Tague-ing the world by storm

By By Tom Quinn and

By Tom Quinn

It’s been less than a year since Tague Thorson signed with the Ute ski team, but already the 22-year-old freshman has proven that he deserves to be mentioned among the best in the country–if not the world.

Thorson, a native of Mahtomedi, Minn., has turned in one notable performance after another at this week’s 2007 World University Games in Torino, Italy. He started his hot streak with a fourth-place finish in Thursday’s giant slalom and kept it going with a sixth-place showing in the slalom on Saturday.

“He’s so talented and dedicated to skiing,” said alpine coach Jaka Korencan of his young protg. “He put in a lot of hard work this off-season, and it’s definitely showing. He’s proved that he’s not only an extremely fast skier, but an extremely smart one.”

Thorson will have two more chances to showcase his speed before returning to Utah. He will compete in Wednesday’s downhill race and Thursday’s super giant slalom, neither of which are typically found on the NCAA circuit.

The downhill and super GS are the two fastest events in ski racing. Skiers use longer, faster skis than usual, allowing them to reach unbelievable speeds. Also, racing gates are much farther apart, which lets the skiers remain in an aerodynamic tuck position for the majority of the run.

Although collegiate skiers are often unfamiliar with downhill and super GS competitions, Korencan is confident that Thorson will hold his own.

“I’m expecting him to do very well,” he said of Thorson.

While Thorson has been making a name for himself in international competition, the U Nordic team traveled to Montana for its third major race of the season.

The team finished second overall, once again falling to collegiate skiing powerhouse Colorado University.

Snorri Einarsson led the Utes with a second-place finish in the men’s 20K. Fabian Figi finished fifth and Ben Fick placed 14th, giving the Utes three skiers in the men’s top 20.

On the women’s side, the trio of Sara Schweiger, Annelies Cook and Sarah MacCarthy led the way for the Utes. Schweiger finished fifth in Saturday’s 15K classic. Cook was 13th and MacCarthy finished 16th.