Shoulda gone fishing, Colorado finishes third at Seawolf Invite
At the conclusion of two weeks of racing in Alaska which constituted two separate RMISA invitationals, Utah maintained its league dominance with both wins while Colorado fell to third in the Seawolf Invite. A solid day of slalom racing, which was scored double after the cancellation of the men's giant slalom race, propelled Denver into third.
Colorado head coach Richard Rokos expressed disappointment over the races, "The guys' alpine team should have gone fishing. They would've caught more fish than they did qualification points." Weather as well as tactics did not fare well for the Buffs. Rokos continued, "The last day was one of the worst, both how our guys finished and the weather. While this is now in our rear view mirror, it's not easy to forget about; it will stick in my mind for a while. You travel 8,000 miles and have four bad days for the guys, it's not exactly what you're looking for."
In a bizarre twist of fate, Colorado failed to place a single alpine athlete on the slalom podium for both invitationals or a woman on the giant slalom podium of the Seawolf Invite (a race scored after the completion of only one run). Denver's Espen Lysdahl, Trevor Philp, and Sterling Grant were quick to capitalize on Colorado's misfortune to claim critical victories. Grant, who was undefeated in slalom during the 2010-2011 season, took her first victory of the year in the event.
Colorado's nordic team more than held their own in the classical and freestyle races which were seemingly unaffected by the weather patterns that wreaked havoc a mere 40 miles away at the alpine venue. Buffs Eliska Hajkova, Joanne Reid, and Rune Oedegaard all had first or second place results from the trip North.
The RMISA has a short break before teams travel to Bridger Bowl, Mont., site of NCAA championships, for an alpine qualifier and their regional championships Feb. 23-25.
Final team scores at the conclusion of the Seawolf Invitational:
Utah - 858
Denver - 806
Colorado - 775
New Mexico - 769
Alaska Anchorage - 693
Montana State - 690
Westminster - 353
Colorado Mountain College - 126
Photo of Colorado's Eliska Hajkova by Colorado Athletics