Ski: Ute freshman Sprock finishes third in men’s giant slalom

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The Utah ski team had a decent day on the slopes on Day Three of the Utah Invitational, with freshman Ty Sprock taking third overall in the men’s giant slalom race.

Sprock, who gained 34 points from his two runs, had the fastest second run of the day, earning his first podium win of his college career. Utah head alpine coach Jaka Korencan was happy for the freshman and hopes it’s a sign of things to come for the rest of the season.

“I’m really glad that Sprock had two decent runs in really hard conditions,” Korencan said. “This is a great giant slalom start to the season for him. These have been his first college races as part of the team, and I couldn’t be happier for him. I am sure that will be good motivation for the season for him and for the rest of the team. They see where they can be.”

Park City native Dominic Demschar also finished in the top ten, placing seventh after impressing his hometown fans by recording the fastest first run in the event. Korencan was also happy for Demschar but felt his second run could have been better.

“Demschar was on his way to a really good result, but his second run was a little passive,” Korencan said. “The conditions were inconsistent and difficult and the light was low, and it was definitely not an easy race. I don’t have any worries for the giant slalom. We are skiing pretty well.”

Fellow Ute Endre Bjertness finished in 11th, while Joergen Brath finished 18th. Martin Grasic rounded out the group, crossing the line at 24th.

These results bumped the Utes up one spot to third place overall with 268 points behind leaders Denver and Colorado. Utah director of skiing Keven Sweeney was impressed with the way his team came back from a slow start at the beginning of the week, and he hopes they continue to build confidence for the next race.

“Really nice to see the guys fire today,” Sweeney said. “We were very close to scoring three in the top ten. That’s our benchmark to be competitive. Fantastic to see Ty strike the podium in his debut and to see Dom lead off with a very solid result. Good confidence-booster here.”

The Utah Invitational will continue Sunday, Jan. 10, as the Nordic portion gets underway at Soldier Hollow.

c.marquez@dailyutahchronicle.com

@chad_marquez

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