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UTES IN 3RD AFTER OPENING DAY OF CROSS COUNTRY INVITATIONAL

SHARE UTES IN 3RD AFTER OPENING DAY OF CROSS COUNTRY INVITATIONAL

The University of Utah ski team started the 1994 season off with some bright spots and some not so bright. Its cross country team was a distant third after the opening day of the Utah Cross Country Invitational.

Colorado led with 101 points, followed by Alaska-Anchorage with 99 and Utah with 72. Next were New Mexico with 65, Western State with 57, Alaska-Fairbanks with 33 and Denver with 28.The Utes won the men's event by one point - 51-50 - over Alaska-Anchorage. The bright spot. The Utes finished fifth in the women's event behind Colorado , Alaska-Anchorage , New Mexico , Western State and Utah . A not-so-bright spot.

The Utes nordic team has been able to train this year, despite the light snow conditions, which Utah coach Pat Miller said helped. Early in the season he said that if there was a weak point in this year's team it was the women's cross country team.

In the men's race, Marcus Nash of Utah, won the 10K freestyle in 27 minutes, .3 seconds. Second was Jeff Heuseveldt of Anchorage, in 27:12.6 and third was Andy Hooker of Colorado, in 27:17.2.

Other Utes to finish were Peter Klofutar in 6th, Torry Kraftson in 8th and Harvard Solbakken in 9th.

The women's race was not so bright for the host school. New Mexico's Ivana Rodlova won in 32:41.3, second was Anchorage's Paivi Alkula in 32:47.3 and third was Colorado's Kelly McMann in 32:50.4.

Utah's best finisher was Ulrika Svenstedt in 13th, with a time of 34:34.3. Utes' Eva Segerstedt was 18th, Hilde Halland was 21st and Ingvil Snofugl was 31st.

Today will be the men's and women's classical race at the White Pine Touring Center. The women will go 5Ks the men 10K.

The event will wrap up on Thursday and Friday with the alpine races. The downhill races were to have been held at Snowbird and Solitude, but snow conditions forced them to move to Park City.