The Utah ski team continued to show its dominance on the powder over the weekend as the team earned this year’s RMISA championship with a combined score of 662 points. With the RMISA title in hand, the Utes now have an opportunity to seize their moment at the National Championships.
Highlights from the weekend’s competition included another great showing from sophomore Veronika Mayerhofer, who took home first place in the women’s 15-kilometer classic race and the five-kilometer freestyle event. She was named MVP in the women’s nordic category.
On the men’s side, senior Niklas Presson dealt with an early obstacle in the men’s 20-kilometer race but ended up taking third for his sixth podium finish of the year.
In alpine, Park City native Dominic Demschar finished fourth for his second top-five finish this season, and freshman Roni Remme took third in the women’s giant slalom.
With the team celebrating for its big win, director of skiing Kevin Sweeney didn’t hesitate to show his appreciation for the dedication and hard work his skiers have given to him and the team over the course of the regular season.
“Overall, I am extremely impressed with the results that we ended up with at the Regional Championships,” Sweeney said. “I can honestly say that it was a very hard-fought competition. There was no event that was easily contested, and each and every event was very challenging.”
Even though the win was great for the program, the team also had to deal with a lot of adversity when it came to injuries. Sweeney felt the team’s depth did the job for the win, which will make it harder to decide who goes to the Championships.
“It certainly was not an easy victory for us. We had a few injuries that we are dealing with and what pulled through once again was not only our depth but also, I think, the skiers understanding how the team scoring works, and everyone really charged,” Sweeney said. “It’s very rewarding to win the regular-season championship and to follow that up by winning regionals. We will make our final selections on the NCAA squad this week. The coaching staff has some tough decisions to make, but there is no doubt we have a team that is very competitive and really looking forward to the NCAA Championships in Steamboat.”
Before preparation begins, the Utes will be celebrating their big win, including Mayerhofer’s exceptional performance on all of the nordic events. She credits the support from her teammates for helping her become the better skier she is today.
“I think there are not many words needed for today’s results,” Mayerhofer said. “The whole team is in a flow, and the team spirit is high. We are all enjoying the last race weekend where we are all together. I am more than happy with my first victory of the season. But more important is that we showed such a strong team performance two weeks before NCAAs. Thanks to the coaches for fast skis.”
With celebrations in mind, the team now returns to Salt Lake City to prep for the biggest event of the season for the Utes.