|Sam Coffey - Men's Alpine MVP|
|Annika Taylor - Women's Nordic MVP|
DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire skiing program recently held its postseason banquet to recognize the top performers from the 2013 season. The alpine team crowned Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) and Randa Teschner (Petawawa, Ontario) as its MVPs, while Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) and Annika Taylor (Truckee, Calif.) were feted as the MVPs of the Nordic team.
UNH finished eighth at the NCAA Skiing Championships, hosted by Middlebury College, in March to match its top NCAA placement since 1994. That marked the Wildcats' 23rd Top-10 placement in Nordic head coach/ski coordinator Cory Schwartz's 31 years at the helm.
Coffey, a junior, earned All-America First Team by virtue of his third-place finish in slalom at NCAAs. The three-time NCAA qualifier was the Wildcats' lone Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) All-East First Team representative. Coffey recorded six top-10 finishes in giant slalom and six top-10s in SL. He received the EISA Male Alpine Skier of the Week award after posting second-place results in both disciplines at the Vermont Carnival (Jan. 11-12).
Teschner, who was the lone freshman to compete for UNH at the national championships, earned the alpine team's only individual race victory of the season with a GS triumph at Middlebury on Feb. 16. Her fourth-place finish in SL at the EISA Championships (Feb. 23) propelled the Wildcats to third place overall, and she claimed All-America Second Team in SL courtesy of a 10th-place finish at NCAAs.
Lindgren made it back-to-back Nordic team MVP honors after competing at NCAAs for the second straight season. The senior co-captain earned a No. 14 ranking in classical racing and No. 29 ranking in freestyle competition during the EISA season; he earned ninth place in 10K classic at Vermont (Feb. 3) and 10th place in 10K classic at Colby (Jan. 26). Lindgren, a physics major and four-time member of the National Ski Coaches Association (NSCA) All-Academic Team, was the recipient of UNH's Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence on May 7.
Taylor, a sophomore, was the sole Nordic Wildcat tabbed to the All-East First Team after earning EISA's No. 4 season ranking. Taylor garnered the EISA Female Nordic Skier of the Week honor Jan. 30 after racing to her first career victory in the Colby Carnival 15K free (Jan. 26) one day after taking second place in the 5K classic. She ignited the 'Cats to team victories in both races and amassed five top-10s during the carnival season.
Senior Nordic co-captain Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) was recognized for winning the National College Men's and Women's Skiing Elite 89 award for reaching the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in Division I skiing while also achieving the highest academic standard among her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at each of the NCAA's 89 championships. She was feted for compiling a cumulative GPA of 3.988 in genetics. Guiney notched perfect 4.0 GPA to earn a spot on the NSCA All-Academic Team for the fourth straight season.
Schwartz and sixth-year alpine head coach Brian Blank honored their All-East Team members: senior Nordic co-captain Anya Caldwell Bean (Wolfeboro, N.H./Nordic Second Team); Guiney (Nordic Second Team); Taylor (Nordic First Team); Coffey (alpine First Team); sophomore Coley Oliver (Salt Lake City, Utah/alpine Second Team) and Teschner (alpine Second Team).
The Wildcats boasted 15 members of the NSCA All-Academic Team: Caldwell Bean; Guiney, junior Jenna Kantor (East Burke, Vt./alpine); freshman Emily Larson (Boulder, Colo./alpine); senior Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec/alpine); sophomore Tristan Ramey (Anchorage, Alaska/Nordic); Taylor; senior captain Taylor Vest-Burton (Breckenridge, Colo./alpine); junior Kris Hopkins (North Andover, Mass./alpine); Erik Lindgren; sophomore Per Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden); freshman Charles McConville (London, Ontario); Oliver; sophomore Will Meyer (Bozeman, Mont./Nordic) and sophomore Sam Read (Keene, N.H./Nordic).
Members of the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society were commended: Hopkins; junior Charlie Kidd (Toronto, Ontario/alpine); Erik Lindgren; Guiney; senior Kelsey Hoar (Shaftsbury, Vt./Nordic); junior Elizabeth Izzo (Lake Placid, N.Y./junior); Kantor; senior Kvehl McDermott (Putney, Vt./Nordic); junior Anne Miller (Whitefish, Mont./Nordic); junior Dana Roach (Minocqua, Wis./Nordic); junior captain Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario/alpine) and junior Laura Halupowski (North Conway, N.H./alpine).
The 11 skiers who competed at the NCAA Championships were recognized: Caldwell Bean; Guiney; Taylor; Erik and Per Lindgren; Vest-Burton; Coffey; Oliver; senior Catherine Blanchard (Eastman, Quebec/alpine); Kantor and Teschner.
NCAA All-Americans Caldwell Bean (Second Team), Coffey (First Team SL), Oliver (First Team GS), Teschner (Second Team SL) and Vest-Burton (First Team SL, Second Team GS) were honored, and the program saluted the senior class for its years of commitment. Seniors included Caldwell Bean, Guiney, Hoar, McDermott, Blanchard, Lepine, Vest-Burton, Erik Lindgren, co-captain Perry Thomas (Rindge, N.H./Nordic) and Ian Wilson (Wayzata, Minn./Nordic).
Volunteer assistant coaches and alumni Danielle Baron and Dan Guiney were thanked for returning to the team and making the experience of the current team members a positive experience.
The UNH ski team will play host to its 21st annual golf tournament at The Links at Outlook in South Berwick, Maine, on Saturday, May 11. For more information on the UNH skiing program, visit www.unhwildcats.com or www.unhskiing.com.