The University of Colorado took a different approach to the University of Utah's Ski Invitational on Saturday, but unfortunately for the Buffs, it came too late.
The University of Utah won it's own ski event on the strength of Friday's performances. Utah held a 22-point lead going into Saturday's event, but ended up winning by only 141/2 - 539 to 524.5.UC skiers won all four disciplines on Saturday - men's and women's giant slalom at Solitude, and the men's and women's freestyle cross country at White Pine Touring Center in Park City.
In the men's GS, Toni Standteiner, fresh off the U.S. men's alpine training team, won the event. In the Friday race he was fifth.
The difference? "I took a different approach. I think we (the team) came in too confident. Our coaches told us we needed to prepare better. Yesterday I took two training runs and today I took four. Today I tried to go faster, too. I skied well yesterday, but I just didn't go for it. Today I did," he said.
His time was 1:20.09. Second was Urban Planisek of Sierra Nevada College, winner of Friday's event, in 1:20.37. Tied for third with 1:31.07 was Oeivind Ragnhildstveit of Utah and Eric Archer of UC. Utah's John Ethan, winner of Friday's race, was fifth in 1:21.58.
In the women's race, Jennifer Barrett, fresh off the U.S. Women's Ski Team, won. Friday, she was second.
The difference? "I felt better today," she said. "I tried to be more consistent . . . to be more solid on my skis. Yesterday I made some mistakes. Today I didn't."
Her time was 1:28.83. Second was Utah's Katja Lesjak, winner of the first GS, with a time of 1:28.95. Third was Janja Lupse of Sierra Nevada, with a time of 1:30.94. Utah's Karianne Eriksen was fifth and Heidi Dahlgren was seventh.
In the women's five kilometer freestyle cross country, Annette Skjolden won the event in 47 minutes, 38.6 seconds. Second was Utah's Venke Hatleberg in 47:43.6. It was from here on that Utah had its poorest showing. Its next finishers were 13th and 19th. UC placed 3rd and 4th.
In the men's race, Bjorn Svensson won in a time of 52:31.8.
Fourth was Utah's Luke Bodensteiner in 53:11.8 and fifth was teammate John Farra in 53:12.6.
This was probably one of the closest winning margins for the Utes in this event. Utah Coach Pat Miller thinks, maybe, it'll be that way the entire season.
"Colorado has a strong team. Consider, too, we lost 10 athletes and two coaches off last year's team (2nd in the NCAAs). The season's still young, though, so anything can happen.
"I think we did well in all events except the women's nordic. I think that's an area where we're going to have to work before the NCAAs," he said.
This year's NCAA Championships will be in Park City, Feb. 27 to March 2.