For the second time within a week, old classmates shared honors on the winner's stand.
In his last racing appearance here in Utah this year, Urban Planisek of Sierra Nevada College, won the men's slalom at Snowbird. At the same time at ParkWest, University of Utah's Katja Lesjak won the women's slalom.Different schools, different races, but both from the small town of Sr. Bitnie, Yugoslovia, where as children they used to talk together in class.
Last Saturday, at Solitude, during the University of Utah Invitational, Planisek and Lesjak won giant slalom honors.
Planisek, who skied for Yugoslovia last year on the World Cup circuit, showed why he considers the slalom his best event. In a very turny and technical first run, the Yugoslav skiers left the rest of the field too far back to hope for anything other than a fall.
He posted a 11/2 second lead in a race where hundredths of a second usually separates races. On his second he said he skied cautiously and won with a two-run total of 1:29.43.
Second was Jeff Sarchett of Sun Valley, who posted the fastest second run to move him up from fourth. His time was 1:31.15. Third was Casey Snyder of the Eastern Division in 1:31.66.
Planisek said after the race that the first course was made just for him.
"The first course today was very turny. I like a turny course. I didn't feel it was so much faster. I think it was just a good course for me," he said.
In six days of racing, Planisek has won three races (1 GS and 2 slaloms). In the other three he finished 2nd, 5th and 7th.
At ParkWest, Lesjak posted a winning time of 1:20.38 for her two runs. Second was Camilla Burns of Canada, in 1:20.44 and third was Lisl Hager of the Far West Division in 1:21.82. Utah's Sylvie Seigneur was fourth.
Lesjak, who spent most of last season recovering from knee surgery, is currently the Utes' most successful skier.
The FIS series will conclude on Friday with two more slaloms. Planisek and his teammates, however, missed the final race to return to Tahoe, Nev., for a school race.
The series is part of the Utah Winter Games, sponsored by KTVX.
Events scheduled on Saturday include a snowmobile race, the Knudsen Cup high school race, adult and junior ski races, and freestyle skiing. Competition will continue into next week with speed skating, speed skiing, hockey and more ski races.