Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Pioneer ski team finishes second at Utah competition

The Pioneers had two second-place finishes Jan. 12 with junior Jenny Lathrop in slalom and senior Rene Reisshauer in freestyle, helping DU finish second at the University of Utah Invitational.

The Pioneers finished with 550 points, behind host Utah’s 585.5 points. That despite two serious injuries on the Denver team: Junior Adam Cole fell halfway through the first run and suffered a compound spiral fracture of his left tibia/fibula, and freshman Lauren Eder fell in the first run of the women’s giant slalom and suffered a hairline fracture of the left ulna.

“Utah competed very well this weekend and deserved to win the meet. We had some athletes step up to the challenge, but overall we have some things to work on,” says DU alpine head coach Andy LeRoy, whose alpine skiers don’t compete again until the Western State Invitational Feb. 1–2. “It was a difficult week for us, so I’m glad we have a couple weeks off to regroup and get healthy.”  

Junior Francesco Ghedina was the top skier for DU in the men’s slalom with a fourth place finish with junior Ian Lochhead right behind him in fifth. Freshman Seppi Stiegler was the final Pioneer scoring after coming in eighth place. Junior John Buchar, who won the first three men’s alpine races this season, did not start the second run.

In the women’s giant slalom, Lathrop made her first podium as a Pioneer, finishing in second place. Sophomore Molly Ryan was 15th, and junior Claire Abbe came in 17th. Senior Karine Falck-Pedersen was in 19th place. 

“Jenny Lathrop skied well, and Jenny Tank was in position to win another race but had some problems and didn’t make it to the finish,” LeRoy says. “It’s tough losing Adam and Lauren, and the first two meets were at the most challenging courses we face all year, especially with the conditions the way they were. But overall we don’t want to make excuses, and we just didn’t compete like we expected to.”

Denver’s men won the 15K freestyle, as Reisshauer got a second place finish, senior John Stene was eighth and junior Mike Hinckley came in 11th. Senior Havard Selseng finished 17th, sophomore Harald Lovenskiold was 19th and junior Taylor Sheldon was 22nd.  

In the women’s 10K freestyle, sophomore Annelise Bailly earned a spot on the podium with a third place finish. Senior Katie Ronsse came in 22nd, and sophomore Stefanie Wunderle was 26th, as the Pioneers landed in fifth place in the race.

The DU Nordic teams head to Winter Park, Colo., on Jan. 19–20 for their portion of the CU Invitational. The Pioneers sit in second place with 259 points after the alpine races last weekend, trailing host Colorado by 19 points.

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