Anke Friedrich Inductee, Crimson CLUB Hall of Fame


It's not every day that an esteemed scientist is recognized by the University of Utah's Athletic Department's Crimson Club Hall of Fame.

With ski coaches – Thor Kallerud (left) former head coach Alpine Ski Team, now with The Youth Sports Alliance in Park City, Fundraiser and Donor, Anke in center, and Fredrik Landstedt (right) Director of the U of U Ski Team, former Nordic racer at New Mexico at the time Anke was racing. Banner photo above: With dignitaries – Mark Harlin Athletics Director (left), Anke in center, and Pres. Taylor Randall (right)

World-class skier Anke Friedrich, BS'90, MS'93 is indeed, no ordinary inductee. During a dominant two-year career with the Utes the alpine skier won three of the four NCAA Championship races she entered.  In March of this year she was also awarded the U's Founders Day Distinguished Alumni Award.

Friedrich grew up in Germany and made her way to the U to study geology. Once she was awarded an athletics scholarship, she captured the giant slalom title her first year in 1989. She swept the downhill races by winning both the slalom and giant slalom in 1990.

Currently an adjunct professor at the U's Department of Geology & Geophysics where she was once an undergraduate and graduate student, Friedrich is an endowed professor of geology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich where she established a Master's degree program in geology, led international student field trips involving U students, and set up student exchange programs with several international institutions, including the U.

"I benefited enormously from the vibrant and collegial environment at the University of Utah,” she says, “both as a student-athlete and a geology major. Therefore, I am very grateful to my former ski coaches, faculty mentors, and fellow students for their tremendous support and friendship over the years."

Friedrich received the department’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019. She played a crucial role in establishing one of the world's first continuously operating space-geodetic networks which served to monitor the tectonic activity around Yucca Mountain, the then-proposed nuclear waste repository site.

The Hall of Fame event, held September 22 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center also honored its all-time best teams and five other outstanding individuals as part of its 2023 Hall of Fame Class.  Utah's 2008 Sugar Bowl football team and 2006 NCAA Elite Eight women's basketball team were officially enshrined along with former athletics director Dr. Chris Hill, women's basketball player Soni Adams, gymnast Annabeth Eberle, distance runner Amanda Mergaert, and men's basketball player Hanno Möttölä.

The 2023 class of inductees were also honored and recognized at Utah's football game against UCLA the following day.