The CU ski team still has one more stop to make before they get to the NCAA Championships this year.
Cue the RMISA Championships, which kicks off this weekend in Steamboat Springs.
Nordic skier Matt Gelso, who received Athlete of the Week honors at CU for the week of Feb. 15 to Feb.21, is expecting to be in the top three this year.
Gelso was named RMISA Skier of the Week at the 2009 Colorado Invitational after finishing first in freestyle and second in classical skiing.
“I think I can definitely get up there in the top three in one race definitely, top three in both races probably,” Gelso said. “I was skiing really well last weekend, and I think my training has been different in time periods in a good way that right now I am coming out the peak form. That’s where I would like to be [top three], and I think that’s attainable.”
Head coach Richard Rokos said the team is in the race mode. Rokos said the team does little training in between.
Gelso said while leading up to this race, he has been training in a short, but harder training sessions, instead of longer and easier training.
Rokos said they have a balanced team, and said he is expecting them to do very well in regionals. Rokos said this is good preparation for the NCAA Championship in March.
“Well, the first race, it’s the same hill, same town, and for us it’s a dry run and just get used to it,” Rokos said. “In many ways it is an opportunity to get used to little more. Otherwise, it’s easy to come back in a week and roll over to the same race.”
Gelso said he is looking forward to seeing how he and his teammates measure up.
“This is a measurement on how we compare to other teams and amongst ourselves, to show us where we are at, and if we have to make slight adjustments going into nationals,” Gelso said.
Alpine skier Carolina Nordh is looking to improve this weekend.
“I am happy so far that I have finished all the races, but I have hoped for better results,” Nordh said. “I am hoping I am saving the best for last for regionals and nationals.”
The CU Ski Team is healthy, with no major injuries, a somewhat rare event for college-level ski teams.
“No injuries on our side, it looks like most of our competition has injuries,” Rokos said. “We went through trials and tribulation and we have gotten lucky so far, and I hope it will stay that way the rest of the season.”
Nordh said her team is the strongest it has been and has a good chance to win.
Rokos said he is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
“We have high expectations; all of our preparations are aimed to win it, and if it doesn’t happen it is the nature of the business, but I think we are in a good position,” Rokos said. “We are strong, we have depth, and we are healthy.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Gina Yocom at Gina.firstname.lastname@example.org.