As the 2009-10 seasons start coming to a close, the University of Denver celebrates its 12th successful season of NCAA Division I athletics.
It has been an exciting year, highlighted by the DU ski team capturing its 21st NCAA Championship. The Pioneers have dominated in recent years, winning three-straight titles and seven since 2000.
Additionally, with six sports still competing, Denver already has made five NCAA Tournament appearances, claimed 16 All-American honors and won two coach of the year awards, while women’s soccer won the Sun Belt Conference championship for a record fourth-straight year and the hockey team claimed its 12th WCHA regular season title. Hockey players Rhett Rakhshani and Marc Cheverie were among 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given each year during the Frozen Four to the top player in college hockey.
Antje Maempel continued her dominance in skiing, becoming just the second woman in history to sweep the NCAA individual Nordic championships in consecutive years. Coming off an appearance in the Vancouver Olympics, Leif Haugen won the individual title in giant slalom, leading DU on the first day of the NCAA Championships, when all six alpine skiers earned All-American honors and gave the Pioneers a commanding lead that proved insurmountable.
This year’s men’s basketball team went 19-13 overall and 10-8 in the Sun Belt Conference, the most wins and conference wins by DU since the 2004-05 season, as well as the second-highest total victories in Denver’s NCAA Division I history. The Pioneers also advanced to the SBC Tournament Semifinals for just the third time in team history and the first time since 2005. Nate Rohnert was named All-SBC First Team for the second-straight season and also earned a spot on the All-SBC Tournament Team.
Denver women’s golf continues to flourish, and freshman Kimberly Kim will compete as an amateur in the LPGA sponsored Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Gymnastics will be making its 12th-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, all under head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart.
The DU men’s tennis team reached No. 25 in the national rankings this week, the highest the team has been ranked in the history of the program.
The Pioneers are also thrilled by the number of academic achievements of DU’s student-athletes, highlighted by a record 19 hockey players receiving WCHA academic honors, and every eligible men’s basketball player and seven women’s basketball players earning Sun Belt Conference academic accolades.
CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium was completed, and a dedication ceremony will take place on Sat., April 17 at 6:45 p.m. between a women’s game against regional rival Wyoming and a men’s game against 2009 NCAA Division II national champion Fort Lewis College.
DU Recreation has had an exceptional year. Coors Fitness Center usage continues to increase, and PASS Camp already is 80 percent sold out for the 2010 summer with more than 1,900 enrolled.
Club Sports continue to grow, and this year 11 teams have qualified for Regional/National competition. Club Curling received the Division IV Silver Medal at Nationals. Club Tennis finished fifth at the USTA Intermountain Campus Championships. Club Skiing finished 12th in the Region after the men placed sixth and the women were fourth in their conference. Water Polo finished fifth at the CWPA Rocky Mountain Division Championships.
DU Recreation received a pair of prestigious awards from the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) for excellence in marketing. Denver won first place for Sustainability for LCD Displays & Energy Saving and was second in Student Digital for the DU Athletics & Recreation Holiday E-Card.
Finally, submissions are being accepted for the 2010 Class of the University of Denver Athletic Hall of Fame. Nominations can be made for former student-athletes (male or female), former coaches, and former athletics administrators and support staff, as well as special categories for teams and individuals.
Thank you for your interest and support. Go Pioneers!