New Mexico wins own invitational
Utes’ Grafnings won her sixth consecutive race on the season
New Mexico Athletics
RED RIVER, N.M. – The University of New Mexico played an even day against runner up Utah, securing a 50 point win in its own 2011 Jade Enterprises / New Mexico Invitational Saturday.
New Mexico further dominated the alpine action, winning both races to take the win with 881 points. Utah was second with 831 while Alaska Anchorage earned its highest finish of the season in third with 735 points. Colorado used an impressive day from it’s women’s Nordic team to move from sixth to fourth with 722 points while Montana State (707), Denver (673) and Westminster College (196), skiing only alpine events, rounded out the team scoring.
The Lobos used top five finishers from all six scores in men’s and women’s alpine action in a second set of slalom races. The podium, the top five skiers in actuality, on the women’s side was exactly the same as Friday with Anne Cecilie Brusletto winning in a time of 1:36.97 while Utah’s Tii-Maria Romar took second in 1:38.49 and Alaska Anchorage’s Kayla Fry took third in 1:38.55. Just like Saturday, Utah’s Anna Kocken finished fourth in 1:39.10 and New Mexico’s Kate Williams was fifth in 1:39.95. New Mexico racked up 126 team points while Utah also hit triple figures with 112 and Alaska Anchorage was just below that mark with 97.
On the men’s side, Colorado’s Andreas Haug won in a time of 1:35.16 while New Mexico’s Petter Brenna taking runner-up honors in 1:35.49. Utah’s Torjus Krogdahl earned a podium in third with a time of 1:35.90 with two Lobos, Juho-Pekka Penttinen (1:35.93) and Chriss Salbu (1:36.12) rounding out the top five. New Mexico won with 127 points, besting Colorado (114) and Utah (107) as Alaska Anchorage racked up 96 points.
Utah took both individual winners on the Nordic side, with Didrik Smith winning the men’s race in a time of 25:59.5. Montana State’s Ryan Scott took second in 26:15.9 while New Mexico’s Martin Kaas finished third in 26:22.1. Denver’s Markus Moe took fourth in 26:28.4 and the Utes’ Tom Smith and MSU’s Bernhard Roenning tied for fifth with a time of 26:29.5. Utah scored 118 points, just ahead of Montana State (113) while Denver also hit triple figures with 102 points.
The Utes’ Maria Grafnings won her sixth consecutive race (out of six) on the season, winning by over 45 seconds in a time of 29:27.7. Colorado then took spots 2-4 with Alexa Turzian finishing second (30:15.5), Eliska Hajkova third (30:17.1) and Joanne Reid fourth (30:18.6). Denver’s Kate Dolan rounded out the top five in a time of 30:21.7. The Buffs earned 132 points while Denver (103) and Utah (101) each hit the century mark and Alaska Anchorage (94) just missed it.
The teams will have a quick turn-around as the second half of the season gets underway in Winter Park (alpine) and Aspen (Nordic) for the 2011 Denver Invitational this coming weekend. Action starts in Winter Park with an RMISA Qualifier race (giant slalom ) on Thursday with the DU Invite GS race scheduled for Friday followed by slalom races on Saturday. In Aspen, the classical races (5K women, 10K men) will be an interval start at the Aspen Valley trails while Sunday’s race will be 21K for both genders and a mass start.