the top, the more likely it is people want to come to your program. Suc-
cess equals more success.
We’ve also got kids who are going on to national teams from New Mexico
and skiing World Cup. [Cross country skier] Kristina Strandberg from
Sweden, for example, was a seven-time All-American at New Mexico and
this winter she’s scoring World Cup points for Sweden. We already talked
about Brusletto racing a World Cup GS the other day. I think other athletes
see that and think that they can come here, get better, and do the same.
NCAA Skiing Power Rankings
Here’s our second edition of the NCAA Skiing Power Rankings, which we’ll
continue to update each week at skiracing.com. Want to voice your opinion
on how your favorite college is faring? Visit the forums at skiracing.com.
SR: You’re sometimes criticized for having a lot of foreign skiers on your
team. What’s your response to that?
FL: It’s simple. We’ve come a long way and shown that athletes come
to New Mexico and improve, but we haven’t [completely done away
with] old perceptions. It’s very hard for us to compete against [ski racing
schools with histories like] Colorado, Denver, Utah, and Vermont for the
best American recruits.
We want to compete and win, of course, and because we can’t necessarily
get the best American recruits, we have to look elsewhere. We find great
student athletes from around the world and they bring a lot to NCAA ski-
ing. I should add, though, that we’re starting to see more of the best Ameri-
can recruits consider and come to UNM. Hopefully, we’ll continue to build
(Last week: 2) Do the math, shall we? UNM wins the
alpine leg of the Utah Invitational, scoring 467 points
to CU’s 370. Colorado wins the cross country leg of
the Utah Invitational, scoring 451 points to UNM’s 383.
The net difference favors New Mexico, 850 to 821. And
DU lands between the two with 835 points — a very
Martin Kaas added first and third-place finishes at
Soldier Hollow to build on his pair of victories at the
Montana State Invitational. “Considering all of the illness
we have been battling this week, this is a great win,”
said Lobos head coach Fredrik Landstedt. “One of our
top men’s racers, Tor-Hakon Hellebostad, did not race
all weekend and Polina Ermoshina was struggling with
illness all week and still skied.” In other words, after
the alpiners built a commanding lead earlier this month,
UNM’s nordics did enough to hang on for the win — and
they weren’t at full strength.
RMISA action resumes with the New Mexico Invitational at Taos and Red
River Feb. 5 and 6. EISA action resumes with the University of Vermont
Carnival at Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge Feb. 5 to 7.
(Last week: 1) In Week 1 we wrote, “If Colorado’s alpine
skiers can step it up a notch, CU will be untouchable.”
We stand by it. In the meantime, see math above.
(Last week: 3) Could Denver jump into the No. 1 spot
soon? Absolutely. DU has loads of talent on both the
nordic and alpine sides of the team. Finishing only 15
points behind Utah Invite winners New Mexico, Denver
has shown it’s in prime position to win — and to defend
its national title. Cross country champ Antje Maempel
remains on fire, adding first and second-place finishes
to her double victory performance at MSU. Kate Dolan
also nailed down a superb performance in Utah, finishing fourth in the 15k free and third in the 5K classic.
(Last week: 4) At the St. Mike’s Carnival, Big Green
scored a 71-point victory minus five nordic stars competing in Germany at World Juniors — still winning three
of four cross country events. On the alpine side, Ace
Tarberry interrupted Catamount David Donaldson’s
string of wins by skiing to a GS victory at Smuggler’s
Notch, and teammate Trevor Leafe shot from bib 27 to
a fourth-place finish on the same day.
(Last week: 5) The Catamounts remain in the No. 5 spot,
but the Wildcats of New Hampshire are lurking close behind. The alpine Catamounts skied very well again this
week, especially Megan Ryley, who tortured the field
with a 1.28-second slalom victory and a 0.57-second
GS win. David Donaldson remains the skier to beat on
the men’s alpine front, easily winning the slalom after
hiking in GS. On the strength of a complete team effort
from its men and women, though, New Hampshire won
two of four alpine events at Smuggler’s Notch. Will the
Wildcats climb into the NCAA Power Rankings when action resumes? Stay tuned.