DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire ski team, which led the 2006 NCAA Ski Championship after the first day of competition and finished in ninth place (its highest since 2002), honored a number of its student-athletes at its annual team banquet that was held earlier this month.
The Chris Wolski Award, awarded by the coaching staff to a Nordic skier, was presented to senior captain Zach Via (Ester, Alaska), who was the top point scorer on the 2006 men's Nordic squad and was a repeat selection to the NCAA All-Academic Ski Team this season. He was consistently UNH's top finisher in both the free technique and classic disciplines, and that included his 13th-place finish in the 10K classic and 16th place in the 20K free at the EISA Championship.
In addition to Via, Joanna Kinsman (Fryeburg, Maine), Sean McNamara (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) and Sydney Mikkelson (LaCrescent, Minn.) were announced as the team's top point scorers.
Mikkelson - a two-time All-America honoree (2003, 2005), three time All-Academic Ski Team (2003-04-06) selection and four-time NCAA participant - served as co-captain and was the top point scorer of the women's alpine squad in 2006. She placed 13th in the giant slalom and 24th in the slalom at this year's NCAA championship and also earned All-East Second Team honors at the EISA Championship. She did not finish lower than 10th in any race during the carnival season, including the EISAs.
Kinsman captained the women's Nordic squad and was the leading scorer as a junior in 2006. Kinsman was UNH's only Nordic representative at the 2006 NCAA Championship, where she placed 31st in the 5K classic and 37th in the free technique. Her season highlights also included a pair of strong performances at the EISA Championship - 11th in the 5K classic and 15th in the 15K free.
McNamara was a two-time All-America selection and the top point scorer for the men's alpine squad as a rookie in 2006. He raced to a fifth-place finish in both the slalom and giant slalom races at the NCAA Championship to earn All-America status in both disciplines. He was named to the All-East Second Team after placing fourth in the slalom and eighth in the giant slalom at the EISA Championship and also garnered All-Academic Ski Team honors.
Kurt Simard was given special recognition for being named EISA Alpine Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year and Leanne Smith (Conway, N.H.) was named EISA Alpine Rookie of the Year. She earned All-East First Team recognition and placed 11th in the giant slalom at the NCAA Championship.
The team also acknowledged its six other All-Academic Ski Team selections - Brandy Reeves (Faribanks, Alaska), David Koop (Woodstock, Vt.), John Martz (Park City, Utah), Mandy Vincent-Lang (Anchorage, Alaska), Tim Baucom (Walpole, N.H.) and Andrew Morehouse (N. Creek, N.Y.) - as well as All-Americans Joe Dunn (Stockbridge, Vt.) and Stephanie Vaughan (Bethel, Maine). Martz was further recognized as an NCAA participant, while Randall Bloom (Norwalk, Conn.), Mike Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.), Jodi Curry (Hampstead, N.H.) and Ashley Ladd (Plymouth, N.H.) were cited as NCAA qualifiers.