UW Nordic Ski Teams Finish Fourth at Nationals
The University of Wyoming men's and women's Nordic ski teams both finished in fourth place at the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Coach Christi Boggs couldn't be any happier.
"We had no expectations going in with this team, and they skiied better than we thought was possible," says Boggs. "They were so tough and so tight in a pack and the experience was amazing! They are all inspired to work hard this summer and fall and come back to challenge for the top spots again next year. We've rarely had such talented and hard-working freshmen and sophomores!"
Led by Nathan Hough, a freshman from Casper who finished ninth in the overall standings, the UW men scored 168 points to finish behind Western State College (Gunnison, Colo.), St. Olaf (Northfield, Minn.) and Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.).
Devin Oderwald, a junior from Granby, Colo., and William Via, a sophomore from Fairbanks, Alaska, finished 17th and 22nd, respectively, for the Cowboys. Zach Bochanski, a freshman from Fairfax, Vt., ended up 26th.
The UW women, fronted by Sarah Dixson and Sarah Johnson, tallied 144 points to place behind St. Olaf, Clarkson University and Whitman College (Walla Walla, Wash.). The Cowgirls finished just three points out of third place.
Dixson, a freshman from Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Johnson, a sophomore from Duluth, Minn., led six UW finishers in the top 30. Cara Noseworthy, sophomore, Medford, N.J., was 15th; Catherine Schmidt, sophomore, Laramie, was 18th; Elizabeth Eikelberger, freshman, Casper, was 26th; and Kara Rechard, junior, Albuquerque, N.M., was 28th.
"It was certainly a building year, but we sure have some good skiers who will only get faster," says Boggs.
The five-day competition concluded Saturday, with the UW teams placing fifth in the 3x5 team relay.
Also, UW had nine Academic All-Americans, with Dixson, Noseworthy and Via earning first-team status. Eikelberger, Hough and Michael Fitzgerald, a senior from Laramie, were second-team honorees, and Johnson, Rechard and Schmidt made honorable mention.
The UW Nordic Club has become a national power participating in the USCSA-sanctioned races. Over the past seven years, the UW women have captured six national championships (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010), while finishing as national runner-up in 2005 and 2006. The UW men won national championships in 2006, 2009 and 2010 and were the national runner-up team in 2003, 2005 and 2007.