Havlick, Hendrickson Named RMISA Coaches of the Year

Friday, April 9, 2021 • by Curtis Snyder, RMISA

BOULDER—Utah's Miles Havlick and Westminster's Chris Hendrickson were named the RMISA Coaches of the Year for Nordic and alpine, respectively, the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association announced Friday.

Havlick led the Utah Nordic team to one of the more dominating performances in RMISA and NCAA Championship history in 2021. Utah skiers won 13 of 24 races on the season as individuals, including 11 of 12 races on the women's side, and the Utes racked up 42 podium appearances in Nordic action, 29 more than any other team in the RMISA.

Two Utah newcomers dominated the women's action throughout the season, with Sydney Palmer-Leger winning both NCAA Individual Championships and the RMISA Individual classic title, winning four races overall and hitting the podium in seven of 10 races on the season. Classmate Novie McCabe hit the podium in all 10 races in she competed in and hit the podium in all 10 races. Julia Richter added two wins and five podiums for the Utes. Those three swept the podium in the 5K classic race at the NCAA Championships, enable the Utes to open up a big lead at the midpoint of the championships.

Samuel Hendry had a fantastic season on the men's Nordic side for the Utes, picking up two wins and hitting the podium nine times in 10 races. He wasn't alone as Bjorn Riksaasen hit the podium three times and Ola Jordheim twice for the Utes while Noel Keefe and Luke Jager each had one podium. Jager was second at the NCAA Championships in the classic race with Hendry taking third and Riksaasen fifth to pick up 100 points for the men's team as the Utes scored 211 out of a possible 222 points on that second day of the Championship.

The Utes won all four regular season meets, the RMISA Championship and NCAA Championship. The Utes Nordic teams racked up 1,589 points in the four regular season meets and on the women's side especially dominated with 842 points, picking up 237 points more than any other women's Nordic team.

Hendrickson has quickly turned the Griffins into an alpine power in the RMISA and nationally, as the Westminster is just in its third season of competing at the NCAA level making the transition from NAIA. His Griffin skiers hit the top of the podium six times throughout the season, five on the women's side throughout the season and led the RMISA with 21 podium appearances and 39 top five finishes, 13 more than any other school throughout the regular season.

Julia Toiviainen had a fantastic season in which she earned the women's GS MVP honor as the Griffins finished in the top three spots on that list with Hannah Saethereng taking second and Lana Zbasnik third. Toviainen was just edged by MSU's Tegan Wold in the slalom MVP race by a single point while Zbasnik was sixth and Saethereng eighth on that list.

In men's alpine action, Francesco Gori was named the men's slalom MVP while Mikkel Solbakken took fifth on that list and on the GS side, Solbakken was second on the MVP list while Joachim Mjelde was seventh.

At the NCAA Championships, Solbakken won the first individual championship for the Griffins, winning the men's GS race to open the championship as the Griffins shared a Day 1 lead with Montana State.

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