UW Nordic Men’s Team Repeats as National Champion, Cowgirls Second
The University of Wyoming men’s Nordic team finished a perfect week, sweeping all four events to capture its second straight title at the 38th annual United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) national championships Saturday in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Despite winning three of the four races, the UW Cowgirls couldn’t quite finish high enough in the final team relay event, placing third, which allowed Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.) to slip into first place. The UW women finished second in the nation for the second consecutive season.
With its second straight USCSA national championship, the UW men have now won six team titles since 2003, matching their Cowgirl counterparts.
“The men took the lead from the start and never looked back, putting an exclamation point on the national championship,” UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs says. She coaches the team with Rachel Watson.
The Cowboys compiled a team-low 39 points in winning the team title over Rocky Mountain Conference rival Western State College by a whopping margin. The Gunnison, Colo., school had 90 points, while Clarkson University was third with 134.
UW’s men won Saturday’s final team relay event with a low of six points, while Clarkson was second with 15.
The Cowgirls needed to win Saturday’s final team relay in order to maintain their slim national lead, but finished third, allowing Clarkson to take the overall championship by a close five-point margin.
“The women gave it their heart and soul,” Boggs says. “They finished as runners-up a year ago, and we never expected to compete this well this season. This team showed as much heart as any team we have ever coached.”
Clarkson took the women’s title with 50 points, while the Cowgirls compiled 55 through four events. St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minn.) was a distant third with 140 team points.
Besides winning national honors as a team, UW’s club also won several individual honors at the USCSA championships.
For the first time, UW won both the individual men’s and women’s titles when Elise Sulser, from Casper, and Will Timmons, of Anchorage, Alaska, compiled the most points in all four races. Sulser also won two of the three individual races.
Besides Timmons’ overall win, UW had two others finish among the top 10: Teammate Mason Vincent of Laramie was the national runner-up, and Jackson’s Sam Wiswell was fourth. Taylor Vignaroli of Casper placed 11th; Benjamin Noreen, Ironwood, Mich., 12th; and Trevor Willoughby, Casper, 17th.
After Sulser’s individual title, teammates Yara Thomas, of Jackson, and Laramie’s Meghan Kent placed sixth and 10th, respectively. Other UW individual rankings were Britta Schroeter, Ironwood, Mich., 14th; and Casper’s Bridget Weiner, 15th.
All five UW Cowboys had at least one All-American finish (placing among the top finishers) in at least one race. Sulser, Thomas, Kent and Schroeter also were named All-American for placing in at least one race throughout the week.
Kent, Weiner and Wiswell were named first-team academic All-Americans, while Noreen, Thomas and Willoughby were selected to the second team.