Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Returns to Colorado for Denver Invitational

Eva Huckova is in the top 10 of both the slalom and giant slalom standings.

Eva Huckova is in the top 10 of both the slalom and giant slalom standings.

Feb. 3, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY - After a two-week hiatus following a busy early season schedule, the Utah ski team returns to the mountain in Colorado for the Denver Invitational, Feb. 5-7.

The schedule begins with a Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Skiing Association alpine giant slalom qualifier on Thursday, Feb. 5. The Nordic skiers get into the action beginning on Friday during the official start of the DU Invitational with the 5-km and 10-km classical races as the alpine team competes in the giant slalom. Racing finishes on Saturday, Feb. 7, with the slalom and 10-km and 15-km freestyle races.

The alpine races will be held at Winter Park, while the Nordic races are at Devil's Thumb.

For the alpine team, freshman Nick Cohee leads the current giant slalom men's standings with 97 points. He has finishes of first and fourth in the event this year. Thomas Zumbrunn isn't far behind in third with 94 points after top runs of third and fifth, both done in Alaska. Scott Veenis is also in the top 10 in the standings with 87 points. In the slalom, sophomore Hermann Lager has finished in the top 10 of every race this year and currently ranks ninth in the standings (89 points).

For the women, Eva Huckova leads the Utes in both the giant slalom and slalom standings. She is fourth overall in the giant slalom (which includes a race win in Alaska) and tied for sixth in the slalom. The women have four skiers in the top 10 of the GS standings. After Huckova is Mikaela Grassl in sixth (92 points) while Chirine Njeim and Chelsea Laswell are tied for seventh (89 points). Grassl is also tied for 12th in the slalom standings.



"After a week and a half of World Cup class training with good snow conditions, everyone has improved a lot," head coach Jaka Korencan said. "The biggest improvement has been in consistency. We are stronger than we were two weeks ago and everyone is rested. We are optimistic and can't wait to start racing. Conditions will be consistent and the snow is in solid shape so we hope the weather holds up and we can have a fair competition there."

For the Nordic skiers, Annelies Cook has been Utah's most consistent skier this year, and is sixth in the women's standings. She has a pair of fourth-place runs, one in the freestyle and one in the classic. Sara Schweiger is also skiing well and is tied for 10th place.

On the men's side, Didrik Smith has also been extremely consistent, and is eighth in the Nordic standings. He has two sixth-place finishes this year (both in classic races).

"We are rested and ready," Director of Skiing Eli Brown said. "Everyone is skiing well. The training is pretty personalized at this point and we have had some good test races. We are eager to get our next college race under our belts."

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