Collegiate Recap

FasterSkierFebruary 26, 2009

It is a bit late this week, but if you missed the collegiate results form last weekend, here you go!  EISA and RMISA action.

Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships

Women's Freestyle Mass Start (Photo: Mike Turzian)
Women's Freestyle Mass Start (Photo: Mike Turzian)

The University of New Mexico ski team ended an 16-year drought and won the 2009 NCAA West Regional/Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships today with 565 points, beating out perennial favorite Colorado, host Nevada and 2008 NCAA champion Denver for the title.  Sophomore Simon Reissmann won the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle, while teammates Tor-Hakon Hellebostad and Martin Kaas finished third and fifth, respectively, to seal the victory for the Lobos.

It is New Mexico’s second RMISA championship, the last one coming in 1992.  The Lobos have been league championship meet runners-up for three of the past five seasons, including 2004 when UNM went on to win the NCAA national championship.

“This was a great weekend for the team,” said Lobo head coach Fredrik Landstedt. “The men’s Nordic squad had a great day, finishing 1-3-5, to keep us ahead of the top three teams from last year’s NCAA national championships (Denver, Colorado and Utah).”

The University of Colorado ski team had five skiers place in the top six in the men’s and women’s freestyle races here Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to overtake New Mexico as the Buffaloes finished second.

New Mexico led from wire-to-wire, its first victory since winning it all at the 2004 NCAA Championships.  The Lobos took a 32-point lead into Saturday’s final two events and finished with 565 points; Colorado chipped a little bit into the lead after scoring the most points in the freestyle events to end up with 539.  Nevada jumped Denver and took third with 485 to the Pioneers’ 483, while Alaska-Anchorage did the same to Utah for fifth, the Seawolves scoring 447 points to the Utes’ 444.

Colorado was the defending champion and was looking to take over the lead in titles since the sport went coed in 1983, as CU and Utah are tied for the most RMISA crowns with 10.  New Mexico’s win was its second RMISA Championship, the other coming in 1992.

Junior Matt Gelso, who hails from Truckee, led a 2-4-6 Colorado finish in the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle with the runner-up time of 35:49.3, trailing only UNM’s Simon Reissman who won in 35:33.2.  Tor-Hakon Hellebostad (UNM) wsa third.
“It’s always fun being home because I’m staying at my house and there’s a lot of people I know here, I know the courses and grew up skiing on them,” Gelso said.  “But as far as making a huge difference, in all honesty it doesn’t do much but it’s still nice being at home.

“I felt really tired today, still fighting off a cold and I think my body is still working to fight something off,” he added.  “I still managed to hang in there and I’m honestly surprised with how I did, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Sophomore Jesper Ostensen finished fourth in 36:17.0 and freshman Reid Pletcher sixth in 36:18.0, as the duo was in a five-skier pack from third to seventh that crossed the finish line in a sprint just 1.7 seconds apart.

In the women’s 10K race Denver’s Antje Maempel won in a 28:34.6 time.  Her teammate, Annelise Baily was just 5 seconds back in second.  Polina Ermoshina (UNM) rounded out the podium.  Alexa Turzian (CU) finished 4th.

“I felt really good, with a lot of positive energy, the great weather. I felt strong,” Turzian said.  “I was leading the race and got caught at very end.  I tried to push, but it was so tight at the finish.   This might not have been the best races for us (in the RMISA’s), but as a team we’re still strong and have been all season, and expect to be at nationals.”

Senior Maria Grevsgaard was fifth in 29:39.3, with freshman Katie Stege 28th in 33:16.5 to round out the CU action.  Grevsgaard, featured in this week’s Faces in the Crowd in Sports Illustrated, was looking to set the all-time Colorado record for the most podium (top three) finishes, but remained tied with former teammate Lucie Zikova with 34.  She’ll have two chances to do it at nationals, where she is the defending NCAA champion in both the freestyle and classical events.  Her 24 wins is by far the school record.

“We had a good day, but New Mexico had a better one, that’s the nature of things,” head coach Richard Rokos said.  “I am hopeful at nationals that we’ll still prove to be the best team from the west which we displayed during the regular season.  Both alpine and Nordic have the capacity to do a little better at nationals, and it appears NCAA’s will be a continuation of how we have battled out west with Dartmouth and perhaps one or two others at most thrown into the mix.  We’ll be one skier short of a full team, but we’ve won before in that situation.”

Alexa Turzian in the 15km Freestyle (Photo: Mike Turzian)
Alexa Turzian in the 10km Freestyle (Photo: Mike Turzian)

5/10km Classic

Polina Ermoshina (UNM) earned her first collegiate win to pace the Lobos at the NCAA West Regionals/Rocky Mountain IntercollMen's Classic (Photo: Mike Turzian)egiate Ski Association Championships on Friday.  Antje Maempel (DU) wsa 3 seconds back in second with CU’s  Maria Grevsgaard in third.

“We had some racers really step up today,” said Lobo head coach Fredrik Landstedt.  “Polina had a great race for her first win, while Melanie (Zemp), Tor-Hakon (Hellebostad) and Martin (Kaas) pushed really hard to finish in the Top 10.”

Ermoshina won the women’s 5-kilometer classical race for the first time, after finishing second nine times during her collegiate career.  The junior from Moscow, Russia, won the race in a time of 14:59.8.

Even Sletten (UU) skied to a convincing win in the men’s 10km.  UNM Junior Tor-Hakon Hellebostad and sophomore Martin Kaas had career days in the men’s 10-kilometer classical race.  Hellebostad had a career-finish in second place with a time of 27:17.1, while Kaas also recorded a career-finish in fourth place at 27:33.8.  Reid Pletcher (CU) was third.

EISA – Middlebury Carnival

Dartmouth won, but by their slimmest margin yet, a mere fifteen points over runner up University of Vermont. Dartmouth’s total was 881 points with the University of Vermont following with a total of 866 points. Home team Middlebury took third with a not-so-distant 834  points.

In the Nordic events Dartmouth took the women’s 3×5 Freestyle Relay with a win by the team of Brennan, Sargent and Caldwell for a total of 49:37.7. Behind was the University of Vermont’s squad of Bender, Mayerhoffer, and Patterson with a time of 50:31.0 for second place. Third place went to the University of New Hampshire team of Wright, Cool, and Miller with their total time of 50:59.2.

On the Men’s side Middlebury pulled a dramatic upset of the Dartmouth squad with Reynolds, Johnson, and Hamilton leading the Panthers to finish first in 41:22.4. Following close behind was True, O’Brien and Koons for Dartmouth whose efforts garnered second with a time of 41:25.3. Williams’ Men put in a very strong showing with a third place from Taylor, Kapala, and Kantack in a time of 42:33.9.

Reynolds (MID) and Taylor (WIL) Battle in the men's relay (Photo: Lincoln Benedict)
Reynolds (MID) and Taylor (WIL) Battle in the men's relay (Photo: Lincoln Benedict)

10km Classic Mass Start

The first day of the Middlebury Carnival dawned bright and beautiful with diffused sunlight filtering through trees draped in new fallen snow. Yet the foot and a half of new fallen powder proved too much for the alpine course, pushing the start time back to eleven as the course was cleared of the new fluff. The new snow also placed a burden on the Rikert touring center’s poor old Pistenbully which refused to start, pushing the Nordic start back by an hour.

Once the races started, Dartmouth powered to an overall lead of 449 points. Yet the margin was slim as the University of Vermont, hungry for that illusive win, snuck in only four points behind with 445 points. The third place finisher was host Middlebury with 378 points.

On the rolling hills of the Rikert Touring center, groomed with a snowcat generously lent by Tony Clark at the last minute, Dartmouth took the top two spots in the Women’s 10k mass start classic race with Rosie Brennan posting a commanding winning time of 31:09.2. Next up for the Big Green was last weekend’s dual champion, Sophie Caldwell clocking a 31:34.8. Finishing up the top three was a breakout performance by Bates’ Natalie Ruppertsburger with a 31:45.2.

Rosie Brennan (DAR) strides it out in the classic (Photo: Lincoln Benedict)
Rosie Brennan (DAR) strides it out in the classic (Photo: Lincoln Benedict)

For the Men’s 10k classic mass start the University of Vermont’s Franz Berstein took top honors with a time of 26:35.8. Following close behind was fellow Catamount and German countryman Juergen Uhl, posting a time of 26:38.3 for second place. Dartmouth’s Glenn Randall clocked a 26:40.9 for a third place finish.

Complete Results


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