St. Scholastica’s Schommer, Alaska’s Konieczny land CCSA skier of the week honors

CCSA News, CCSA Skiers of the Week

The College of St. Scholastica’s Paul Schommer and Alaska’s Rebecca Konieczny have been named the CCSA skiers of the week, the conference office announced Wednesday. The duo received the awards for their displays of selflessness and character at the NCAA Central Region Championships this past weekend, as both Schommer and Konieczny overcame personal setbacks to help their teams achieve something special.

After a breakthrough freshman year in 2012, it’s safe to say Schommer’s season hasn’t quite gone as planned this time by. Sidelined for much of the CCSA season due to illness and competing in just four conference events, Schommer was unable to get back up to speed in time to qualify for his second NCAA Championships. Despite his disappointment, however, Schommer stepped up when his team needed him most, delivering his best race of the season by landing a seventh-place finish in the 20K mass start freestyle on Sunday. His performance helped boost St. Scholastica to third place in the overall team standings – the school’s first ever podium finish at regionals.

Konieczny, meanwhile, entered the weekend on the bubble for one of the region’s six NCAA berths. Just outside the top six, the Montana native would need two solid races in order to qualify for nationals. Unfortunately, hectic weather conditions on Saturday led to waxing difficulties and slow skis for Konieczny in the classic race, essentially bumping her out of contention. The senior shook off her personal disappointment, however, and raced solely for her team on Sunday, bouncing back to land a sixth-place finish in the skate event. Finishing the race as the Nanooks’ third scoring skier, Konieczny’s points proved vital – Alaska held on to capture the women’s regional crown by just four points over rivals Northern Michigan.