|2006 NCAA Championships|
VAL D'ISERE, FRANCE – Former University of New Hampshire alpine skier Leanne Smith (Conway, N.H.) earned her first career Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium by placing second in the Val d'Isere downhill race on Friday, Dec. 14.
Smith, who had a previous top finish of fifth in super G at Schladming (Austria) last March, registered a silver medal-winning time of 1 minute, 19.91 seconds, just .16 seconds behind race winner Laura Gut of Switzerland.
The 25-year-old Smith competed for UNH in 2006, when she was named the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Female Rookie Skier of the Year and garnered All-East First Team recognition. The then freshman helped the Wildcats finish ninth in the '06 NCAA Ski Championships by placing 11th in giant slalom. Other highlights of her lone season at New Hampshire included a GS victory at the Dartmouth Carnival, fourth in GS and sixth in slalom at the EISA Championship, hosted by Middlebury, and eight top-10 finishes overall.
Smith, a six-year World Cup veteran who left UNH following the '06 season to train with the U.S. Ski Team Development Group, became the eighth Wildcat to represent the United States as an Olympian when she was tabbed to the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The former Kennett High School standout finished 18th in the super G and 21st in super combined at the Olympics.