COMING UP: Idle until USCSA Western Regional, Feb. 23-25, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
LAST WEEK: at NWCSC Qualifier #4 – Bogus Basin (Saturday – Men 3rd, Women 3rd; Sunday – Men 3rd, Women 4th)
SHENK LEADS COYOTE MEN TO PAIR OF THIRDS: Racing in Idaho for the only time this season and competing on their home hill at Bogus Basin, the Coyote men had a quality weekend, logging a pair of third-place finishes in the final Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference qualifiers of the 2012 season. Freshman Zach Shenk (Sandy, Utah / Skyline HS) continued his stellar season – winning the first run on Saturday, eventually finishing second to British Columbia’s Mike Bisnaire by a tenth of a second. Sunday, Shenk followed it up with a third-place finish to lead the Yotes. Also having a good weekend was Zach Tomlinson (Tahoe City, Calif. / North Tahoe HS), who recorded a pair of ninth-place finishes. The Yotes finished the season in fourth-place in the NWCSC standings – behind British Columbia, Whitman, and the University of Idaho.
LADY YOTES FALL SHORT IN REPEATING AS NWCSC CHAMPS: The Lady Yotes raced for all the marbles on Sunday – holding a slim two-point lead in the NWCSC standings, with a trio of teams nipping at their heels. Unfortunately, a fourth-place finish helped British Columbia capture their first-ever women’s NWCSC title. Nina Hirner (Sun Valley, Idaho / Wood River HS) did her best to help the Lady Yotes, earning a seventh-place finish on Saturday, followed by an eighth-place showing on Sunday – the lone Top-10 finishes by a C of I women’s skier on the weekend. The Yotes finished two points clear of Whitman, with Washington State in fourth.
ALL-NWCSC TEAMS: At the conclusion of the regular-season, the Top-10 individual scorers in the weekend qualifiers were honored as All-NWCSC selections. UBC’s Mike Bisnaire was named Men’s Skier of the Year, joined on the team by Zach Shenk (C of I), Andrew Willoughby (Oregon), Luke Terhart (UBC), Drew Anderson (Idaho), Erik Anderson (UI), Bradley West (Whitman), Tomas Sadilek (Washington State), Ben Middleton (UBC), Mike Cadman (UBC). Washington’s Morgan Duffy was named Women’s Skier of the Year, joined on the team by Lindsey Anderson (UI), Hailey Schur (WSU), Nina Hirner (C of I), Kelsi Lakey (WSU), Christina Donnelly (UBC), Samantha Bisnaire (UBC), Allison Howe (UW), Samantha Davis (UBC), Jasmine Campbell (Whitman).
IT GETS TOUGHER NEXT WEEKEND: The Yotes will take this weekend off from competition, preparing for the USCSA Western Regional Championships, hosted by the Rocky Mountain region, at Steamboat Springs in Colorado. The top-three men’s and women’s teams of the 18 which will compete will earn spots to the USCSA National Championships at Sunday River Resort in Maine, the first week of March.
ABOUT THE COACH: Ron Bonneau is in his 22nd season as head coach for The College of Idaho alpine ski programs. During his tenure at The C of I, the native of New Hampshire has seen the Coyote men's team qualify for the USCSA championships on 12 occasions, with the women's team making appearances 17 times. His 2004 women's squad finished second in the nation in the slalom and fourth in the alpine combined. The Coyotes have seen much success in the 21st Century, as both the men's and women's programs, under Bonneau's direction, won Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference championships each year from 2004-09, with the Lady Yotes taking home Western Regional championships in 1999, 2003 and 2006. His women's teams have advanced to 13-consecutive USCSA championships, finishing in the Top-9 in nine of the 13 appearances. Last season, the Lady Yotes claimed the NWCSC title. Bonneau, a graduate of Plymouth State College, replaced Tom Olson as the alpine ski coach in 1991 - and worked with Chris Melgaard on the nordic side to claim the women's nordic championships in 1994 and 1995. During his tenure, he has coached seven national champions, 56 All-Americans, and 76 All-America Scholar-Athletes. Prior to his time in the Gem State, Bonneau worked at ski resorts in Wachusett, Mass. and Haystack, Vt. Along with his duties with the ski program, he is the director of C of I's outdoor program. Bonneau and wife Michele live in Caldwell.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more on The C of I alpine ski program, head to the official homepage of the Coyotes, www.collegeofidaho.edu/athlete/skiing.