DURHAM, N.H.Leanne Smith (North Conway, N.H.), a former University of New Hampshire ski team and EISA standout, was recently awarded the Nor Am Cup overall champion title. The Nor Am Cup series is considered the highest level of ski racing in North America. This elite series of races showcases both Canadian and U.S. athletes as well as other top world performers in a five-event setup.

Smith competed in the four traditional events of downhill, Super-G, giant slalom, and slalom for the entire season as well as the new Super Combined event, which consists of one run of Super-G and one run of slalom and was most recently showcased at the 2006 winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

En route to winning the overall title, Smith captured the Super-G title – an astounding feat considering that as a UNH freshman in 2006 she focused on the tech events of slalom and giant slalom – by recording three top-three finishes in the event.

The overall title didn’t come as easily, but Smith’s recent performance of one top-5 and 3 top-20 finishes in the Nor Am Finals at Panorama, British Columbia secured her win for the overall championship. Smith edged last year’s champion and current U.S. Ski Team member Megan McJames by over 170 points.

Smith qualified for the U.S. Ski Team’s Development team last spring with outstanding results at the 2006 U.S. Nationals held at Sugarloaf USA.

As a UNH Wildcat, Smith recorded eight top-10 finishes during the 2006 carnival season. She also helped the ‘Cats to a first-place lead and a giant slalom victory in the first day of the 2006 NCAA Skiing Championships with her 11th-place finish. Smith was honored with the 2006 EISA Rookie of the Year award and was an All-East First Team selection.
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