DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire alpine skiing team opens the 2014 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) season at the University of Vermont Winter Carnival on Jan. 10-11. Friday will feature men's and women's giant slalom races, and Saturday follows with slalom races at Mount Mansfield.
Led by seventh-year head coach Brian Blank, the alpine team enters the season with high expectations. The 2013 men's team finished runner-up in SL and third in GS at the EISA Championships, hosted by Bates College. The squad is led by junior Coley Oliver (Salt Lake City, Utah), who recently competed for the U.S. Men's National University Team at the 2013 Winter World University Games (Dec. 11-21) in Trentino, Italy. Oliver earned All-America First Team for the Wildcats in giant slalom at last season's NCAA Skiing Championships, hosted by Middlebury College. The two-time NCAA qualifier tied for second place in GS and ignited a team fourth-place finish in that event. The All-East Second Team honoree notched the EISA's No. 6 ranking after recording five top-10 results, including three top-5 finishes in slalom. He registered a career-best second-place SL finish at the Middlebury Carnival (Feb. 15).
Senior Sam Coffey (Snowmass, Colo.) was feted as the Wildcats men's alpine team MVP in 2013. Coffey earned All-America First Team by virtue of his third-place finish in slalom at NCAAs. The three-time NCAA qualifier was the Wildcats' lone EISA All-East First Team representative. He recorded six top-10 finishes in giant slalom and six top-10s in SL. He received the EISA Male Alpine Skier of the Week award after posting second-place results in both disciplines at the Vermont Carnival (Jan. 11-12).
Sophomore Randa Teschner (Petawawa, Ontario), the reigning women's alpine team MVP, was the lone freshman to compete for UNH at the national championships in 2013. Teschner earned the alpine team's only individual race victory of the season with a GS triumph at Middlebury on Feb. 16. Her fourth-place finish in SL at the EISAs propelled the Wildcats to third place overall, and she claimed All-America Second Team in SL courtesy of a 10th-place finish at NCAAs.
Jenna Kantor (East Burke, Vt.) was elected women's alpine co-captain after competing at NCAAs for the second year in a row. The senior, who was the East's ninth-ranked GS skier last season, earned top-10s in three of her last four EISA giant slalom races, including a season-best third place at Middlebury (Feb. 16). Kantor missed All-American by a mere 0.12 seconds when she posted a 12th-place finish in GS at NCAAs.
Senior Charlie Kidd (Toronto, Ontario), who missed last season due to injury, will serve as men's alpine team captain, and Laura Rozinowicz (Toronto, Ontario) repeats as women's alpine co-captain after being sidelined in 2013.
The UNH Nordic team opens competition at the Colby Carnival (Jan. 17-18); the Nordic races for the UVM Carnival are slated for Feb. 1-2 at Trapp Family Lodge.
The EISA season consists of six carnivals: UVM (Jan. 11-12; Feb. 1-2); UNH (Jan. 24-25); Dartmouth (Feb. 7-8); Williams (Feb. 14-15); and Middlebury, which plays host to the EISA Championships on Feb. 21-22. The NCAA Skiing Championships are scheduled for March 5-8 at the University of Utah. For more information on the UNH skiing team, visit www.unhwildcats.com.