yote notes - edition 8
COMING UP: Freestyle/Snowboard teams at USCSA National Championships, Sunday River, Maine, March 5-10.
LAST WEEK: at USCSA Western Regionals (Steamboat, Colo.) – Men (7th of 16), Women (7th of 16)
NO NATIONALS FOR C OF I ALPINE TEAMS: For the first time since the 1995 season, neither C of I alpine team advanced to the USCSA National Championships, as both Coyote teams finished seventh in a 16-team field at last weekend’s USCSA Western Regionals in Steamboat, Colo. For the Lady Yotes, it ends a 13-year streak of trips to Nationals, while the Coyote men have failed to qualify for Nationals for the past three years.
ZACH’S LEAD COYOTES: The Coyote men were led by the duo of freshman Zach Shenk (Sandy, Utah / Skyline HS) and junior Zach Tomlinson (Tahoe City, Calif. / North Tahoe HS), who each posted a Top-12 finish at the Western Regionals. Shenk started his first trip to the event with a sixth-place finish in Friday’s first giant slalom run, finishing in ninth-place overall. He struggled a bit in the slalom, having a tough first run en route to a 25th-place finish. Tomlinson took the opposite route, finishing 29th in the GS, following it up with the ninth-best second run in Saturday’s slalom, taking 11th-place in the event. As a team, the Yotes placed eighth in the GS, seventh in the slalom, and seventh in the combined.
HIRNER TOP OF THE LADY YOTE CLASS: The C of I women were paced by 2011 All-American, Nina Hirner (Sun Valley, Idaho / Wood River HS), who recorded the lone Top-20 finishes by a Lady Yote. The sophomore recorded a 16th-place effort in Thursday’s giant slalom, followed by an outstanding pair of runs in the slalom, finishing eighth overall. Kare Tonning (Rothesay, N.B. / Carrabasett Valley Acad.) recorded the next-best finishes by a C of I competitor, taking 28th in the GS and 26th in the slalom.
REGIONAL RECAP: National power Rocky Mountain continued their dominance of the Western Regionals, taking the first of three berths to Nationals in each gender. The Northwest Conference champion University of British Columbia also will send both men’s and women’s teams to Maine, along with the University of Idaho men and the University of Washington women.
STILL A CHANCE FOR BOARDERS AND FREESTYLE: Both C of I freestyle and snowboard squads earned berths to the USCSA National Championships by virtue of their finishes during the Western Regional circuit. The teams are currently undergoing fundraising efforts to raise money to pay for their travel cross country. Both the C of I men’s and women’s freestyle teams combined for five USCSA national championships in 2011.
NATIONAL STREAK ON THE LINE: The Lady Yotes have a lengthy streak of appearances at the USCSA National Championships on the line – as the squad has advanced each year since 1999. The Coyote men will be looking for their first trip to Nationals since 2009. The last year a C of I alpine team failed to qualify for Nationals was 1995 – the same season the women’s Nordic team won a pair of national titles.
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.