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BOGUS BASIN, Idaho -- Rocky Mountain College's Olle Friberg was the individual champion and the Battlin' Bear men captured the team title in the giant slalom Friday at the Western Regional ski-racing championships at Bogus Basin.

Friberg, a junior All-America performer, won the second run and finished with a winning clocking of one minute, 49.24 seconds for his two runs.

Freshman teammate Anton Larsson was third at 1:50.44, while sophomore Bjorn Tuaz was 11th at 1:53.96.

Rocky ruled over the 18-school standings with a score of 333.64 seconds for its top three finishers. University of British Columbia was second at 336.02 and the University of Colorado placed third at 338.30.

UBC's Michael Bisnaire was the runner-up individually at 1:49.59.

Friberg placed third behind Bisnaire and teammate Larsson in the first run at 58.92 seconds, but won the second at 50.32.

The junior from Sweden was second overall in the GS last year at regionals.

"He's been here three years now," Rocky coach Jerry Wolf said of Friberg's clutch performance. "He knew what was on the line, too."

Two Rocky skiers, Harald Carlsson and A.J. Oliver, experienced problems with their bindings and lost skis in the rough, soft snow conditions on Triumph Run and didn't complete the first run.

That put the pressure on Friberg, Larsson and Tuaz to successfully negotiate the second run and give Rocky a chance in the team results.

"It got pretty heated, but they all delivered in style, including my freshman (Larsson)," Wolf said. "If one of those guys doesn't finish, it's a pretty bad deal."

A team must have at least three skiers complete both runs to have any chance to score well.

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"It was very tense for them," Wolf said. "It was very tense for me."

But Rocky triumphed in the end and is halfway there in its bid for a 10th straight appearance at the United States Collegiate Ski Association championships in Sun Valley, Idaho, March 9-12.

The regional competition will conclude on Saturday with the women's and men's slalom races.

"We probably have better slalom skiers on both sides, men and women," Wolf said. "But who knows? It's never a slam dunk. We're looking forward to it."

Rocky's men and women will be going for their first sweep of the regional titles since 2008.

The top four teams for the men and women in the combined standings (GS and slalom) will move on to nationals.

The women's GS was held on Thursday, with Rocky's Alexandra Guras and Isa Floden dominating in finishing 1-2 and the Bears also topping the team standings.

NOTE: In Friday's men's freestyle competition, the Rocky team of Tyler Chandler, Tuaz and Johnathan Diem finished third. Washington's Whitman College won the event and the College of Idaho was second.

 

 

 

 

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