RMISA Announces Postseason Awards

Monday, March 18, 2019 • by Brooke Frederickson, RMISA

DENVER—The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association has announced the following postseason awards:

2019 Male Nordic Athlete of the Year: Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier - New Mexico
2019 Female Nordic Athlete of the Year: Julia Richter - Utah
2019 Male Alpine Athlete of the Year: Vegard Busengdal - New Mexico
2019 Female Alpine Athlete of the Year: Tuva Norbye - Denver
2019 RMISA Alpine Coach of the Year: JJ Johnson - Utah
2019 RMISA Nordic Coach of the Year: Christian Otto - New Mexico

Izquierdo-Bernier won the 20-km classic title at the NCAA Championships and finished fourth in the 10-km freestyle. His win was the first men's Nordic classic NCAA title for New Mexico. Izquierdo-Bernier was the only men's Nordic skier to earn first-team All-America honors in both events at the championship. He won two races and finished on the podium seven times during the season.

Richter won the women's 5-km freestyle NCAA title and finished second in the 15-km classic to earn first-team All-America honors in both events. She led all women's Nordic skiers in individual points at the championships. Richter surged at the end of the year, finishing first or second in the final six races of the season with three victories.

Busengdal, who was also the men's alpine MVP (which is selected through NCAA qualification points), closed out his career with a third-place finish in the men's slalom at NCAA's for first-team All-America honors. He finished on the podium four times during the year and led the league with 11 top 10 finishes. Busengdal is a two-time All-American for the Lobos, he also finished fifth in the slalom in 2018.

Norbye earned two second-team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships, finishing sixth in the giant slalom and ninth in the slalom to bring her career All-America total to five. She was also the women's alpine MVP and was the most consistent skier on the circuit during the season with two wins, eight podiums and 10 top five finishes.

Johnson is in his first season as head alpine coach at Utah after joining the Utes from the U.S. Ski Team. He coached three skiers to All-America honors led by Roni Remme, who finished second at NCAA's in both the women's giant slalom and slalom, in addition to Eirin Engeset (women's GS) and Mark Engel (men's slalom). Utah had the top scoring team in the women's giant slalom at NCAA's. The Utes were the top scoring alpine team at both the RMISA Championship and UAA Invite while the men's alpine scores led the discipline at the RMISA Championships, UAA Invite and Colorado Invite.

Otto is in his first season as head Nordic coach at UNM after previously serving as an assistant. He helped lead Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier to the 20-km NCAA classic title and a fourth-place finish in the 10-km freestyle while Kornelius Grov finished second in the freestyle. New Mexico had the top men's Nordic team at both the Montana State and UAA Invites this season.

The Athlete and Coach of the Year awards are voted on by the league membership.

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