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Go Utes!
Utah Sweeps RMISA Women's Skier of the Week Awards

Junior Anna Kocken was named the RMISA's Women's Alpine Skier of the Week after the Seawolf Invitational.

Junior Anna Kocken was named the RMISA's Women's Alpine Skier of the Week after the Seawolf Invitational.

Feb. 15, 2012

Senior Maria Graefnings and junior Anna Kocken were both named Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Women's Skiers of the Week after their performances at the Seawolf Invitational, the RMISA announced.

In her first week competing for Utah after competing in the Swedish Nationals, Graefnings was named the RMISA's Women's Nordic Skier of the Week after posting a third-place effort in the 5km Classical race of the Seawolf Invite on Saturday. It was her 14th career podium appearance in 16 races as a Ute. Graefnings, a native of Falun, Sweden, led the way for Utah in the 5km freestyle last Thursday with a fifth-place performance. She has finished fifth or better in all 16 races of her Utah career.

"It's nice to have Maria recognized as RMISA Skier of the Week," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "She is a true team leader and to see her score very well in both disciplines really makes everyone step up their game. It's great to see that."

"It is obviously great to have Maria back in the mix," Utah Head Nordic coach Abi Holt said. "Everyone in the RMISA knows that Maria is a tough competitor, so it is satisfying to see her recapture this title. It is also a true testament to her athleticism that she can return to competition after time abroad and find her way right back to the podium. Winning it alongside her teammate just makes it extra special. This is a great week for the Utah Women's Ski Team."

Kocken earned the RMISA's Women's Alpine Skier of the Week award after finishing as the runner-up for the second time this season in a slalom race Thursday as part of the Seawolf Invite. The effort tied for Kocken's highest finish of the season as she also placed second in the GS of the RMISA Qualifier on Jan. 6. The Järpen, Sweden native has now finished on the podium five times over her career. She also turned in a top-10 finish in the GS at the Seawolf Invite on Thursday with an eighth-place performance. She has been among the top 10 five times this year and 14 times during her career as a Ute.



"Anna has had a fantastic year," Sweeney said. "And to see her score equally well in both disciplines is really exciting and rewarding. She has put in a lot of hard work and some good training. Her hard work is really paying off and it's great to see."

"It is so exciting to see Anna performing on a high level in both disciplines this year," Utah Head Alpine coach Jaka Korencan said. "Her Giant Slalom is on a different level this season than it has ever been. She has been simply enjoying ski racing this season and her results are a reflection of that."

Utah won the Seawolf Invitational with a total of 858 points for its fourth straight victory. The Utes were 52 points ahead of runner-up Denver. The women's Alpine squad accumulated 256 points in the meet, while Utah's women's Nordic skiers combined for 211.

The Utes will have a week off before beginning postseason competition at the RMISA/NCAA West Region Championships on Feb. 24-25 in Big Sky and Bozeman, Mont.

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