May 19, 2011

Ski Team Announces 2011 Team Awards

Paul Atkinson
Men's Alpine MVP

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire ski team recently held its annual postseason banquet, recognizing its top performers and performances in 2011. The Wildcats' campaign was highlighted by their eighth-place finish in the NCAA Championships, the school's top placement in 11 years.

Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) was named the men's alpine team MVP after qualifying for the NCAAs for the third straight season and notching his second consecutive berth on the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) All-East First Team as the region's fifth-ranked skier. The junior posted his first collegiate win, and UNH's lone individual victory of the season, in the slalom at the St. Lawrence Carnival on Jan. 15. He also recorded second-place finishes in SL races at Colby (Jan. 22) and Middlebury (Feb. 18) and tacked on top-5 results in giant slalom at Middlebury (Feb. 19) and at the EISA Championships (Feb. 27). Atkinson, the EISA Skier of the Week on Feb. 21, was named to the USCSCA All-Academic Team and is a nominee for the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America At-Large Team.

The men's Nordic team MVP award was bestowed upon senior Andrew Clemence (Falmouth, Maine). Clemence was the Wildcats' top male performer in free technique, where he ranked 19th in EISA. He closed out the season by finishing ninth in the 10K free at the EISA Championships, propelling UNH to third overall in that event Feb. 26.

Sophomore Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) was crowned the women's alpine MVP after establishing a No. 17 EISA ranking en route to her second straight NCAA appearance. The sophomore was the top 'Cat at the EISAs (Feb. 26-27), finishing eighth in GS and 12th in SL. She added a season-best fourth-place finish in GS at Middlebury (Feb. 19) and notched top 10s at Vermont (eighth, GS, Feb. 4) and St. Lawrence (ninth, GS, Jan. 14).

Clare Egan
Women's Nordic MVP

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) made the most of her one season at UNH, taking home women's Nordic team MVP honors. The graduate student procured a place on the All-East Second Team with a No. 6 EISA ranking that led all New Hampshire Nordic skiers and punched her ticket to the NCAAs. Egan catalogued an impressive campaign with seven individual top-10 finishes, highlighted by a third-place finish in the 5K free at the EISAs (Feb. 26). Egan placed third in the 10K free at St. Lawrence (Jan. 15) and recorded a fourth-place finish in the 15K classic at Dartmouth (Feb. 12), where she also notched sixth in the 5K free (Feb. 11). Additionally, she tallied a fifth-place finish in the 10K classic at Colby (Jan. 21), established eighth-place finishes in both the 15K classic and 5K free at Vermont (Feb. 4-5) and, as part of a 3x3 sprint relay team, captured a victory at Middlebury (Feb. 19) and took second in a 3x5 free relay at Colby (Jan. 22).  Egan was named to the USCSCA All-Academic Team and was a University nominee for the prestigious Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year award, granted each season to a UNH senior who excels in both athletic competition and the classroom.

Men's alpine skier Zach Clayton (Manassas, Va.) was feted for earning All-America First Team honors by virtue of his third-place finish in the SL (March 9) and All-America Second Team accolades courtesy of a 10th-place run in GS (March 12) at the NCAAs. Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) was also noted for chalking up All-America Second Team honors by finishing eighth in SL and attaining a spot on the USCSCA All-Academic Team.

Nordic skier Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) was spotlighted for being named to the EISA All-East Second Team, participating in the NCAAs, making the USCSCA All-Academic Team and receiving a nomination for the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America Women's At-Large Team.

Other featured members of the USCSCA All-Academic Team were Elizabeth Izzo (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Jacqueline Lebel (Truckee, Calif.), Krissy McNeill (Bloomington, Minn.), Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario), Steven Bedard (Cheshire, Mass.) and Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden).

Ski coordinator and Nordic head coach Cory Schwartz acknowledged the seniors for their dedication to the program: Hilary Andross (Franconia, N.H.); women's alpine captain Dana Daukss (Belmont, Mich.); Egan; Steph Kramer (Bow, N.H.); Tasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario); Katie Miller  (Lenox, Mass.); McNeill; Bedard; Harrison Harb (Hopkinton, N.H.); Clemence; men's alpine captain Sam Norden (Eaton, N.H.); Neil Hansen (Amherst, N.Y.) and Ethan Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.).

For more information on the UNH ski team, visit www.unhwildcats.com.

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