The University of Utah women skiers continue to make names for themselves in Utah ski racing.
With Monday's finishes in the women's giant slalom at the Utah Winter games, their record is three for three for three. In three races, the Ute women have finished one-two-three with a new winner in all three cases.Saturday it was Anke Freidrich, who only made it to the Utah campus a few weeks ago; then Sunday it was Katja Lesjak, another freshman; and Monday the crown went to Heidi Dahlgren, yet another new member of the team.
On the snowy course that followed the rolling terrain at Deer Valley, Dahlgren clocked a time of two minutes, 7.88 seconds. Freidrich was second and Alex von Wichman, one of only two seniors on the women's alpine team, was third.
According to Utah Coach Pat Miller, this is the strongest women's team he's had skiing for Utah.
"There is not," said the veteran coach, "a weak skier in the bunch. Anyone of them could win."
To prove his point, Miller pointed to the fact that seven women were entered in the GS at Solitude on Saturday, a race that featured all the top skiing universities and colleges in the west, and after one run Utah had skiers in places one through seven.
Racers entered in the Deer Valley event were from all over the U.S. Another, Juliete Satterthwaite, was from New Zealand.
One resort to the northwest, at Park City, the men were skiing in a slalom. Here, too, the Utes were showing off a little of what they hope will be a strong men's team.
Important to that is the extension of the skiing eligibility of Henrik Smith-Meyer. Monday he skied as an independent, but Miller hopes that within a few weeks he will once again be wearing the crimson and white of Utah.
Because of his age, Smith-Meyer was ineligible to ski for Utah his fourth and final year. The NCAA rules committee is expected to meet in a few weeks to change the rule. If they do, then Smith-Meyer will once again be a Ute.
Monday he put together two quick-turning runs on the slalom coure to win by more than half a second. His time was 2:15.06. Second was Grant Richardson of the University of Alaska-Anchorage, in 2:15.66, and third was Michael Sumanik from British Columbia, in 2:16.06. Utah's Henrie Loennberg was fifth.
In March the Utes will seek their fourth consecutive NCAA ski title and their sixth in seven years.
Meanwhile, the Utah Winter Games continue with skiing, skating and hockey action through the week.
Elite skiing continued Tuesday at Snowbird and Park City; figure skating was scheduled for Bountiful; and Cottonwood Heights Center will be the site of no-check hockey.
The same scheuled of events is planned for Wednesday.