yote notes - edition 4
COMING UP: at NWCSC Qualifier #3 (Giant Slalom), Mount Spokane Ski Park, Saturday-Sunday.
LAST WEEK: at NWCSC Qualifier #1 – Snoqualmie Pass-Alpental (Saturday – Men 3rd, Women 4th; Sunday – Rained Out)
SHENK IMPRESSES IN OPENING RACE: Finally getting an opportunity to open the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference season last weekend, C of I freshman Zach Shenk (Dryden, Mich. / Brother Rice HS) made the most of his debut, placing third overall at Snoqualmie-Alpental on Saturday. Shenk had the seventh fastest slalom opening run, but won the second run by 15-hundredths of a second. It was the best finish by a C of I men’s skier since the 2010 season.
COYOTE MEN TAKE THIRD: The Coyotes used the solid runs by Zach Shenk to earn a third-place finish in Saturday’s opener – with Sunday’s slalom races cancelled due to a deluge of rain in the Cascade Mountains. Zach Tomlinson (Tahoe City, Calif. / North Tahoe HS) finished 12th for the Yotes, with Greg Wanta (La Grande, Ore. / La Grande HS) placing 22nd. British Columbia claimed the team title, as Mike Bisnaire won the overall crown, with Erik Anderson of Idaho placing second – helping the Vandals to the second-place team points.
LADY YOTES STRUGGLE TO COMPLETE TWO CLEAN RUNS: It was a gut-check day for the Lady Yotes, as only three of the six competitors completed both runs, as the team finished fourth in the NWCSC opener. It started tough, as 2011 NWCSC Skier of the Year Kelley Fitzpatrick (Sun Valley, Idaho / McNary HS), the second racer down the hill, caught an edge and was injured – with her availability this weekend up in the air. The banner for the Yotes was picked up by sophomore All-American Nina Hirner (Sun Valley, Idaho / Wood River HS), who placed seventh to lead The C of I. Kare Tonning (Rothesay, N.B. / Carrabassett Valley Acad.) recorded a Top-20 finish, placing 19th, with Caitlin Skufca (Wilmington, N.Y. / Lake Placid School) finishing 26th. British Columbia won the team title, ahead of Washington and Whitman.
NWCSC INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS: Men – Mike Bisnaire (UBC) 100, Erik Anderson (UI) 80, Zach Shenk (CI) 60, Luke Terhart (UBC) 50, Ben Middleton (UBC) 45. Women – Morgan Duffy (UW) 100, Lindsey Anderson (UI) 80, Samantha Bisnaire (UBC) 50, Hailey Schur (WSU) 45, Christina Donnelly (UBC) 40.
OFF TO MOUNT SPOKANE: The NWCSC heads north to Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park for their first giant slalom qualifiers of 2012 – finally finding the quality snow that the racers have been looking for. Six new inches of snow fell Tuesday on the hill, pushing the summit base to 87 inches – with weather for the weekend expected to be good. With the cancellations this season, the two weekend dates will be the lone GS qualifiers prior to the USCSA Regional Championships.
SNOW REPORT LOCALLY: The snow machine in Southwestern Idaho decided to turn off last week – as minimal moisture targeted the Yotes practice terrain. Bogus Basin currently has a base of 46 inches, with 54 inches at the top – a loss of two inches of snow over the past week, while Brundage Mountain has a base of 63 inches, with 77 inches at the top – a loss of four inches at the base.
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.