Snow Patrol

Following a sixth place finish in last year’s NCAA championships, the UVM men’s and women’s ski teams will look to capitalize on rosters loaded with experience and skill and improve on their impressive 2008 finish. On the men’s side, the Nordic squad returns senior captain and 2008 NCAA All-American Juergen Uhl. Uhl, who was the men’s team MVP in 2008 and the only UVM Nordic skier to be named an All-American, won five individual races last season, including a victory in the 20k classic at the St. Lawrence carnival. Uhl narrowly missed a victory at the NCAA Championships, skiing to a third place finish in the 20k classic in Bozeman, Montana.Senior captain Jilyne McDonald will lead the Alpine team on the women’s side following a 2008 season in which she was also named team MVP and an NCAA All-American. After taking the 2007 season off to accept a prestigious invitation to the U.S. Ski Team, McDonald returned in 2008 to win three individual races for the Catamounts. McDonald capped her successful season at the NCAA championships with solid fifth and sixth-place finishes in the slalom and giant slalom, respectively.Uhl and McDonald are not the only returning UVM skiers to receive NCAA All-American nods in 2008, however. Joining the senior captains are junior Alpine skiers Kara Crow and Erik Gilbert and sophomore Lyndee Janowiak, another member of the Alpine squad. Gilbert will be a leader for the men’s Alpine squad following a 2008 season which saw him miss the first half due to injury, only to return and be named an All-American. Gilbert’s strongest finish on the season was a third-place finish in the giant slalom at the NCAA Championships.Crow earned an invite to her second straight NCAA championships last season following a consistent campaign which saw her seal eight individual top-five finishes. She didn’t disappoint at the championships, just missing the podium with a fifth-place finish in the giant slalom.Janowiak was the youngest UVM All-American in 2008, earning the distinction in her freshman year of competition, a season which was capped by her third-place finish in the giant slalom at the NCAA Championships. Joining these returning All-Americans is a hungry squad of contenders looking to lead both the men’s and women’s ski teams to national contention in 2009.The Cats open the season Jan. 23 at the Bates Carnival in Maine.