Seven cross country skiers received Academic All-America honors.
April 26, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY -- Kevin Sweeney, in his fifth year as the University of Utah's Head Ski Coach, led the coed team to a second-place finish in the 2004 NCAA Skiing Championships and a third-place performance at the RMISA Western Regional Championships this season.
Utah was led by junior skiers Henning Dybendal, Ben Thornhill and Barbro Hatlevik. Dybendal dominated the NCAAs, winning both the nordic events and becoming the only men's NCAA duel gold medalist. Thornhill was awarded with his second NCAA gold medal, repeating as the giant slalom champion. Hatlevik earned the NCAA bronze medal after finishing third in the 5-km free-technique event.
This season, a total of six Utes (three nordic and three alpine) received 10 All-America honors (top 10 finishes) at the NCAA Championships. The list included: Dybendal (classic and freestyle), Jenny Hansson (classic and freestyle, Hatlevik (freestyle), Rowena Hyldahl (giant slalom), April Mancuso (giant slalom and slalom) and Thornhill (giant slalom and slalom).
In addition, eight skiers received all-conference honors (top ten rankings) in the RMISA this season. The list included: Dybendal, Sandra Gredig, Hansson, Hyldahl, Mancuso, Will McDonald, Daniel Sonntag and Benjamin Sonntag.
Junior Manuso was awarded with this year's C.D. Reddish Memorial Award and the Toril Forland Outstanding Skier Award. The downhill skier has recovered fully after battling back from a possible career-ending back injury that left her unable to compete during the 2003 ski season.
The C.D. Reddish Memorial Award is given to the graduating senior or upper classman who has contributed the most to the team, not only in results, per se, but with respect to community relations and promoting the sport as a diplomatic ambassador, while the Toril Forland Outstanding Skier Award is awarded to the female athlete who has been an important factor to the success and accomplishments of the women's ski team program.
Thornhill and Dybendal were co-recipients of the David Novelle Outstanding Skier Award. This honor is given to the male athlete(s) who has been one of the most influential factors to the success of our team with outstanding results through the entire competitive season.
Dybendal also earned the Alf Engen Sportsmanship Award. This honor is given to the outstanding athlete in either their junior or senior year on the team who has best demonstrated the most "inspirational" qualities. This award takes into consideration outstanding competitive achievement as well as noteworthy leadership and sportsmanship.
Academically, skiers Tony Bozzio, Gredig, Hansson, Hatlevik, Hyldahl, Jess Kiesel, Ashley McQueen, Gaspar Perricone, Anna Sprague, Elisha Stephens and Thornhill all received Academic All-America honors.
The Utes also finished with 16 student-athletes on the 2003 fall semester honor roll and 10 student-athletes on the Dean's List for the 2003 fall semester, with Sprague earning a 4.0 GPA during the 2003 fall semester.
Utah was also home to several skiers that performed well outside of the regular season. Freshman Gredig and Sonntag both competed at the U-23 FIS Championships. Casey Simons skied at the World Junior Nordic Ski Championships and was named the United States Junior National Champion.