The University of Utah took a commanding lead in the opening day of the NCAA West Region Ski Championships at the Purgatory Ski Area.

The Utes won three of four events to earn 137 points. Second was Wyoming with 108, followed by University of New Mexico with 101, University of Colorado with 69 and Alaska-Anchorage with 34.The Utes were top point-winners in the men's and women's classic cross country and in the women's giant slalom, and finished second in the men's giant slalom. New Mexico outscored the Utes in the men's GS.

Winning the women's five kilometer was Anne Kari Aas in a time of 17 minutes, 29 seconds. Second was Christi Boggs of Wyoming in 17:46, third was Utah's Simonne Brake in 17.58 and fourth was teammate Kim Csizmazia in 18:18.

In the men's 10 kilometer event, Geir Simonsen of New Mexico was first in 30:22, followed by Utah's Luke Bodensteiner in 30:37. Third was teammate Hans Martin Sjulstad in 30:45. Other Utah finishes were Erik Baumann in sixth, Andy Rem in 10th and Tony Chambers in 15.

The regional event continues today with the men's and women's slalom, and the men's and women's freestyle cross country, which replaces the old team relays.