Packing The Starting Gates
Feb. 23, 2009
Courtesy of New Mexico
TRUCKEE, Calif. --- The University of New Mexico ski team ended an 16-year drought and won the 2009 NCAA West Regional/Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships today with 565 points, beating out perennial favorite Colorado, host Nevada and 2008 NCAA champion Denver for the title. Sophomore Simon Reissmann won the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle, while teammates Tor-Hakon Hellebostad and Martin Kaas finished third and fifth, respectively, to seal the victory for the Lobos.
It is New Mexico’s second RMISA championship, the last one coming in 1992. The Lobos have been league championship meet runners-up for three of the past five seasons, including 2004 when UNM went on to win the NCAA national championship.
“This was a great weekend for the team,” said Lobo head coach Fredrik Landstedt. “The men’s Nordic squad had a great day, finishing 1-3-5, to keep us ahead of the top three teams from last year’s NCAA national championships (Denver, Colorado and Utah).”
Reissmann became the fifth Lobo to win one of the eight events over the weekend, joining Polina Ermoshina, Estelle Pecherand-Charmet and Petter Brenna (2 wins). With the five wins, New Mexico tied Colorado for the most RMISA individual winners in 2009 with 14 out of 44 league events. Brenna led the way with five wins, followed by Pecherand-Charmet and Reissmann with three a piece. Ermoshina, Nikolai Herlofson Finne and Malin Hemmingsson had one each.
Ermoshina added to her NCAA qualifying standing with a third-place finish in the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle. Melanie Zemp placed 18th, just out of reach for the fourth NCAA qualification of her career.
New Mexico has qualified for 10 spots at the NCAA Championships, three each in men’s and women’s Alpine and men’s Nordic, and one in women’s Nordic. The final qualifying list will be available next week.
The 2009 NCAA National Championships will take place March 11-14 in Maine with Bates College serving as the host.
Final NCAA West Regional/RMISA Championship Standings
1. New Mexico – 565 points
2. Colorado - 539
3. Nevada - 485
4. Denver - 483
5. Alaska-Anchorage - 447
6. Utah - 444
7. Montana State - 379
8. Whitman - 210
New Mexico Individual Results
Men’s 15K Freestyle
1. Simon Reissmann – 35:33.2
3. Tor-Hakon Hellebostad – 36:16.7
5. Martin Kaas – 36:17.4
33. Rick Grahn – 39:49.5
Women’s 10K Freestyle
3. Polina Ermoshina – 28:49.8
18. Melanie Zemp – 31:49.2
20. Ingrid Leask – 31:53.8
About the RMISA
The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association is the official association for college and university NCAA skiing teams in the Rocky Mountain region. It is comprised of six NCAA Division I, one Division II and one Division III institutions from seven states stretching from Alaska to New Mexico. Member schools in 2008-09 are Alaska Anchorage, Colorado, Denver, Montana State, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Whitman.
Since the introduction of the NCAA Skiing National Championship in 1954, schools from the RMISA have captured 48 of the 55 team titles and 266 of the 375 individual champions are student-athletes from RMISA schools.
More information can be found at RMISASkiing.com, which is dedicated to bringing you the latest information on NCAA Skiing from its eight representatives. There you will be able to track your favorite school, check out the upcoming schedule and past results, see who has qualified for the NCAA meet, plus much more.