Park City Ski Team alum skis for Utes |

Park City Ski Team alum skis for Utes

Utah skier Dominic Demschar, a Park City native, approaches the finish line during Monday s slalom competition at Park City Mountain Resort.

When the University of Utah Ski Team took to the slopes at Park City Mountain Resort on Monday, one skier, sophomore Dominic Demschar, was feeling right at home.

Though the Utes frequently train in Park City, Demschar has an extra advantage — he grew up skiing for the Park City Ski Team. The 2014 Australian Olympic alpine skier said he enjoys having competitions where he was raised.

"I love racing here," he said. "I get to stay at home with my parents and have my mom cook. I get to sleep in my own bed and sleep a little longer [already] being up in Park City."

When it comes to racing, he said there aren’t many skiers who have put in as much time at PCMR as he has.

"I’ve skied this hill more times probably than anyone else in this race, so that gives me an advantage hopefully," he said. "It’s always nice to have a race here."

Demschar’s slalom results on Monday weren’t what he was hoping for, but he said he has high hopes for Wednesday’s giant slalom competition.

"Personally, GS is my stronger event," he said. "It’s where I’m stronger and, as a team, the way we’ve been training, I think we’ll be stronger."

Monday’s difficult conditions hampered the Utah squad, as well as many racers from other schools. Demschar said he and his teammates will learn from the season-opening experience.

"The conditions were really difficult and we got unlucky in a few areas, but I think we can be a lot stronger than we were today," he said. "Today it was really just about skiing the snow more than anything and knowing that the snow wasn’t going to hold in all areas and making sure you adjusted your line and tactics accordingly."

After battling through a tough first run, Demschar said he was much happier with his second run on Monday.

"Personally, in the second run, I was fifth — a lot better than my first run," he said. "I’m hoping to slowly work in the right direction and continue the momentum."

Utah Alpine Coach Jaka Korencan said Demschar was returning to form after a recent injury.

"He’s just coming back from a back injury that happened less than a week ago and it’s definitely a little tentative," he said. "He’s definitely better in GS and I think we’re going to see some good results from him there if his back is not bugging him."

Demschar has big goals for his sophomore season with the Utes, including helping the team get over the hump and win an NCAA championship.

"I’d like to be an All-American, win the NCAAs [as an individual] and help win the team title at NCAAs," he said. "That’s the team’s big goal this year."

Korencan said the entire alpine team will benefit from Demschar’s presence.

"Dom is an awesome competitor," he said. "It’s great to have him around and great to have him on the team. He knows the hill really well here. He’s been skiing here his whole childhood, so I think he’s going to do extremely well [on Wednesday]. He’s a great guy and a hard worker. He’s been showing some good skiing in training."

After finishing in 39th place in the giant slalom at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Demschar said he’s not sure if he’ll try to qualify for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. At the moment, he said, he’s too busy focusing on his Utah career.

"I still haven’t thought too much about [the Olympics]," he said. "I like to go day by day. That’s something I’ll look at in the summer of 2017 and see what I decide then."

Wednesday’s men’s giant slalom races at Park City Mountain Resort are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Eagle Race Arena.

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