NEWRY & RUMFORD, Maine– University of New Hampshire junior alpine skier Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) and sophomore Nordic skier Annika Taylor (Truckee, Calif.) were each named Sunday to the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) All-East First Team, headlining a contingent of six Wildcats that earned All-East honors.
Sophomore Coley Oliver (Salt Lake City, Utah) was tabbed to the men's alpine All-East Second Team, and freshman Randa Teschner (Petawawa, Ontario) earned a berth on the women's alpine All-East Second Team. Senior co-captains Anya Caldwell Bean (Wolfeboro, N.H.) and Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) were named to the women's Nordic All-East Second Team.
The six Wildcats were recognized for ranking in the top 10 at the conclusion of the six-carnival EISA season that wrapped up Feb. 23. The All-East Teams take into account the best two scores of combined disciplines: slalom and giant slalom for alpine racers; classical and freestyle for Nordic competition.
Coffey is the East's fifth-ranked giant slalom skier and seventh-ranked slalom skier for a best-two-combined rank of No. 5. The 2011 All-America Second-Team competitor and two-time NCAA qualifier compiled six top-10 finishes in GS and five top-10s in SL, highlighted by a pair of second-place finishes at the Vermont Carnival on Jan. 11-12; he was subsequently named the EISA Male Alpine Skier of the Week for his UVM performance.
Taylor, who is EISA's fourth-ranked free technique skier and sixth-ranked classical skier, is the region's overall No. 4 female Nordic skier. The sophomore earned the EISA Female Nordic Skier of the Week honor Jan. 30 after racing to her first career victory in the Colby Carnival 15K freestyle Jan. 26, one day after taking second place in the 5K classic; she ignited the Wildcats to victories in both races. Taylor totaled five top-10s and was part of a third-place team in the 3x5K free relay at Dartmouth (Feb. 9).
Oliver recorded five top-10 results, including three top-5 finishes in slalom, which earned him the No. 5 ranking in that discipline. The sophomore, who qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships but did not compete due to UNH's three-skier limit per discipline, notched a career-best second place in SL at the Middlebury Carnival (Feb. 15) and is the East's No. 8 alpine skier overall.
Teschner, EISA's No. 7 women's alpine skier, picked up steam toward the end of her freshman campaign with three top-5 finishes in her final four races, headlined by a giant slalom victory at Middlebury on Feb. 16. She is the East's No. 6 GS skier and No. 9 SL skier with a season-best fourth-place slalom showing at the NCAA East Regional (Bates Carnival) on Feb. 23.
Caldwell Bean is ranked fourth among women's Nordic competitors in free technique and 17th in classic for an overall No. 6 rank. Her season highlights include back-to-back second-place finishes in 15K free at the St. Lawrence Carnival (Jan. 19) and the Colby Carnival (Jan. 27); she added seventh place in the 5K classic at Colby (Jan. 26) for her best classical result of the campaign.
Guiney, the only repeat All-East winner among this year's Wildcats, garnered All-East Second Team status for the third straight year. After missing the season's first two carnivals to compete at the U23 World Championships for the United States Ski Team (Jan. 21-27), Guiney came back with a flourish at the UVM Carnival, taking fourth in the 5K free and fifth in the 10K classic. The two-time UNH Nordic team co-captain capped her EISA career with a pair of team-leading sixth-place finishes at Bates in the 5K classic and 10K free last weekend. Guiney is ranked 10th in the region in free, classical and overall, which should be enough for the senior to earn her third straight trip to NCAAs.
UNH will announce Tuesday the student-athletes that will represent the Wildcats in the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's Skiing Championships, which are being hosted by Middlebury College from March 6-9. For more information on UNH skiing, visit www.unhwildcats.com or www.unhskiing.com.
Photos courtesy Cory Ransom | EISA