Izquierdo-Bernier, Downing Win USCSCA National Skier and Coach Awards

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 • by Brooke Frederickson, RMISA

DENVER—New Mexico Nordic skier Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier and head alpine coach Joe Downing have earned The United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association National awards, as voted on by the association's membership. Izquierdo-Bernier was named the Men's Nordic Skier of the Year while Downing earned Alpine Coach of the Year honors.

Izquierdo-Bernier, a senior from Montreal, Quebec, was the individual NCAA Champion in the menís classic race. He also finished fourth in the freestyle race to earn two first-team All-America honors. He won two races on the season and finished in the top 10 in 11 of 12 races with seven podium appearances. He was second in both the classic and freestyle at the RMISA Championships. Izquierdo-Bernier was also the RMISA Male Nordic Athlete of the Year.

Downing, who finished his sixth season as the alpine coach at New Mexico and his first heading the entire program, led the Lobos to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, a fourth-place regular-season RMISA finish and third-place finish at the RMISA Championships despite uncertainty about the future of the program. Senior Vegard Busengdal closed out his career with a third-place finish in the men's slalom at NCAA's and was also the RMISA men's alpine MVP and Male Alpine Athlete of the Year. He was one of the most consistent skiers on the circuit, leading the league with 11 top 10 finishes. Alex Barounos also earned All-America honors in the men's slalom. For the women, Sona Moravcikova and Rebecca Fiegl each had two podium finishes for the Lobos during the season with Moravcikova coming away with a slalom win at the New Mexico Invite.

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