Phinney & Pokorny Earn All-East Honors

Kelsey Phinney (left) and Annie Pokorny (right) both earned All-East honors.
Kelsey Phinney (left) and Annie Pokorny (right) both earned All-East honors.

Four members of the Middlebury College Ski Team were honored when the All-East awards were announced by the Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association (EISA). Seniors Kelsey Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) and Annie Pokorny (Spokane, Wash.) both earned first-team honors on the nordic side, while junior Rob Cone (Killington, Vt.) was a first-team selection and classmate Colin Hayes (Evergreen, Colo.) earned a spot on the second team on the alpine slopes. The four will be a part of Middlebury's NCAA Team that will travel to Colorado for the 2016 NCAA Skiing Championships from March 9-12 at Mt. Werner and Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs.

Phinney is top-ranked female nordic racer on the eastern circuit. The senior won three of six individual races she competed in this year, finishing second twice and fifth once. She picked up wins in the 5K free at Bates, the 15K classic at Colby and the 15K classic at Dartmouth. Phinney missed the final two carnivals of the year competing for the United States at the U23 World Championships in Romania. A year ago, she qualified for the NCAAs and held down a spot as a second-team All-East selection. Phinney also qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2013.

Pokorny joined the Panthers prior to the University of Vermont Carnival, after skiing for the team in 2012 and 2013. She was the 2012 EISA Nordic Rookie of the Year, qualifying for the NCAAs in both 2012 and 2013. She finished the carnival season ranked fourth overall among all eastern skiers. The senior raced seven times this season, finishing in the top-six on six occasions. She earned a win in the 5K classic pursuit at Williams before taking home the title in the 5K freestyle race at Middlebury. At UVM, Pokorny was fourth in the 5K free and second in the 10K classic.

Cone had another standout season for the alpine men, finishing the carnival season ranked second overall among his peers. The defending NCAA slalom champion had another big season with seven top-seven finishes in nine races. Cone picked up a win in the slalom on his home course at the Middlebury Carnival, along with four other second-place finishes. Second-place efforts came in the slalom at Colby and the GS at Dartmouth, Williams and Middlebury.

After two top-10 finishes a year ago, Hayes accomplished the feat six times in 2016. He earned his first career win at Williams, taking home first place in the slalom. His other best efforts were fourth in the slalom at Dartmouth and sixth in the GS at Colby.