He came in as an unknown, but he will leave well-known.
Urban Planisek, who came from Yugoslavia to go to school at Sierra Nevada College, a private school in Tahoe, Nev., of about 300 students, has made an impression on both the collegiate and FIS racing circuits.His latest mark was winning the FIS slalom at Snowbird on Monday. He beat 130 racers for the title, many of those top collegiate and U.S. Ski Team racers.
Last week, during the University of Utah Ski Invitational at Solitude, he won one giant slalom and finished second in the other.
The slalom, however, has always been his event and he proved it Monday. He held a narrow lead after the first run, then clinched it decisively on the second for a total time of 1:24.71.
Second was Toni Standteiner, who skis for the University of Colorado after spending several years with the U.S. Ski Team. His time was 1:25.40. He trailed Planisek by only three-thousandths of a second after the first run.
Third was Troy Watts, a member of the U.S. team, with a 1:26.40.
The women skied in a giant slalom at Park City on Monday. And it was a newcomer who stepped in to displace the two dominating forces - Katja Lesjak of the University of Utah and Jennifer Barrett of Colorado. Lesjak and Barrett each have two wins in four races.
Monday, Heidi Bowes of the University of New Mexico, stepped into the winner's circle. Bowes, also a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, posted a two-run total of 2:25.33. Second was Barrett with a 2:25.34 and third was Janja Lupse, who also skis for Sierra Nevada College, with a 2:25.78.
Looking back at his two runs, Planisek said he felt faster on his first run but admitted to skiing the middle section of the course slower than he should have.
Racing continued Tuesday with a men's GS at Deer Valley and a women's GS at Park City. On Wednesday, the two classes switch resorts. On Thursday and Friday, the two groups will race at ParkWest and Snowbird.
The FIS series is part of the Utah Winter Games, sponsored by KTVX.