Ute skiers place fifth at West Regionals

The U ski team finishedfifth at the West RegionalChampionships last weekendafter the Nordic squad lostthree key members to illness.Coach Kevin Sweeneyopted to sit Daniel Sonntag,Casey Simnos, and SandraGredig, possibly thinkingahead to the end of the season.”The group sidelinedby illness are making a goodrecovery,” Sweeney said, adding,”I think it was the rightchoice to sit them out, thoughour team score definitely suffered.”The Utes finished with 406.5overall points, far behindDenver University, whichposted 560 and led from startto finish in the competition.Leading the way for the Uwas All-American women’salpine skier April Mancusowith a fifth-place finish in thegiant slalom and a ninth-placeshowing in the slalom.The senior has finished inthe top 10 in every GS evententered this season. Fellowsenior Rowena Hyldahl alsodid well, taking sixth in theGS and seventh in the SL.”The women had a greatweekend,” said Sweeney,”The seniors had a great lastcollege race and it was goodto see them ending on such agood note.”Things were a little tougherfor the alpine men. The lonebright spots for the Utes wereAll-American Ben Thornhill’sninth-place finish in the SLand Mark Heinrich-Wallace’srace to eighth in the GS.The Nordic team had apredictably difficult time,but strong showingsfrom All-American BarbroHatlevik and MagnusCarlsson helped secure afifth place finish despitebeing shorthanded.Next up for the Utesis the NCAA Championships,which are beingheld in Stowe, Vt., andtake place from March 9to the [email protected]