DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire ski team recently held its annual team banquet to honor an MVP in all four disciplines and recognize the overall accomplishments of a team that finished ninth in the NCAA championships as well as second at the UNH Carnival during the Eastern circuit.
Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) and Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) were named the women’s and men’s alpine MVPs, respectively, while Dylan McGuffin (Concord, N.H.) was feted as the men’s Nordic MVP and Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.) received the women’s Nordic MVP.
Head coach Cory Schwartz also cited head alpine coach Brian Blank as the EISA Alpine Coach of the Year as well as the 10 student-athletes named to the NCAA All-Academic Team, the five skiers who garnered All-America accolades and the quintet that received All-East honors.
Farrell, who placed fifth in slalom and eighth in the giant slalom at the NCAA championships, finished in the top-10 in 11 of 12 races during the Eastern carnival circuit and finished no lower than 12th place this season. She was the top UNH skier in six of 12 Eastern events and that included both the giant slalom and slalom at the EISA Regional Championships with sixth- and ninth-place finishes,
respectively. Farrell raced to a second-place finish in the UNH giant slalom and took eighth place that weekend in the slalom. She was more consistent in the slalom with finishes of seventh (twice), eighth (twice) and ninth (twice) but had higher marks of fourth and sixth place in the GS.
McNamara, who finished fifth in the slalom and 16th in the giant slalom at the NCAAs, capped the Eastern carnivals by winning the giant slalom and finishing second in the slalom at the EISA Regional Championships. He finished in the top 10 in all 12 Eastern races this season with 10 top-5 finishes overall. McNamara was the top ’Cat in six of 12 races and that included both Middlebury Carnival events in which he was second overall in the SL and third in the GS. He also earned second place in the UVM slalom and UNH giant slalom.
McGuffin was the top ‘Cat in six of 11 men’s Nordic races during the Eastern circuit, including both the 10K classic and 20K freestyle at the regional championships with 13th and 17th place finishes overall. He recorded four other top-20 efforts, including fourth place overall in the 20K free at the Bates Carnival. McGuffin also skied to back-to-back 11th-place performances in the freestyle at UVM and Dartmouth.
Wright, who placed 14th in the 15K freestyle and 25th in the 5K classic races at the NCAA championships, had a particularly strong 2009 season in the freestyle races. She duplicated her seventh-place finish from Bates’ 15K free in subsequent weeks at UNH (10K free) and Vermont (5K free). She then finished eighth in the 10K free at Dartmouth and placed sixth in the 15K free at the Eastern regionals. Wright also tallied top-20 finishes in classic races at UNH (eighth), Middlebury (16th) and Easterns (16th).
McNamara and Wright were joined on the NCAA All-Academic Team by Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun, Quebec), Marlijne Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.), Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.), Michael Lessard (Greene, Maine), Alexandra Norden (Eaton, N.H.), Samuel Norden (Eaton, N.H.) and Ethan Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.).
Archambault-Leger (giant slalom and slalom), Cremeno (giant slalom), Farrell (giant slalom and slalom), Ford (giant slalom and slalom) and McNamara (slalom) were the five UNH skiers who combined for eight All-America honors.
Ford and McNamara raced to All-East First Team recognition while Archambault-Leger, Cremeno and Farrell skied to Second Team honors.