CollegiateGeneralNewsMaempel and Kjoelhamar are FasterSkier Collegiate Skiers of the Year

FasterSkier FasterSkierMay 12, 20093

FasterSkier Collegiate Skier of the Year

The Collegiate Skier of the Year award posed the biggest challenge this year.  There were no clear-cut winners who distanced themselves from the rest of the field and a strong case could be made for any number of skiers.  Performance at the NCAA National Championships was a major factor in picking the winners.

Collegiate Skier of the Year (women):

Antje Maempel (GER).  Last year the Women’s Collegiate Skier of the Year was the easiest category – Maria Greevsgaard of CU dominated the entire season, winning all but one regular season races, and both NCAA Championship events.  This year was a completely different story.

Three women led the way as front-runners, but convincing arguments for several more could easily be made.  Ultimately, however, Antje Maempel of the University of Denver claimed the honor, based on her two NCAA National Titles and seven regular season podium finishes, including two victories.  Her performance helped secure a second consecutive National Title for DU.

The 25-year-old native of Germany was a long time member of the German National Team, racing in 10 World Cups between 2001 and 2007, and posting a top finish of 28th.

Honorable Mention:

Maria Grevsgaard (CZE).  Grevsgaard had another great year, winning five regular season races and leading the RMISA season-ending rankings.  At the NCAA championships she finished 5th and 6th.

Rosie Brennan (USA).  Brennan, racing for Dartmouth College led the EISA overall rankings, and in her eight starts, had three victories, two 2nds and three 4ths.    She finished 3rd in the 15km freestyle at the NCAA Championships and 4th in the 5km classic.

Antje Maempel (GER) on her way to victory in the 5km classic at the 2009 NCAA Champinships (Photo: Steve Fuller, www.flyingpointroad.com)
Antje Maempel (GER) on her way to victory in the 5km classic at the 2009 NCAA Championships (Photo: Steve Fuller, www.flyingpointroad.com)

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Collegiate Skier of the Year (men):

Vegard Kjoelhamar (NOR).  The men’s field was just as deep as the women’s – again, no easy answers.   No skier won more than three races during the regular season, the RMISA had no men who finished in the top 10 in every race, and while the EISA had several, those skiers did not start all the races.  The CCSA also lacked a dominating presence with the graduation of last year’s winner, UAF’s Marius Korthauer (GER).

We gave the nod to Vegard Kjoelhamar (NOR) of the University of Colorado.  Kjoelhamar led the RMISA rankings, winning two races and placing second in three others.  He won the National Title in the 20km freestyle and was 6th in the 10km classic.

The 23-year-old junior transferred to CU from Lillehamar University.  This was his first season racing in the US after success in Norway.  Kjoelhamar was part of the second place relay team at Norwegian Nationals in 2008, and placed 8th in a Norwegian Cup event that season as well.

Honorable Mention:

Raphaele Wunderle (GER). Wunderle, of the University of Alaska Anchorage, scored points in all 10 RMISA races, finishing outside the top 10 just once.  He placed 2nd and 3rd at the NCAA Championships.

Juergen Uhl (GER).  Uhl led the University of Vermont to a 5th place finish at the NCAA Championships.  A much stronger classic skier, he won the 10km classic National Title, and posted two victories and two 2nds in five regular season classic races.

Simeon Hamilton (USA).  Hamilton started his season late after competing at the World Junior Championships for the US.  He returned to Middlebury for the second half of the season, winning three of five starts and finishing second in another race.  He took 7th and 9th at the NCAA Championships.

Other top Collegiate skiers included Matt Gelso (USA) and Jesper Ostensen (NOR), both of CU.  They joined Kjoelhamar for a CU sweep of the RMISA season standings, but other than Ostensen’s 3rd in the 10km classic, both struggled at NCAAs.  Martin Banerud (NOR), skiing for Northern Michigan University, was the top CCSA skier, closely followed by Michigan Tech’s Oskar Lund (SWE).  Like the CU skiers, however, neither distinguished himself at the NCAA Championships.

Vegard Kjoelhamar celebrates his victory in the 20km freestyle at the NCAA National Championships (Photo: Steve Fuller, www.flyingpointroad.com)
Vegard Kjoelhamar celebrates his victory in the 20km freestyle at the NCAA National Championships (Photo: Steve Fuller, www.flyingpointroad.com)

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Previous Winners
2008
Maria Grevsgaard (CZE), University of Colorado
Marius Korthauer (GER), University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Antje Maempel celebrating DU's second consecutive National Title (Photo: Steve Fuller, www.flyingpointroad.com)
Antje Maempel celebrating DU's second consecutive National Title (Photo: Steve Fuller, www.flyingpointroad.com)

FasterSkier Award Schedule

Monday, May 11th – Rookie of The Year

Tuesday, May 12th – Collegiate Skier of the Year

Wednesday, May 13th – Continental Skier of the Year

Thursday, May 14th – Biathlete of the Year

Friday, May 15th – Nordic Combined Skier of the Year

Monday, May 18th – Performance of the Year

Tuesday, May 19th – Cross-Country Skier of the Year

Wednesday, May 20th – Betterment of the Sport Award

Wednesday, May 20th – Betterment of the Sport Award

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