Utah Skiing Wins Utah Invitational in Dominating Fashion


(Courtesy Utah Athletics)

By Max Valva, Sports Writer


The Utah skiing team traveled to Park City this past week to compete in the final two events of the Utah Invitational, with the Alpine team trying to take advantage of the lead the Nordic team put up at Soldier Hollow earlier this month. The team dominated in both events they participated in and won in an impressive fashion by putting up 648 points, 86 more than second-place Colorado. This marks another win for the reigning National Champions on their quest to repeat.

Fans traveled to Park City on Monday to see their Utes compete in the giant slalom event. As expected the Utah Alpine team did not disappoint and put up a combined 161 points between both men and women. Katie Parker, Sona Moravcikova and Claire Timmermann all finished in the top ten for the women, with Katie Vesterstein finishing just outside of the top ten coming in at 11th place. These performances ended up being crucial as both Madison Hoffman and Kaja Norbye were unable to finish their first runs. 

Head alpine coach JJ Johnson identified the key to their success as working as a team.

“To have two of our quickest girls go out right away was tough,” he told Utah Athletics. “But to see the others step up was incredible. Claire has been coming back and to see her get ninth was great. Katie Parker and Sona did their thing again. We owe a lot to the culture of this team. We celebrate our successes and pick up the ones that are down. At the end of the day, they all help each other out.”

The men’s team also showed up to the GS event, led by Gustav Vøllo and Joachim Lien who finished an impressive fourth and fifth respectively. 

Going into Tuesday with a lead, slalom racing was the last event before the Utes could win their second competition of the 2022 season. On the women’s side, Katie Vesterstein put up a top-five finish which contributed 29 points to the Utes tally. Freshman Kaja Norbeye had a 50.05 run, the fastest time recorded, and just missed out on a top ten finish by a measly six-hundredths of a second, but contributed 20 points to a 67 point outing for the women’s SL team. 

On the men’s side, the Utes had three top twelve performers. Wilhelm Normannseth finished fifth with a combined run score of 1:45:09. Joachim Lien finished ninth and Gustov Vøllo eleventh, which contributed to the 71 points the men’s SL team put up.

Although Tuesday’s slalom events may have not been exactly what they had hoped for it was enough to help seal the win for the Utah Skiing team.

“It was a great meet,” director of skiing Fredrik Landstedt told Utah Athletics. “Everyone came together, and of course, we had the lead after the Nordic races, and the alpine team held their own to keep increasing the lead. It was good to see.”

With the win, the Utah Skiing team has reached the halfway mark of the season with two invitational wins already under their belt. The Nordic Team will be back to work on Feb. 1-2 at the Alaska Fairbanks Invitational, while the Alpine team will travel to Aspen later that month to participate in the Denver Invitational. 


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