The Utah Invitational came to an end Jan 22 with the University of Alaska Anchorage seawolves in fifth place, and a score of 658.5 points total combined from eight events.
“The season is going better and better,” said head coach Trond Flagstad. “We are just getting started with the regular season meets and everyone is excited about racing and looking better than before the holiday break.”
Ahead of UAA, in first place finish was Colorado with 923 points, followed by Utah (898), New Mexico (824.5), and Denver who totaled 710 points. Finishing with a respected 6and 7-place finish was Montana State (640), and Westminster (254).
The Seawolves were lead by junior Steffi Hiemer, of Kruen, Germany. Hiemer finished in fifth place in the 15k race (57:25.9), and a season high time of 15:3.2 in the 5k race on Friday.
Also contributing to the wolves’ was junior Laura Rombach finishing in 11 place (58:38.7), and freshman Marit Ulsand finishing 13 (59:14.0).
Hiemer and Rombach are leading the team to a successful season according to Flagstad.
Lukas Ebner crossed the finish with a season high fifteenth place finish. Ebner completed the 20k race in 1:08:23.4.
The UAA ski team was finished the MSU meet in fifth place, as well on Jan. 15 and 16. The Wolves’ were able to end the meet with four athletes with top-ten posts.
With a third place finish at MSU, was sophomore alpine skier Andreas Adde, of Osteras Norway. In 2010, Adde became the NCAA National Champion in Slalom and received All-American and All-Conference honors (1st team).
“Andreas Adde has had a solid start he is ahead of where he was last year at the same time so that is very encouraging.” Flagstad said.
Adde posted a 1:28.08 two run time at the meet, which became his second top three-finish time of his career.
In 24th place was junior Cameron Brewington with a time of 1:30.27. Not far behind in a respective 26th place finish was fellow junior Halfdan Falkum-Hansen (1:31.50).
“Cam Brewington is stepping it up on the men’s team and is ranked second on the UAA team after two meets.” Flagstad said.
Finishing in 19th place for the Nordic men’s team was freshman Lukas Ebner. The Furtwagen, Germany native finished with a time of 1:05:00.3 in the 20k race.
Ebner is expected to be the UAA Nordic ski teams strongest skier, but of course, there is always room for improvement for himself and his teammates according to Flagstad.
On the women’s Nordic side, the team ended with a team high 105 points in the 15k race. Junior Laura Rombach finished in fourth with a time of 51:06.6 followed in eighth place by junior Steffi Hiemer (51:28.3).
Junior All-American skier Alex Parker led the women’s alpine team in the Slalom, finishing in 19th place.
“(Parker) has had a good start despite the injury in her hand.” Flagstad said.
Parker, however, is not the only athlete recovering from an injury.
Already in the young ski season, sophomore women’s alpine skier Petra Gantnerova, will have to take time off until mid February due to a torn Achilles tendon.
Also forced into putting his skies up for the season will be freshman alpine skier Niko Harmanen, who is recovering from an injured tibia plateau.
“Both were expected to be among our top skiers this year.” Flagstad said.
The UAA ski team came back from their winter holiday break, and started the city in Park City, Utah.
“Christmas break was very good and productive. Most of our athletes went home for the holidays and had a good four to five week of quality training,” Flagstad said, “everyone had a chance to recharge their batteries and are ready to race hard for the Seawolves.
We have focused a lot on high quality training over the holiday break and are looking for pay off later in the season specifically at the NCAA in March.”
The UAA Nordic and Alpine team will both be competing next in Red River New Mexico, at the New Mexico Invite.