional results, and Niklas' podium finish is spectacular. For the rest, Saturday will bring one more shot at glory. Now we're looking ahead to Saturday's skate race."

The NCAA Championships continue at Park City Mountain Resort with the final day of alpine on Friday, March 6. The first run of the men's slalom race begins at 9:00 a.m. with the women's slalom at 10:00 a.m. The second run stats at 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively.



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