INDIANAPOLIS – The University of New Hampshire skiing program will send 11 competitors to the 2014 NCAA National Collegiate Men's and Women's Skiing Championships, hosted by the University of Utah from March 5-8. Three-time NCAA qualifier Coley Oliver (Salt Lake City, Utah) returns to his home state to lead the men's alpine team, while women's alpine skier Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario) makes her third trip to nationals.
Oliver joins Kris Hopkins (North Andover, Mass.) and Jay Ogle (Pittsfield, Mass.) as the three men's alpine Wildcats. Randa Teschner (Petawawa, Ontario) and Katie Farrow (Toronto, Ontario) will represent the UNH women's alpine team along with Rozinowicz for seventh-year head coach Brian Blank.
The Nordic contingent, which is led by 32nd-year head coach Cory Schwartz, consists of Annika Taylor (Truckee, Calif.) and Katrin Larusson (Truckee, Calif.) on the women's side, with Eirik Fosnaes (Hovik, Norway), Per Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) and Johnny Springer (Jackson, Wyo.) representing the men's team.
Alpine events will be held at the Park City Mountain Resort on March 5 (giant slalom) and March 7 (slalom). Nordic races are scheduled for March 6 (women's 5K/men's 10K classic) and March 8 (men's 20K/women's15K free) at Soldier Hollow.
Oliver, a two-time and reigning member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) All-East Second Team, returns to the NCAAs one year after earning All-America in giant slalom by tying for second place in that race at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. This season, Oliver paired a No. 8 slalom rank with a No. 10 giant slalom rank for 10th overall in the East. The junior, who qualified but did not compete at NCAAs in his freshman season, boasted his top GS result (fifth) at Dartmouth on Feb. 7 and his best SL finish (fourth) at the EISA Championships at Middlebury on Feb. 21.
Hopkins qualifies for NCAAs for the second year in a row, though this will be his first chance to compete. The senior, who missed out on the 2013 championships due to the three-skier-per-school limit, treks to Utah on the strength of a No. 18 ranking. Hopkins saved his best for last in giant slalom with a sixth-place finish at EISAs. His top slalom race occurred at the UNH Carnival (Jan. 25), where he zoomed to sixth place at Cannon Mountain.
Ogle earns his first invitation to the NCAAs as the East's No. 11 alpine racer. The sophomore was New Hampshire's most consistent performer in GS (No. 8 rank), with season highlights including a fourth-place finish in the season opener at Vermont (Jan. 10), fifth place at UNH and 10th place at Dartmouth (Feb. 7). A ninth-place slalom finish at the Colby Carnival (Jan. 18) represented his top race in that discipline.
Teschner, a sophomore, returns to NCAAs for the second straight season after earning All-America Second-Team SL honors in 2013 courtesy of a 10th-place finish. A No. 7 ranking in slalom this season helped Teschner to a team-best No. 10 overall EISA rank. The two-time All-East Second Team skier pieced together a dominant season of SL races that included four separate fourth-place results (Colby, UNH, Vermont, Williams) and a season-high third place at Dartmouth on Feb. 8.
Rozinowicz, a senior, gears up for her third trip to the NCAA Championships. After missing all of last season due to injury, the alpine co-captain registered the East's No. 17 ranking in 2014. She was No. 11 in GS, with season highlights including seventh place at UVM and sixth at Colby in the first two races of the season. Her best slalom result was 11th at Colby. Rozinowicz posted UNH's top GS results at the 2011 NCAAs at Vermont and the 2012 NCAAs at Montana State.
Farrow, the lone alpine freshman to earn a trip to NCAAs, tallied the No. 17 East ranking, including 10th in slalom. Her top placements in SL were sixth at Colby and seventh at UVM; she added a 13th-place finish at Dartmouth and 12th at Williams. Farrow's top GS race came at UNH, where she took eighth.
On the Nordic side, Fosnaes registered the No. 7 EISA ranking. The All-East Second Team racer skied to second place in the 10K freestyle at Vermont for a season best in that discipline, and his top classic races included sixth place in 20K classic at Dartmouth, third place in 10K classic at Williams and fifth place in 10K classic at the EISA Championships, hosted by Middlebury.
Lindgren, who makes his second consecutive trip to NCAAs, is the East's No. 10 Nordic skier. The junior co-captain shined brightest in classic racing (No. 6) with a fourth place in 10K at Colby, a career-best third place in 10K at UNH and fifth in the 20K at Dartmouth. The All-East Second Teamer notched a top freestyle finish of 10th in the 10K free at UVM.
Springer, the men's Nordic co-captain, posted the No. 20 ranking in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnival season, including No. 18 in freestyle technique and No. 23 in classical races. Springer's season highlights include eighth place in the 10K free at Vermont (Feb. 2) and 14th place in the 10K classic at UNH (Jan. 24).
Larusson, who garnered the women's Nordic EISA Rookie of the Year award, is 10th overall in the East with the No. 5 rank in freestyle and No. 17 in classic. The All-East Second Team skier sported a career-high third-place finish in 5K free at Vermont and twice placed 10th in 5K classic, at UNH and at EISAs.
Taylor, the 2013 UNH women's Nordic team MVP, makes it back-to-back NCAA championship berths. The junior co-captain missed the season's first two carnivals while competing for Great Britain at the U23 World Championships, but celebrated her return with a fourth-place finish in the 5K free and eighth in the 15K classic at Dartmouth. Overall, Taylor earned the No. 16 East ranking.
For more information on the UNH skiing program, visit www.unhwildcats.com.