Skiing's Taylor, Izzo, Larusson Nominated to NENSA Development Teams
NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine – University of New Hampshire Nordic skiing co-captain Annika Taylor (Truckee, Calif.) has been nominated to the 2014-15 New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) Elite Team, while Elizabeth Izzo (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Katrin Larusson (Truckee, Calif.) have been nominated to the NENSA Development Team.
UNH alumnae Liz Guiney '13 (Park City, Utah/Elite Team) and Clare Egan '11 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Development Team) are also NENSA team nominees, the organization announced this week.
The NENSA Elite and Development Team nominees represent athletes who have had success on a regional, national and international level this past winter. The teams exist as a program to aid in the appropriate development of top athletes toward the goal of international excellence.
Taylor was nominated as a discretionary selection. The junior competed at the NCAA Skiing Championships for the second straight season, earned a berth on the National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team for the third year in a row and was tabbed to the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society. The 2013 UNH women's Nordic team MVP missed this season's first two Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnivals while competing for Great Britain at the U23 World Championships, but she celebrated her return with a fourth-place finish in the 5K freestyle and eighth in the 15K classic at Dartmouth (Feb. 8). Overall, Taylor earned the No. 16 East ranking.
Izzo, a senior co-captain, was nominated in the U23 division after earning points in six EISA carnivals this season, including 16th place in the 5K classic at Colby (Jan. 17) and an eighth-place finish in the 15K free at UNH (Jan. 25). Izzo is a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier, a four-time NSCA All-Academic Team member and a two-time inductee into the Chi Sigma Alpha National College Athlete Honor Society.
Larusson, the 2014 EISA women's Nordic Rookie of the Year, was nominated in the EISA 6th-15th Ranking list after posting the East's No. 10 ranking (No. 5 freestyle, No. 17 classic). The freshman sported a career-high third-place finish in 5K free at Vermont (Feb. 2) and twice placed 10th in 5K classic -- at UNH on Jan. 24 and in the EISA Championships, hosted by Middlebury, on Feb. 21.
Guiney, who was nominated to the Elite Team in the U23 division, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics in 2013. The two-time Wildcat Nordic team co-captain was previously selected to the prestigious Craftsbury Green Racing Project, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes participation and excellence in lifelong sports. Guiney won the 2012-13 National College Men's and Women's Skiing Elite 89 award for reaching the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in Division I skiing while also achieving the highest academic standard among her peers. She was a four-time member of the NSCA All-Academic Team and received the UNH Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence.
Egan, who competed as a graduate student for the Wildcats in 2011, reached the NCAA Championships, earned a berth on the EISA All-East Second Team and was a member of the NSCA All-Academic Team during her one year at UNH.
The NENSA Elite Team and Development Team exist as a program to support and facilitate the appropriate development of top athletes toward the goal of international excellence. In addition to recognition for accomplishments, the program seeks to provide incentives for athletes to seek high levels of competition. The final team roster will be announced in May, naming athletes who accept the commitment and are planning to compete in 2015. To find out more about the teams, visit www.nensa.net.