The Utah ski team had a busy day on Sunday as the team pulled off decent finishes in Utah and Montana. Sophomore Nick Hendrickson earned his first career win in the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle race, while three Utah skiers had top-10 finishes in the men’s giant slalom at the Montana State Invitational.
Hendrickson, a former member of the U.S. Nordic Combined team, helped the Utah men’s Nordic team earn a total 92 points on the day, while the women’s team added an additional 88 points to give the Utes the most points for Sunday’s races. Utah head Nordic coach Abi Holt was proud of both teams for getting the job done.
“Both the men and the women came out strong today, and I think this is a perfect start to the season for us,” Holt said. “This gives us both the relief of getting the first race out of the way and the reassurance that our preseason preparation has been on track. Now we all know that we have arrived at the doorstep of the 2016 RMISA/NCAA season prepared for the battle ahead.”
The Utes are still third with 448 points but are not far behind leaders Denver and Colorado, who are tied with 454 points. The Utah Invitational comes to an end on Monday at Soldier Hollow with the men’s classic 15-kilometer and women’s 10-kilometer races.
Over in Big Sky, Montana, the Utes’ alpine team continued the Montana State Invitational, with the men earning three top-10 finishes in the giant slalom. Sophomore Endre Bjertness earned the highest spot at third place, while Dominic Demschar and Joergen Brath grabbed the last two spots to round out the top finishers.
Chloe Fausa had a fair showing in the women’s giant slalom, earning the highest place out of the women’s team with a fifth-place finish. Utah ski head coach Jaka Korencan was pleased with how both alpine teams finished the day.
“I am pleased with our team’s performance today, it was a great team effort,” Korencan said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t as strong as yesterday, but that is part of the sport. The team is skiing really well — we just need to clean up a few things and be patient.”
The Utes are also in third place in Montana with 146 points, behind Denver and Colorado. The Montana State Invitational will continue Monday with men’s and women’s slalom races.