MSU Alpine – New Mexico Races

Bobcat Alpine slaloms fresh snow in New Mexico

Colorado was the first stop on a long stretch of competing for the Bobcat men’s and women’s Alpine ski teams, where they placed sixth at the University of Colorado Invitational in Eldora, Colorado on Jan. 23-26. Freshman Garret Driller led the overall placements for the men, taking first in his second run of giant slalom. Sophomore David Neuhauser posted a second place finish in his second run as well, moving him from 20th to 12th place overall.

On the women’s side, senior Steph Irwin snagged a second place finish and finished 19th overall. Behind her were teammates Tenaya Driller and Elizabeth Koprucki, placing 25th and 31st respectively.

“As a whole we did well,” Driller stated, “We had some top ten results, which is always good. Garret won a run, and Neuhauser and Steph Irwin were second on a run. We are working on getting more people to finish both runs.”

The conditions at the invitational were beautiful and sunny, Driller recalled, though she added that the snow was soft, making the course extra bumpy for the skiers.

In a post-meet interview,  “Our young guys are doing a great job,” Head Alpine Coach Kevin Francis stated. “The snow is a lot different from Montana, so it’s nice to see them figure it out. If we just did a few things different in the first run, we might’ve seen the podium.”

Both teams traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico shortly after for a weekend of slalom racing on Jan 30-31. The Bobcats again took sixth place overall with another top ten performance on the men’s side and a top 20 performance for the women. Overall results posted freshman Benedicte Lynch leading for the Bobcat women in 16th place, and teammates Tenaya Driller and Kari Hole following in 20th and 26th place, respectively.

David Neuhauser came in sixth on the men’s side with a combined time of 1:35.30; freshman Garret Driller next for the Bobcats in 19th and Michael Radford in 29th.

Driller said after both sets of races, “All of us are still working on piecing together two fast runs, but we had some fast runs which shows we are still in there.”

“Both days were a little different in terms of conditions. We handled the ruts and found the fastest way to get down the hill,” Francis said.

Both Nordic and Alpine ski teams will travel to Anchorage, Alaska on Feb. 23-28 for their next round of races.