May 27, 2010

SKIING HONORS TEAM MVPS, AWARD RECIPIENTS AND SENIORS AT TEAM BANQUET

PAUL ATKINSON
AILEEN FARRELL
NATASHA KULLAS
DYLAN McGUFFIN

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire ski team recently held its annual team banquet, at which time student-athletes were honored for their athletic and academic success and seniors were recognized for their four-year contribution to the program.

The Team MVP awards were presented to the men's and women's highest point scorer in both the alpine and Nordic disciplines during the EISA carnival season. Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) and Aileen Farrell (Ottawa, Ontario) were feted in men's and women's alpine, respectively, while Natasha Kullas (Timmins, Ontario) and Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.) received that distinction for the women's and men's Nordic squads.

Atkinson was UNH's top men's alpine skier in seven of 12 races – all seven were top-10 finishes – in the EISA circuit. That included third place in the slalom and seventh in the giant slalom at the Eastern Championships. Atkinson also excelled at the Williams Carnival with second place in the slalom and fifth place in the giant slalom.

Farrell recorded nine top-10 finishes – more than any other Wildcat – during the EISA season. She had three top-five efforts with third place in the giant slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival as well as fourth place in both the giant slalom at St. Lawrence and slalom at Williams.

Kullas was the team's top Nordic women's skier in five of 10 races during the carnival season. She had seven top-20 finishes, including five in the top 10 with a best of sixth place in the freestyle races at both Willams and St. Michael's as well as sixth place in the 5K classic at St. Lawrence.

McGuffin began the 2010 season with a top-5 finish in each of the first four races and ended the year with an All-America effort at the NCAA Championships. He raced to victory in the 20K freestyle at St. Lawrence and also turned in a third-place finish in the 10K classic at SLU. McGuffin went on to take third place in the free at both St. Michael's and Vermont. He ended his collegiate career with a 10th-place finish in the 10K classic at the NCAAs to become an All-American.

Skiing supervisor and Nordic head coach Cory Schwartz also recognized skiers who received various honors during the 2010 season. That included Veronique Archambault-Leger (Verdun, Quebec) and McGuffin as All-Americans, and they were joined on the All-East Team by Atkinson and Farrell.

Archambault-Leger raced to her fifth career All-America finish at the 2010 NCAA championships with an eighth-place finish in the slalom. She recorded seven top-10 efforts in nine races during the EISA carnival season and that included first place in the slalom as well as third place in the giant slalom at the Eastern championships. Archambault-Leger also turned in third-place efforts in the slalom at both Dartmouth and Vermont.

A total of 12 Wildcats were honored for making the NCAA All-Academic Ski Team. Archambault-Leger made the team all four years while Willie Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) and Michael Lessard (Greene, Maine) received the accolade for the third time in as many years. Atkinson, McGuffin, Aliza Aylward (Warren, Vt.), Danielle Baron (Gilford, N.H.), Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah), Steven Bedard (Cheshire, Mass.), Viktor Hlas (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) and James MacMahon (Unity, N.H.) were all first-time honorees.

Arcahmbault-Leger was also named to the ESPN The Magazine All-District First Team. She was also one of three skiers recently honored at the UNH athletics department Senior Banquet with the Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year award. Ford received the Tina True Award and Jenny Luoma (Maple Grove, Minn.) was bestowed the Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence.

A total of 14 seniors were given special recognition for contributions to the Blue and White. In addition to the aforementioned Anderson, Archambault-Leger, Aylward, Farrell, Ford, Hlas, Lessard, Luoma, McGuffin and MacMahon, the program also bid farewell to alpine skiers Michael Cremeno (Pembroke, N.H.), Alex Norden (Eaton, N.H.) and Cynthia Tessier (Rawdon, Quebec) as well as Kevin Rose (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) of the Nordic squad.

UNH had nine representatives at the 2010 NCAA Ski Championships – the highest number of Wildcats since 2003 – and finished in ninth place for the second consecutive year. Atkinson, Cremeno and Ford competed in the men's alpine events and were joined on the slopes by Archambault-Leger, Farrell and Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont Tremblant, Quebec). Kullas, McGuffin and Anya Caldwell Bean (Wolfeboro, N.H.) competed in the Nordic events.

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